Today’s News & Commentary — November 19, 2018

Published November 19th, 2018 -  - 11.19.183


Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, a possible 2020 presidential contender, said Sunday that Democratic candidates have to speak to workers’ needs if they plan to win in 2020, the Associated Press reports.  Senator Brown had the most votes of any Ohioan in the November 6 elections, and says he won because he talked about the dignity of work.  Senator Brown told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he has not yet decided whether to run in 2020.

JP Morgan Chase committed to an $18 minimum wage for its Washington, D.C. workers last week, the Washington Post reports.  The company also made a commitment that 40 percent of its new hires should move up within the firm.  The promises come as part of a nationwide expansion for the banking giant.  Currently, D.C.’s minimum wage is $13.25 per hour.

Two unions have filed a lawsuit against the government of Puerto Rico, accusing it of mismanaging employee pension accounts, the Associated Press reports.  The American Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees allege that the Puerto Rican government failed to create defined-contribution accounts as promised and instead invested hundreds of millions of dollars in pension contributions in accounts that earn very little interest.  Puerto Rico has nearly $50 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and is preparing pension cuts sought by the island’s financial oversight board.

Terri Gerstein and David Seligman opined in The American Prospect last week that state and municipal governments should have a prominent role in safeguarding workers’ rights from federal overreach.  Specifically, their article argues that local governments should enact whistleblower statutes akin to the False Claims Act to allow private enforcement of workers’ rights through the court system.  The article highlights the EMPIRE Act in New York as a relevant legislative effort.

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