Employee Rights Briefing
June 2019
Join Us At The 2019 NELA Annual Convention In New Orleans
The NELA Institute is excited to participate in the 2019 NELA Annual Convention, Empower | Educate | Excel, at the New Orleans Marriott on June 26–29. Among other things, The NELA Institute will be hosting an informational table and launching our new educational timeline series, Justice Denied: An Abridged History of How the U.S. Supreme Court Forced America’s Workers into Arbitration.

You can register online at http://www.nela.org/Convention t o join your fellow employee advocates from across the nation for inspiring and energizing plenary sessions, dedicated CLE program tracks, the NELA Annual Luncheon Keynote Address from whistleblowing pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, and so much more! 
Building NELA’s Influence: Become A Sponsor Of NELA’s 2019 Gala 
The NELA Institute is pleased to support Jazzed For Justice, NELA’s 2019 Gala Fundraiser, which will take place on Friday evening, June 28 during the 2019 NELA Annual Convention in New Orleans. Join us for this festive and inspirational evening. The Gala will start after dinner (on your own) and will include dessert, dancing, and live music. As part of our celebration, we will honor NELA members Brian East (TX) and Mariko Yoshihara (CA) for their distinguished service to the NELA community and life-long dedication to workers’ rights advocacy.

Proceeds from Jazzed For Justice will strengthen NELA’s advocacy and build our influence in Washington, DC and throughout the United States. NELA welcomes your support as a Gala sponsor to amplify its voice in our nation’s capital, and everywhere we can make a difference for workers. You can pledge now and make your payment later. Please contact Leah A. Hofkin, NELA/The NELA Institute’s Director of Development, for more information or to make your pledge.
In The News
On May 2, Moriah Balingit at Governing.com shared how teachers on the east coast are the latest to organize for wage increases and better working conditions in her article, “ More Teachers Protest: Educators in the Carolinas Rally For Higher Pay.”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), on May 3,  expanded the scope of EEO pay data it will collect from employers to include 2017 in addition to 2018. 
On May 3, Bloomberg News’ Robert Iafolla reported how “ Challenges to Union Fees Made Easier By Top NLRB Lawyer.”
On May 10, Zachary Clopton and David Noll at Slate Magazine reported that “ Trump Labor Officials Are Secretly Using Forced Arbitration to Get Corporations Off The Hook.” 
On May 14, the NLRB issued an advice memo opining that Uber drivers cannot unionize because they are independent contractors, not employees. 
On May 15, Janet Dhillon was sworn in as the Chair of the EEOC . Her term will expire on July 1, 2022. With her confirmation, the agency regained a quorum for the first time this year
On May 17, the State of Colorado enacted a bill making wage theft a criminal offense. Under the Human Right to Work With Dignity Act, unscrupulous employers who intentionally withhold more than $2,000 in wages could be found guilty of felony theft. 
On May 22, NELA Institute Board Member and Loyola Law School Professor Imre Szalai was quoted in Braden Campbell’s Law360.com article “ How A 1925 Law Evolved To Become Crucial For Employers.”
On May 28, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law a bill to raise the state minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2023.
The Trump Administration’s Office of Management and Budget released its Spring 2019 Regulatory Agenda . Among other things, the agenda includes the intent to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) through the NLRB to strip grad students of the right to unionize. The regulatory agenda also provided the intent for the NLRB to issue by September a proposed rule to establish limits on a union’s access to an employer's place of business .
On May 30, Anna Staver at Governing.com reported “ After Years of Restrictions, Colorado Cities Can Raise Minimum Wages Beginning in 2020.” 
Workers Rights By The Numbers
11%
The percentage that union filings of unfair labor practice charges have fallen under President Donald Trump. ( Bloomberg Law )
70%
The percentage of total household wealth in America held by the richest 10% in the country. ( Forbes
80%
The percentage of private sector non-union workers projected to be bound by an employer’s forced arbitration clause by the year 2024. 

In The Courts
On May 2, the U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in Vasquez, et al v. Jan-Pro Franchising Internat’l, Inc., held that the ABC independent contractor test embraced in its recent Dynamex ruling applies retroactively.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in Freeman v Smartpay Leasing, LLC , found that when a party seeking to enforce an arbitration agreement fails to pay the necessary filing fees to whomever is administering the arbitration, it constitutes a waiver that prejudices the plaintiff.
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.
The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy
2201 Broadway, Suite 310 | Oakland, CA | 94612
(415) 296-7629 | info@employeerightsadvocacy.org
www.employeerightsadvocacy.org