U.S. Work World News Briefs - December  2018
U.S. Supreme Court "Janus" Decision - June 27, 2018
On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Mark Janus (worker) versus AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees).  Mark Janus did not want to join AFSCME union or pay agency fee while working at as a child care worker for Illinois state.  

U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government workers, in every state, have the right to join or not join the union, and right to not pay agency fee. Voting for this decision was Justices Alito, Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas, and Gorsuch. Voting against this decision was Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg, and Breyer.  Government workers include workers who work in any state for the 1) federal government; 2) state government; 3) county government; 4) city government.  Government workers include all government jobs such as fire fighters, police officers, teachers, social workers, and others. 

Today, there are 23 Agency Fee states.  New hires are offered 2 choices: 
1) join the union, become a union member, and pay union dues, or 2) not join union but pay a reduced fee (less money) to the union.  The reduced fee is called "agency fee."  Workers who select to pay agency fee to the union instead of full union dues are called "agency fee payers." 

There are 27 Right to Work states where  workers have the right to decide whether to: 1) join the union at their work site and pay union dues; 2) not join the union and, therefore, pay no union dues.  

States with the highest percent of union members are New York (23.8%), Hawaii (21.3%), and Washington (18.8%).  States with lowest percent of union members include South Carolina (2.6%), North Carolina (3.4% ), and Utah (3.9%).

Go to usworkworld.com and click on Career Lessons to download lesson about Union Membership & Right to Work.

Job Interviews with Robots

Some employers are trying to streamline the hiring process by screening job seekers with automated interviews -- job applicants are given recorded questions, then the applicants' answers are recorded.  "It's like leaving a voice mail," said a job applicant.
"I blanked out," said one job applicant. I was asked to describe my biggest success and failure. With no one on the line, I could not tell how my answer was received.  Another job applicant was asked to describe her most difficult challenge, but she decided that she had enough - she hit "9" and ended the call.
Job applicant's answers are reviewed by representatives, many overseas in the Philippines or Singapore, who write notes and let the employer know if the job applicant is a fit for the job, and deserves a second interview.  
Some job applicants feel frustrated that they cannot ask questions to understand the job and company. 
To prepare for automated phone interviews, students need to write out answers to commonly asked interview questions, and practice saying the answers out loud - perhaps recording their answers on their smartphones and playing back their answers to understand how their voice and answers sound. 

Info Tips You May Find Valuable

Outside-the-classrom lessons that may be completed during winter break to make up credit or for extra credit.  Go to usworkworld.com and click on Career Mini Lessons.
  • Investigate Jobs - Winter Break Interviews
    Students interview family and friends about their jobs
  • Investigate Local Business - Students evaluate retail store's environment and customer service
Spotlight on Statistics Report
Indeed Internet Job Board Report 

Indeed Internet Job Board Report

Career Builder Job Board Report

Workdays of Lyft & Uber Drivers
Employers are taking advantage with addictive driver assignment "algorithm" apps that workers call "gamification" of Lyft and Uber jobs. Drivers' assignment apps are compared to Las Vegas slot machines and video games:  
Thoughts About Gifts


The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.  (Dennis Waitley)


Envy comes from people's ignorance of, or lack of belief in their own gifts.  (Jean Vanier)


For learning the skills of mental toughness and work ethic, discipline is the gift that keeps on giving.  (William Baldwin)


The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.  (Albert Einstein)


If you can make someone smile and laugh, you have given the most special gift: happiness.  (Brad Garrett)


Forgiveness is the one gift you don't give to others. rather, it is the gift you give ourself, so you can finally be free.  (Shannon Alder)


When you lose something in your life, stop thinking it's a loss for you . . . it is a gift you have been given so you can get on the right path to where you are meant to go, not to where you think you should have gone.  (Suze Orman)


The privilege to work is a gift; the power to work is a blessing; the love of work is success.  (David McKay)

What is the Gig Economy?

Gig economy is a labor market system in which temporary jobs are common and companies hire independent workers for short-term assignments. 

A study by Intuit (software company) predicted that by 2020, 40% of American workers will be involved with the gig economy as part-time or full-time independent contractors.

Workers may accept a gig -- one assignment -- or pick up a few gigs in the evening or on weekends to supplement their income.  

Gig assignments use technology platforms (internet or apps) to connect workers searching for gigs. Jobs in the gig economy include music, video, technology, drivers, and personal services such as dog walkers and others.  
Gig jobs may be paid as piecework, hourly, task-based, project-based or other.

Gig is slang for a live musical performance, but has taken on an entire new meaning today as the gigabyte job market. 

The U.S. Department of Labor is responding to this growth in the gig economy by studying how to maintain basic worker rights of vacation, sick pay, and health insurance for workers who work full time within the gig economy. 

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