News & Commentary

November 29, 2017

Edward Nasser

Edward Nasser is a student at Harvard Law School.

The Province of Ontario is testing the effects of a basic income program on poverty, reports the New York Times. Ontario will provide a basic income to 4,000 people who are unemployed or who make an annual salary of less than 34,000 Canadian dollars ($24,000) in three different communities. Single people receive up to 17,000 dollars ($13,000) of basic income and they can keep half of what they earn from working–Canadians on welfare normally have to subtract all of what they earn from their monthly benefit, so this is considered an incentive to work. Couples get 24,000 dollars ($19,000).

Kadian Noble, a British Actress, is alleging that Harvey Weinstein and his company are liable for civil damages under a criminal sex trafficking law. The law bans the use of force, threat or coercion for a sex act in exchange for value. The alleged value in this case was a potential role in one of Weinstein’s films. Some lawyers interviewed by the New York Times expressed skepticism about the claims while others saw promise. The full complaint can read here.

A group of 19 Democratic state Attorneys General weighed in on a  lawsuit in Pennsylvania over the Trump administration’s plan to allow some employers to not provide insurance coverage for contraception for their employees. The group alleges that allowing employers with religious or moral objections to choose whether their employees receive coverage for contraception violates the separation of search and state and encourages illegal workplace discrimination against women. Similar lawsuits were filed against the proposed contraception rules by the American Civil Liberties Union and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

The New York Times argues that retail jobs do not have to be “bad jobs.” Retail accounts for one of every eight private sector jobs and typically pays full-time workers less than $33,000 a year. A study published last month discussed in the Times piece, “Where Bad Jobs Are Better,” concluded that retail jobs do not have to be of such low quality. In other parts of the world, higher minimum wages, stronger unions, and different wage laws–including, in some parts of the European Union, that part-time workers must be paid at the same rate as full-time workers–combine to make retail jobs less unattractive than they are in the United States.


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