By Kendra Saathoff* Discriminating against a woman for being a victim of domestic violence is sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Domestic violence is a workplace issue, whether from an abuser threatening an office and the workers in it or because a survivor needs to miss work to ensure she…Continue Reading
By Brandon Vaca On January 13, the six conservative Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court stayed (blocked) and effectively struck down the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) emergency vaccine-or-test standard (Standard) for employers. The Court’s reasoning in its unsigned opinion ranges from vexing to troubling. As the three dissenting Justices pointed out, the Court…Continue Reading
by River Lord Using the labor of inmates in the United States has a long and controversial tradition. Many observers have identified how higher rates of policing and incarceration among minority communities, coupled with the widespread use of inmate labor in exchange for sub-minimum wages, create a system of labor exploitation and racial oppression…Continue Reading
Andrew Selva examines recent efforts by workers to unionize in the face of resistance from corporate juggernauts.Continue Reading
In this blog, staff member Selma El-Badawi breaks down the recent agreement between the University of Minnesota and the Teamsters Local 320.Continue Reading
**By Mike Fadden Introduction: On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a new rule proposal that would result in a ban on noncompete clauses in the United States. This proposed rule specifically impacts noncompete clauses in the employer-employee relationship, which “block people from working for a competing employer, or starting a…Continue Reading
by Andrew J. Glasnovich
In 2012, the United States was home to 11.7 million people who did not have legal authorization to reside in the country. Of those, approximately 8 million people were active in the work force. Unauthorized workers will likely contribute $2.6 trillion over the next decade to the U.S. economy. Those unauthorized persons are some of the most vulnerable members of society. Because of their status, some unauthorized workers fear that their choice to report employer misconduct will lead to their deportation or imprisonment. State and federal laws prohibit employers from class-based discrimination against their workers—whether these workers are authorized or unauthorized. Despite those laws, some employer misconduct is notably egregious and includes wage theft, unsafe labor conditions, race and sex discrimination, and sexual assault. However, some unauthorized workers are brave enough to risk deportation and challenge their employers’ unlawful practices.
by Alexander Lane
At the Harold V. Birch Vocational Academy, “a Providence high school where students with intellectual disabilities participated in an in-school sheltered workshop, separated from their non-disabled peers,” Jerry D’Agostino worked to sort, assemble, and package jewelry and buttons. At the Academy, Jerry earned well below minimum wage until graduating in 2010. Thereafter, Jerry continued to perform this “benchwork” at another sheltered workshop—Goodwill Industries. Jerry felt this work was boring and lamented the amount of downtime involved. Prior to the June 2013 Interim Settlement Agreement between the Department of Justice and the State of Rhode Island and City of Providence, Jerry believed spending his days in a sheltered workshop performing rote benchwork for less than minimum wage would be a life sentence.
Does antitrust law have a role in promoting inequality within our economic system? Check out this interview with Professor Sanjukta Paul to learn more.Continue Reading
Economic inequality is at a breaking point. “Opportunity Zones” operate currently to expand specific welfare rather than general welfare. Reforms may be imminent, but OZs reveal how private-public partnerships often prioritize the interests of only a few.Continue Reading
Annali Cler* On November 3rd, voters flocked to the polls, and election results gripped the nation for the following week. Although the presidential race captured headlines, another important vote occurred that day. In Florida, voters approved an amendment to the state’s minimum wage. Florida’s minimum wage for non-tipped employees will increase to $15 by 2026,…Continue Reading
by Jon Erik Haines* National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo came into her role in somewhat unceremonious fashion, following the sudden sacking of Trump administration General Counsel Peter Robb. Her tenure also began under the auspices of then-candidate Biden promising that he would be the “most pro-union president” we have ever…Continue Reading
Grace Moore* The United States Supreme Court seems poised to consider the case of an employee injured in Mendota Heights, Minnesota that could settle a dilemma in employment law that has divided state courts and denied injured workers their employment rights. In Musta v. Mendota Heights Dental Center (“Musta”), the Minnesota Supreme Court determined that…Continue Reading
By Elizabeth Wellhausen* In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964. One section of the Act, referred to as Title VII, made it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an individual because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. However, the courts have struggled to…Continue Reading