Employee Rights Briefing
November 2019
The Institute Launches New Facts Sheets On Forced Arbitration
This month, The Institute launched the final fact sheets in our informational series. Now you can learn:

  • How Forced Arbitration Denies The “Little Guy” Access to Justice.
  • How Forced Arbitration Disempowers Small Businesses Against Corporate Wrongdoing.
  • How Forced Arbitration Erodes Civil Rights Protections & Enables Workplace Discrimination.

These fact sheets join those on How Forced Arbitration Silences Victims of Sexual Harassment and How The Practice Gives Dishonest Employers A License To Steal. Visit our forced arbitration page to learn more
After Three Years, The Institute Says Goodbye To Senior Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellow & Policy Advocate Elizabeth Colman
On November 30, The Institute will say goodbye to Senior Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellow and Policy Advocate Elizabeth Colman. Elizabeth originally joined The Institute as the 2016-2018 Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellow. In January 2018, she accepted the role of Senior Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellow & Policy Advocate. During her tenure with The Institute, Elizabeth drafted reports and fact sheets on forced arbitration, built legislative advocacy toolkits in support of the FAIR Act and the BE HEARD in the Workplace Act, and supported both the Director of Legislative & Public Policy & the Program Manager in their work on behalf of employee advocates. The Institute wishes Elizabeth well in all her future endeavors.
In The News
On October 7, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would, among other things, permit employers who utilize the “tip credit” to pay employees a sub-minimum wage for non-tipped work. This rule will permanently undo the so-called “80-20 rule” that limited employers from utilizing the tip credit for all hours worked when more than 20% of the work performed by employees were traditionally non-tipped activities. The rule will also change the rules governing an employer’s use of tip-pooling. The public has until December 9 to submit comments.
Retro Report on PBS aired a segment on October 7 spotlighting how forced arbitration tipped the scales.
Alexia Fernández Campbell at Vox covered California’s new anti-forced arbitration law in in “ Hollywood and Silicon Valley can no longer silence women with this contract clause. California finally bans forced arbitration at work.”
After 40 days, United Auto Workers ended their nationwide strike on October 25. According to NPR, among other things, “ the contract includes an economic package of an $11,000 per member signing bonus, performance bonuses, two 3% annual raises and two 4% lump sum payments and holding the line on health care costs. But GM will close three U.S. factories.”
On October 21, Vice’s  Caleb Brennan reported, “ Disabled Workers Are Done Putting Up with Three Cents an Hour.”
The U.S. Department of Labor has scheduled three webinars on the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime final rule . The first was held on November 4. Two additional webinars will be held on November 12 and November 19.
Workers Rights By The Numbers
The number of states taking steps toward revising its overtime regulations to go beyond that of the DOL’s new overtime rule after Michigan Governor Witmer announced a plan to expand the law. ( Detroit Free Press )  
The percentage of people who rated their jobs either mediocre or bad in a recent survey of workers. ( Gallup )

In The Courts
On October 8, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a trio of cases concerning whether LGBTQ employees are protected from discrimination in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. NELA & The Institute previously joined with other employee rights advocates as amici in support of the plaintiff-employees. See   Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia , Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda , and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission .
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
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