Today’s News & Commentary — October 31, 2017
On Friday, the Trump administration announced that it will nominate Scott Mugno to lead the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Mugno, a safety official at FedEx Corporation, is an attorney who has worked at FedEx since 1994.
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein’s firing (which we discussed here), and as details illuminating the unfortunate prevalence of harassment and assault in the entertainment (and other) industries emerge, a Los Angeles Times article overviews the sort of confidentiality agreements prospective workers in the entertainment industry are asked to sign. These agreements, the article explains, can be very broad and in some cases seem to require the prospective employee to agree not to sue for harassing behavior. On a similar theme, Tracie McMillan writes an op-ed for the New York Times about the prevalence of sexual harassment in the restaurant industry. McMillan urges for a change in culture in the industry, which she describes as facilitating the harassment.
On Monday, the NLRB announced that VIUSA Inc. (an industrial services contractor) will pay $21.6M to settle claims that it refused to hire workers represented by a particular union at a Ford Motor Co. plant in Kentucky, and forced those employees to join a different union. The funds will be distributed in part as backpay to former employees and prospective employees that the employer had refused to hire, and the remainder will be distributed to a pension fund as compensation for the employer’s failure to make benefit contributions.
In Moussouris v. Microsoft Corp., a case in which former employees accuse Microsoft of discriminating against women in pay and promotions, plaintiffs on Friday asked the court to certify a nationwide class of over 8,000 women. Plaintiffs argue, citing expert consultants, that the discrimination at Microsoft resulted in the loss of more than 500 promotions and $100M-$238M in pay to women employees.