Today’s News & Commentary — September 5, 2017
At the New York Times, Michael Corkery writes about the allies “Dreamers” find in the business world. The article, which identifies public statements made in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by prominent business figures (e.g. Mark Zuckerberg), is published on the heels of reports that the Trump administration intends to end DACA with a six-month delay.
Further to yesterday’s commentary on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations, Reuters reports that the “Trump administration’s expected demands for U.S.-specific automotive content requirements was emerging as a major obstacle to a deal.” Such requirements would establish that a certain portion of a car’s components be U.S.-made in order to receive duty-free treatment. As the article reports, this would create complications for both Detroit and international auto-manufacturers. The Trump administration has identified reducing the U.S. trade deficit as a “top priority” in renegotiating the Agreement, and the auto sector comprises most of the trade deficit with Mexico.
Last week, the Sixth Circuit held that putting a workplace grievance on hold because the employee files an EEOC charge constitutes retaliation. In Watford v. Jefferson County Board of Education et al., 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 16-6183, an African American woman and teacher initiated an internal grievance procedure after being fired, claiming discrimination based on her race, sex, and age. She also filed a charge with the EEOC, which, under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the school board and the teachers’ union, triggered a stay in the internal grievance. The court nonetheless determined that the stay in the internal grievance procedure violated the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), reasoning that there was “not a material difference” between staying and terminating internal grievance procedures, and the latter had been held to constitute retaliation in 2006 precedent.