News & Commentary

November 12, 2017

In honor of Veterans Day, Fast Company has collected twenty-four resources to help veterans re-entering the workforce.

Jessica Mason argues in Slate’s Better Life Lab that chosen family should be included in paid leave policies, and she cites a few examples of where such policies are already working, including in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.

The Wall Street Journal details how the recent sexual harassment scandals have forced companies to examine how employees work together. “Managers describe a clear epochal shift: Before Weinstein to After Weinstein.” However, similar nationwide outrage emerged in the “1990s, when Anita Hill testified that Clarence Thomas, then a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, had sexually harassed her when he was her boss.” While more women were elected to Congress after that, there appeared to be no real change in the workplace. Will this time be any different? Ana Avendaño and Linda Seabrook propose ten things unions at least can do right now to address sexual harassment in the workplace.

From The Guardian“Fifa has been urged by its own advisory board on human rights to press the government in Qatar about the impact of the kafala system on workers building stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, which campaigners have described as modern slavery.” Qatar is expected to bring in 36,000 workers to build eight football stadiums for the event. However, the kafala system ties these workers, from poorer countries such as India, Nepal and Bangladesh, to one single company. A researcher at Human Rights Watch said Fifa’s report did not go far enough in seeking to combat inhumane working conditions.

Ezekiel Elliott, running back for the Dallas Cowboys, will being serving a six-game suspension this weekend for allegations of domestic violence. The NFL Players Association originally appealed Elliott’s suspension, however on Thursday a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned the temporary stay on Elliott’s suspension. The case has been seen as a test of the NFL’s ability to discipline players for domestic violence, but the NFLPA called the discipline process “fundamentally unfair.”

NPR reports that oil companies are struggling to replace an aging workforce with younger workers, in part because of the industry’s history with sexism and racism. Ray Dempsey, the chief diversity officer at BP America, says that overcoming sexism and racism is more than just better diversity programs at the companies – it also has to do with where the oil industry is. He says that the “industry needs to do more to make rural places welcoming to women and minorities.”

The New York Times takes a look at Liveops, which aims to become the Uber of call centers and asks: “is the work liberating or dehumanizing?” The company seeks to grow business by paying attention to its workers – although Liveops still considers them independent contractors, and not employees. Greg Hanover, chief executive of Liveops, says that the company is aiming to create a community within the Liveops Nation in which the “agents are so happy, so satisfied with the purpose and meaning there, that they’re telling their story.”

On Friday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state’s Labor Department would be advancing new regulations regarding “just in time”, “call-in” and “on-call” scheduling practices. The regulations protect workers by “establish[ing] a 14-day advance notice standard for scheduling and provide 2 hours’ extra pay for last-minute assignments” and “expand[ing] existing reporting pay of at least four hours to now include last-minute cancellations and assignments and on-call shifts requiring workers to be on stand-by to come into work.” The regulations, created after a public hearing period, will now be subject to a notice and comment period.

Workers at the Fuyao Glass plant in Moraine, Ohio voted 868 to 444 against unionizing on Thursday. The vote comes as another blow to the U.A.W., which had been organizing the workers since 2015. Fuyao mounted an aggressive opposition, littering the factory with material encouraging workers to vote against the proposed union and “keep your voice.”





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