Trump’s Labor Dept just issued a last-minute ‘guidance letter’ stating that local news reporters are doing ‘creative’ work and therefore can be excluded from minimum wage and overtime protections. This is something unnamed publishers would have asked of the administration:
A guidance letter is basically a memo to employers (and the world) explaining how the agency reads wage-and-hour law in particular scenarios. Guidance letters like this from the Trump labor department have made employers quite happy for obvious reasons.
There’s a history here. Workers employed in ‘creative’ capacities can be carved out of overtime pay, and that exception has been used against journalists before. When I explained this once to @ryangrim he said ‘so it all depend on how hot your takes are...’
Correx: just realized I have been saying guidance letter where I mean opinion letter. Full text of this particular opinion letter here:…

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More from @jamieson

21 Jan
NEW: White House official confirmed for me that Joe Biden just fired Peter Robb after he refused to resign as NLRB general counsel.
For those who haven't been following, this sets a new precedent. Unions wanted Robb gone immediately -- they think he's that bad -- but the gen counsel typically serves out their full 4-year term even when it spills into a new presidency. Background here:…
Robb is a long-time mgmt-side attorney who helped break the famous PATCO strike. As gen counsel he drove unions crazy, getting McDonald's a friendly settlement in a big Fight for $15 case, going after 'neutrality' agreements, and even picking a fight with @ScabbyTheRat
Read 7 tweets
14 Jan
Some labor news: SEIU has been pressing Biden to immediately fire Peter Robb, the NLRB's Trump-appointed general counsel. That's not normally done under a new prez. It would be a precedent-setting move that shows Biden willing to play hardball for unions…
SEIU sent a memo to the Biden transition team calling Robb an “extreme, anti-union ideologue” and a “uniquely destructive figure.” SEIU has made the same case to other unions. Source tells me the AFL-CIO supports canning Robb as well. They all want him out of there ASAP.
With a Dem majority in the Senate, the main risk here is that a future R president will do the same, and fire a Dem general counsel who's got time left at the board. The can-Robb-now camp basically says "let's not bank on the GOP observing this norm next time they're in charge"
Read 4 tweets
14 Dec 20
The McConnell-Cornyn "liability protection" proposal is pretty radical. Not only would it block lawsuits over COVID exposure, it would make it just about impossible for OSHA to enforce basic workplace safety laws. They couldn't even dole out the tiny fines they've been doing.
I guess they need to make sure Smithfield doesn't get hit with another monster $13,494 fine after some workers die from coronavirus.
The proposal would also protect corporations from enforcement/lawsuits related to a host of other employment laws: FLSA (wage theft), WARN (notice ahead of layoffs), Civil Rights Act and ADA (discrimination)
Read 8 tweets
6 Oct 20
Many people don't realize this but OSHA has jurisdiction over the White House. Employees there could file complaints against Trump for endangering them with coronavirus. One former OSHA official tells me there's a strong case to be made he's violating the general duty clause. 1/x
This is the general duty clause -- OSHA has already used it to cite meatpacking plants for endangering workers in the pandemic. Sure looks like a strong case to me! 2/x
Former official says Trump may also be violating OSHA standards on personal protective equipment and respirators, and recklessly endangering White House employees in the process. 3/x
Read 7 tweets
8 Mar 20
The @MachinistsUnion members have endorsed @JoeBiden. This is the only international union I know of that had rank-and-file members vote for who to endorse. Ballots were cast this week. (Most endorsements come from an executive board.) Union hasn’t yet released the full results.
I think it’s very cool that the Machinists did an endorsement by member vote. Not sure why more don’t do it: your members can’t complain about the endorsement being done in a smoky back room! Actually, I know exactly why more don’t do it.
Here are the full results. Biden beat Bernie 36-26. And Trump got 34.
Read 5 tweets
30 Sep 19
So what's it like for low-wage women who need to pump breastmilk at work? We obtained nearly 400 federal investigations involving the "nursing mothers" law. The findings in these cases are sad and disturbing. I'm going to walk through them here. 1/X…
Federal law - if it covers you - guarantees reasonable time and a clean space to pump at work, thanks to Obamacare. We found employers all over the country had violated that law -- including household names like Walmart, Lowes, McDonald's, IHOP and the US Postal Service. 2/X
There's a lot of pressure on women to breastfeed for as long as they can. The reality is many bosses make it impossible. In so many cases, women said they gave up on breastfeeding because they couldn't get breaks or had to pump somewhere filthy. 3/X
Read 9 tweets

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