Weekend News & Commentary — July 25-26, 2015
According to The New York Times, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that contract attorneys retained by the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom may be owed overtime for performing nonlegal work. The court suggested that “contract lawyers could be eligible under federal labor law for overtime after working 40 hours per week if their work is so basic that it does not constitute the practice of law.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that the chief of the pilots union at Delta Air Lines will resign. His resignation comes after a majority of voters rejected a new three-year contract. The union represents over 12,000 Delta pilots.
Reuters notes that “in a possible setback for Hillary Clinton, the AFL-CIO’s political committee has recommended the nation’s largest labor union federation delay endorsing a candidate for the 2016 presidential race as it seeks to push her to be more supportive of its policies on issues such as trade and wages.” The article goes on to discuss the politics surrounding the AFL-CIO and its relationship with Hillary Clinton.
Writing in The Washington Post, Lydia DePillis explores the perspective of business owners in light of increasing momentum to raise the minimum wage in New York and nationally. She notes that businesses have faced difficulties presenting a unified opposition to wage movements because “with wages stagnant even as corporate profits soar, the idea that businesses won’t raise pay on their own as their earnings recover — and that minimum wage hikes, rather than killing jobs, actually help the economy by putting money in the pockets of those who are most likely to spend it — has proven compelling.” Furthermore, DePillis stresses that business owners are far from united, and some favor wage increases.
The New York Times reports on potential difficulties states and municipalities may face enforcing new minimum wage laws. The story focuses on the fact that “the question of whether the minimum wage should be left to local governments seems to have already been answered. Now the question becomes: Having raised the expectations, can they fulfill them?”