Employee Rights Briefing
December 2017
News From The Institute
A Special Message To Our Readers: Join The Institute In Championing Workers’ Rights
As a reader of the Employee Rights Briefing, you know that workers’ rights have been under assault more than ever in 2017. Looking ahead to 2018, The Institute will continue to level the playing field for ordinary people who have been mistreated in the workplace. The Institute promotes employee rights and protects workers’ access to the courts by influencing the broad, macro conversations that shape employment law. The Employee Rights Briefing is just one way we do this—we keep you informed so that you are empowered in the fight for equality and justice in the American workplace. 

Please join us standing up for working people by making a tax-deductible contribution to The Institute. You will help us keep the courthouse doors open to America’s workers to vindicate their rights when their employers break the law, ensure that a greater number of workers receive expert legal representation when they are unlawfully mistreated in the workplace, and build the next generation of employee rights advocates.  Donate online now or mail a check to The Institute at the address below. For more information, please contact Leah A. Hofkin, Director of Development, (415) 296-7629, lhofkin@employeerightsadvocacy.org

Happy Holidays From The Institute
All of us at The Institute wish you and your families a happy holiday season. We will not be publishing a January issue of the ERB, but will return in February 2018. Happy New Year!
In The News
The Washington Post’s Danielle Paquette observed on November 13, “ The Fastest-Growing Jobs In America Pay About $22,000 Per Year.”
In his November 15 article, “ Here’s How A Trump Judicial Nominee Really Feels About Laws Protecting Women Against Discrimination,” Ian Millhiser at Think Progress exposed how a judge recently appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit could turn back the clock on workplace protections for women. 
On November 17, ROC United co-founder and Buzzfeed contributor Saru Jayaraman explained, “ Women Waiting Tables Get Harassed Constantly, And We Know How To Stop It.”
On November 20, National Employment Law Project General Counsel and HuffPost contributor Paul K. Sonn advised, “ State Governments Can Block Trump’s Rollback Of Overtime Pay.”
Workers Rights By The Numbers
63
The amount a college-degreed Latina worker earns, in cents, for every dollar earned by a white college-degreed male. ( Economic Policy Institute )
64

The percentage increase in economic productivity since 1979. Hourly pay rose only 11 percent during the same period. ( The Hill )

40 Million

The number of workers and retirees whose pensions are protected by insurance programs administered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). ( PBGC 2017 Annual Report )


In The Courts
On November 13, former factory worker Marcus Vaughn filed a class action complaint against Tesla alleging a pattern and practice of race-based harassment and discrimination
On November 15, in Douglas v. Xerox Business Services, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that companies may use the amount an employee is paid on average per-workweek to determine compliance with the minimum wage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The employees had argued that the FLSA requires employers to use a pay-per-hour measure. If the plaintiffs had prevailed, it would have prevented companies like Xerox from paying their workers less than the full, hourly minimum wage for completing certain tasks.
The Employee Rights Briefing is a monthly newsletter designed to help keep you up-to-date on breaking news and emerging trends impacting America's workers. From the growth of forced arbitration of employment disputes, to employee misclassification, to stories of wage theft and workplace discrimination, the Employee Rights Briefing reports on employment law and policy developments from the federal government to state legislatures to the courtroom and everywhere in between. Our goal is to provide you with a digestible snapshot of the events shaping employment law and policy, so that you can be kept abreast of the most important issues facing today's workers.
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