Today’s News & Commentary — November 1, 2017
The Independent Drivers Guild launched its own open enrollment campaign to raise awareness of health insurance options for app-based drivers and assist in health plan enrollment. The move comes in response to the Trump administration’s decision to cut funding for Obamacare advertising and publicity. The Guild’s enrollment effort will include assistance in completing applications at no extra cost to members. The IDG joined a host of independent groups looking to fill the void left by the Trump administration and promote enrollment when the sign-up period opens on Nov. 1st.
Labor unions in New York are leading the fight against a ballot measure to hold a Constitutional Convention, arguing any convention would risk weakening existing protections for workers. New Yorkers are split on the issue, with proponents arguing that a convention is the most effective means to combat corruption in Albany and opponents questioning the wisdom of opening the whole Constitution up for changes to solve one issue.
The U.S. Department of Labor is appealing the Aug. 31 ruling by the 5th Circuit that struck down the Obama administration’s overtime rule. The DOL also announced that once its appeal is filed, the Department of Justice will file a motion to hold the appeal in abeyance while DOL “undertakes further rule-making to determine what the salary level should be.” The appeal seeks to maintain the DOL’s authority to issue overtime regulations.
DOL has indicated that it intends to rescind an Obama-era rule against tip-pooling. The 2011 rule prevents employers from requiring tipped employees, who are paid less than minimum wage, to share their tips with traditionally non-tipped workers. The rule also stipulated that tips belong to tipped employees. Advocates and tipped workers worry that rescinding the rule will allow restaurant owners to take tips, pool them and divide the money amongst their employees–or even take a portion for themselves.