Today’s News & Commentary
Harvard Law School’s Pipeline Parity Project saw another success in its campaign to end forced arbitration in employment disputes when Sidley Austin, one of the United States’ 10 largest law firms, announced that it would bow to pressure and eliminate arbitration clauses from employment contracts with all employees, both legal and non-legal staff. The announcement comes after Kirkland & Ellis announced an end to its own arbitration policy. After these two quick successes, the group aims to bring an end to arbitration policies at DLA Piper, another BigLaw firm.
In a lame-duck session, Michigan’s Republican-led legislature overturned a citizen-initiated increase in minimum wage. The move comes as the legislature attempts to pass a flood of new laws before Republican Governor Rick Snyder leaves office and is replaced by a Democrat.
In the wake of controversy surrounding the tax breaks given to Amazon by municipal governments in its search for a new headquarters, the New York City Council has moved to prohibit city officials from entering non-disclosure agreements with private companies. Brad Lander, a councilmember who helped initiate the legislation, said that the secret agreements had “corrupted democracy” and forced important conversations about gentrification, inequality, and corporate influence out of the public sphere.