Employee Rights Briefing
October 2019
The Institute Welcomes Karen Maoki As Interim Executive Director
On September 1, NELA and The Institute welcomed Karen Maoki as our Interim Executive Director. Although new to the role, Karen has a long history with NELA and The Institute. Karen joined the staff of NELA nineteen years ago, and prior to this promotion, served as Director of Operations for both NELA and The Institute. We are very excited to have such a dedicated member of the NELA family leading us through this important transition. 
In The News
On September 5, U.S. News & World Report reported that California is on the cusp of banning forced arbitration in the workplace.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), on September 10, abandoned the "clear and unmistakable waiver" standard and made it easier for companies to unilaterally impose narrow changes in the workplace without consulting unions. 
On September 10, The Washington Post reported on the widespread criticism Forbes Magazine received after publishing a list of America’s top 100 CEOs that only included one woman, in the article, "' We blew it': Forbes named 99 men and only one woman on its list of 'most innovative leaders' ."
On September 16, and continuing on until at least October 1, over 46,000 United Auto Workers for General Motors joined together in a nationwide strike.
On September 17, the Executive Office of the President issued a statement declaring that President Trump would veto the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act if it came to his desk. On September 20, the bill passed out the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 225-186.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a worker misclassification bill into law which, among other things, provides that Californians will be considered to be employees of a business unless the employer can show the work performed meets a detailed set of criteria.
On September 23, the NLRB published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish that graduate students are not "employees" permitted to unionize. The period for public comment ends on November 22, 2019.
On September 24, the DOL announced a final overtime rule which sets the salary ceiling under which virtually all workers must be paid time-and-a-half whenever their workweek exceeds 40 hours at $35,308.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Eugene Scalia to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Labor on September 26 by a vote of 53-44.
Workers Rights By The Numbers
Rise in typical worker compensation since 1978.
The number of times greater the salary of GM's CEO as compared to the median GM worker.

The number of EEOC investigators focused on civil rights complaints last year—the fewest in nearly a decade. ( Politico )

In The Courts
On September 12, the California Supreme Court, in Zions Bancorporation, v. Superior Court Of San Diego County , ruled that workers cannot collect unpaid wages under the state's Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), weakening one of workers' most effective weapons against forced arbitration.
In Jaswinder Singh v. Uber Technologies Inc . , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, on September 12, vacated an order to compel a driver for Uber to resolve his employment dispute in arbitration, finding that an arbitration exemption applies to drivers transporting passengers, not just goods.
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