"The only difference is the compensation"

BossFeed Briefing for March 27, 2017. A Senate committee held confirmation hearings last Wednesday on the nomination of Alexander Acosta to be the next Secretary of Labor. The US House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act last Thursday, and then last Friday, and now not for the foreseeable future. Later this afternoon the Washington State Legislature will hold a work session on portable benefits for app-based workers.



Three things to know this week:


Starbucks baristas with Working Washington made national news when they called for an equitable parental leave policy. The company struggled to justify the difference in paid leave between corporate and store employees, offering the curious argument that “the only difference is the compensation”.


 The Home Depot is being sued over a case where a supervisor harassed, threatened, and then killed an employee. Although both were technically employed by a garden services contractor and weren’t at work when the crime was committed, an appeals court ruled the suit could proceed on the grounds that the murderer used his supervisory authority to threaten the victim, and that this authority was granted in part by the Home Depot.


 The Fiverr platform markets itself by celebrating the value of working past the point of exhaustion. The company was recently backed with $110 million in venture capital, and built on the idea of selling creative services for $5.



Two things to ask:


 What’s the opposite of the sky falling? Washington State voted to raise the minimum wage in November, wages rose significantly on January 1st… and unemployment just hit a 9-year low. The job market is even stronger in Seattle.


 Is it wrong to hope he was fired? Former Secretary of Labor nominee Andy Puzder is now a former fast food CEO too. It’s not clear whether or not he made a voluntary departure from his job running Hardee’s and Carl’s, Jr, but we can hope.



And one thing that’s worth a closer look:


 Support for paid family leave is remarkably strong, with surprisingly small partisan differences, according to a very-large-sample-size survey recently released by Pew Research. Any fan of stats, charts, sidebars, and crosstabs will find lots to love in this comprehensive report covering public sentiment; assessments of the impact on employers and the economy; cuts across gender, age, and class; and so much more. 



Read this far?


 Consider yourself briefed, boss.

The BossFeed Briefing is our look at the world of work, wages, and inequality.