Today's News & Commentary — Thursday, October 15
In a blow to the growing national movement to raise the minimum wage, a circuit judge in St. Louis struck down the city’s minimum wage law mere hours before it was to take effect. Per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Judge Steven Ohmer found that the ordinance — which was to raise the city’s minimum wage to $8.25 (from the $7.65 state minimum wage) today, and to $11 by 2018 — was “not in conformity with the laws of Missouri.” In so doing, Judge Ohmer asserted that his role was limited to “determin[ing] the validity of the ordinance without considering the social or economic effect of its enforcement.” St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has promised to appeal the decision, which is available here.
As Democratic Party heavyweights descended en masse upon Las Vegas for Tuesday’s presidential debate, they may not have recognized the “kingmaker[s]” (or queenmakers) changing their sheets and cooking their meals. Yet the Los Angeles Times contends that whoever wins Culinary Union 226’s coveted endorsement is likely to find him or herself in the Nevada primary election driver’s seat. No wonder Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley have all spent time currying favor with the majority-Latino union in recent months. “We are no doubt an immigrant union,” said Yvanna Cancela, who serves as the union’s political director. “When you’re talking about the Latino vote and immigrant vote in Nevada, you’re really talking about our members and their families.”
As the conventional wisdom goes, you can’t have your cake (or cheeseburger) and eat it too. But Politico suggests that McDonald’s is seeking to do precisely that. In its most recent filing in its ongoing battle with the NLRB over joint employer status, the fast food conglomerate pressed Administrative Law Judge Lauren Esposito not to delay the proceedings any further. Raising a concern that key witnesses might change their positions within the company, leave the company altogether, or otherwise “inevitably begin to forget certain details related to the events in controversy or their relationships, if any, with the franchisees at issue in the complaint,” McDonald’s argued that “the [NLRB] general counsel cannot demonstrate any compelling reason to adjourn this hearing for a third time and such delay will prejudice McDonald’s.” At the same time, however, Politico notes that McDonald’s has been responsible for delays in its own right by “resisting the agency’s discovery requests,” including “refus[ing] to hand over communications from certain executives whom the NLRB’s general counsel deems central to the case.” A federal judge is set to hear arguments regarding the discovery controversy later this month.
According to a recent study, most working parents are feeling overwhelmed, but are afraid to let their bosses know. The Boston Globe reports that the study, which was commissioned by childcare provider Bright Horizons, indicated that more than 98% of surveyed working parents felt “burned out,” and 75% “admitt[ed] they probably wouldn’t say anything about it.” In response, Bright Horizons CEO Dave Lissy suggests that companies can not only “empower their frontline managers with training to be open to these issues and to be flexible where flexibility is possible,” but also “think about adopting programs that better support the needs of working families where that’s possible.”