Subscribe to E-Update here.
Labor Report

Census Bureau Report: Household Incomes Up; More Health Insurance Coverage

housesAccording to the Census Bureau, household incomes rose 5.2 percent in 2015 and more individuals were covered by health insurance.  The increase in household income, greater health care insurance coverage, reduction in the share of Americans living in poverty among other indicators were characterized as "obviously good news" in a story in New York Times on September 13.   

The Census Bureau also reported that the number of people in poverty remained elevated although reduced from the previous year.  

The report noted that 9.1 percent of Americans did not have health insurance last year. 

Read the full article here »

Read Census Bureau report here »

Key Federal Decisions/Announcements Impacting Labor

Overtime

time cardThe U.S. Department of Labor announced new overtime rules for the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Under the new rules, white collar workers earning less than $47,476 annually, or $134,004 for highly-compensated workers, will qualify for overtime pay, effective December 1, 2016.  This could affect more than 4 million employees. 

Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

On May 26, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago decided companies cannot force their employees to waive their right to bring class-action lawsuits against their employers.  To do so would be considered a violation of employees’ labor rights under the National Labor Relations Act.  This ruling, which is in opposition with a previous decision by an appeals court in Louisiana, could have major implications for other states in the future. 

Right to Organize

On August 23, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that graduate student assistants working at private universities may unionize.  With this decision, graduate student research and teaching assistants are now recognized under the National Labor Relations Act. 

On September 8, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board decided charter school teachers are considered private employees and, thus, have the right to organize.  The decision was based on cases filed by teachers seeking union membership at PA Virtual Charter School and Hyde Leadership Charter School in New York.

Labor Corner

Please find news articles and commentary about labor issues and working men and women:

State House Reps Attend Hearings to Raise the Minimum Wage - WFMZ-TV 69 News

A $15 Minimum Wage Would Stop 1.2 Million Households From Going Hungry - The Nation

Tip Share Ruling Could be Huge Change to Govít Authority - NONDOC

Column: Labor Unions Are Alive and Well - Tampa Bay Times

Five Ways America Would Be Different Without Labor Unions - AFL-CIO

ďIím in a union. Youíre welcome.Ē How Having Strong Labor Unions Helps Everyone Who Works Earn More - Salon

August 2016 National Jobs Update

The national unemployment remained at 4.9% in August 2016, the same as it was in both June and July of this year. However, jobless rolls did increase slightly by 79,000 individuals over the month, with total unemployment rising to 7,849,000, but not enough to affect the overall national unemployment rate.

Read Full Story Here »