News & Commentary

October 24, 2016

Emily Miller

Emily Miller is a student at Harvard Law School.

The Department of Labor defended a new regulation requiring businesses to disclose recent labor law violations when bidding on federal contracts, urging a Texas Court not to grant a preliminary injunction against the rule, reports Politico.  On Thursday, DOL argued that the regulations are within their authority as an executive agency,  are not preempted by existing labor law, and do not constitute “compelled speech” in violation of the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights.  The regulations are set to be phased in beginning tomorrow.

A recent ruling by a California appeals court which found that existing pensions for public employees can be reduced is now before the California Supreme Court in a case that could dramatically alter 60 years of California law governing pensions, reports the L.A. Times.  The ruling approved a a 2012 “pension reform” law which cut pensions, increased the retirement age for incoming government employees, and banned “pension spiking” for existing workers.  The earlier decision, if upheld, would weaken the current “California Rule,” which generally allows the State to alter the formula for calculating retirement income only if the result is neutral or advantageous to the employee.  Twelve other states have adopted some version of the California Rule.

The Wall Street Journal reported that retailers began recruiting seasonal hires for the holidays as early as August this year, anticipating a strong consumer demand and more difficulty in recruiting seasonal workers than in past years.  Companies and analysts attribute this early hiring to several trends: increasingly early holiday shopping, a tighter labor market given the low unemployment rate, and holiday competition between retailers, restaurants, and logistics and distribution firms.  While overall seasonal hiring is not expected to increase much this year, the tighter labor market is expected to put upward pressure on wages for seasonal workers.

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