False pretenses

BossFeed Briefing for November 20, 2017. Last Thursday, multimillionaire Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin posed for photos with a large sheet of dollar bills, and his wife. Last Friday, the Senate Finance Committee voted to advance a bill which would cut taxes for the rich, slash Medicaid, threaten reproductive freedom, and more. Tomorrow the President is slated to pardon two turkeys. This Thursday is Thanksgiving, a national holiday which falls the day before Black Friday and a series of other branded weekdays.

Awaiting pardon at a DC hotel.

Awaiting pardon at a DC hotel.

Three things to know this week:

Employees of gaming site IGN walked out of work last Monday when they learned that the company’s HR department forced at least one woman who raised a sexual harassment complaint to agree in writing that she had “conducted herself inappropriately”. Management eventually made a statement as demanded by the workers who took action. 


After Donald Trump’s Chief Economic Advisor claimed that “big CEOs” are excited about the Republican tax plan, a former CEO spoke up about how tax rates had affected his hiring: not at all. As he explains, demand from customers and market opportunities drive pay and investment, not giveaways to the top 1%. 


The 64,000 richest households in Seattle saw their incomes rise by an average of of $40,000 last year. The city now rivals San Francisco in its level of income inequality.


Two things to ask:


Can you imagine if it weren’t the top priority? A KING-5 investigation found that workers at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton were exposed to high levels of cyanide and other toxins for seven years. The company reportedly disabled safety alarms because they went off too often, though an official spokesperson stated that employee well-being has always been a top priority.


OK who's next? Some San Diego restaurants have imposed itemized surcharges on their bills in what looks like a familiar attempt to express their political feels about the rising minimum wage there. The City Attorney has now stepped in, charging a restaurant owner with “committing theft by false pretenses” over a misleading surcharge.


And one thing that's worth a closer look:


More than seventy percent of female agricultural workers experience sexual harassment at work, reports Molly Rosbach in an important Yakima Herald piece which digs into women’s experiences in the industry. One worker speaks of men exposing themselves and groping her, and describes her work environment as “not safe.” And yet the head of the Washington Growers League claims that the issue is mostly extramarital affairs and sexually-oriented comments rather than physical contact. The state's department of agriculture is now calling for training on sexual harassment to be treated as a basic part of occupational safety.


Read this far?


 Consider yourself briefed, boss.

Let us know what you think about this week's look at the world of work, wages, and inequality!

Let us know what you think about this week's look at the world of work, wages, and inequality!