What Does It Mean To Go On Strike In America?
If you have turned on the news or looked at the front page of the paper, I am sure you have heard about the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) strike. Unions will go on strike for various reasons. The negotiation, reasons, and timing can vary, depending on the context of the terms that are being debated. With the WGA walking out on their jobs, it will affect those TV shows and films that are about to start or wrap up. You may have to wait to see what happens to your favorite characters until next fall. They definitely have the perfect timing for a strike, when so many loose ends are just about to be tied up until next season.
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The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has gone on strike in protest against low wages and poor royalties throughout the film and television industries, which they say has made it nearly impossible for writers to make a living. In particular, they complain about a lack of royalties for “new media” such as streaming shows and movies, which they say they make almost no money from. In addition, there is increased suspicion towards the use of artificial intelligence (AI) as a replacement for writers and other artists, which they say may be used to devalue their work.
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Over the past couple of years, unionization has become increasingly popular across the United States, with an estimated 200,000 employees joining unions in 2022 alone. However, not everyone understands what benefits a union can bring, and wonder if unionization might be appropriate for their workplace. So what are the benefits of unionizing your workplace?
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On March 24, 2023, Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan repealed the state’s “right to work” law, helping to bring greater access to labor unions to people of her state. This law, which was originally passed in 2012, was meant to hinder the efforts of workers to unionize their fellow employees. With its repeal, however, labor organizers will have a much easier time bringing the protections of unions to their workplaces.
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In a recently decided court case, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that paid time off (sometimes referred to as PTO) earned through an employee’s job does not count as part of their salary. As a result, deductions made from an employee’s PTO by their employer does not violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This case is the first of its kind to be decided at the Circuit Court level, meaning it may influence how other similar decisions are made. Continue reading “Federal Appeals Court Says PTO is Not Salary”
“Wage theft” is the term used to describe any practice where an employer refuses to pay their employee the money they are legally owed. This set of practices is shockingly common, costing workers billions of dollars every year due to lost wages and other costs. Watch for these seven signs to see if your employer might be stealing from you or your fellow employees:
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One of the nation’s biggest meat packing companies, Packers Sanitation Services Inc. (PSSI), was forced to pay more than $1.5 million in civil penalties after it was discovered they illegally employed more than 100 underage workers in dangerous occupations. Their duties often involved cleaning dangerous tools and working with dangerous chemicals. The National Labor Relations Board said that the company’s child labor violations stretched across eight states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Texas.
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A new law, known as the Speak Out Act, will make it illegal for employers to put nondisclosure clauses or non-disparagement clauses in employment contracts. This will make it far harder for employers to silence employees who try to blow the whistle on labor or employment law violations. It will also limit the ability of employers to silence employees who are the victims of discrimination or harassment on the job.
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Two new federal laws, signed into law by President Biden at the end of 2022, are set to substantially improve the protections that pregnant workers have at their jobs. These two laws, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP Act, make it easier for pregnant women and those who recently gave birth to access reasonable accommodations from their employer. Together, they make it so that women no longer need to fear professional repercussions for having children.
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Crumbl Cookies, a national chain of bakeries specializing in cookies, has been accused by the U.S. Department of Labor of violating child labor laws in at least six states by making them work longer than is legally permitted. They are also accused of making these underage workers, some as young as 14 and 15, perform job duties that are considered hazardous, in violation of federal law. The company, when asked about the accusations, responded that it was “disappointed” that a “small number” of its franchisees chose to violate labor laws in this way, and emphasized its commitment to a safe working environment for its employees.
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