BossFeed Briefing for May 8, 2017. Last Monday, thousands across the country marched for worker and immigrant rights. Last Wednesday, a Washington State court rejected a lawsuit by anti-worker groups and upheld Initiative 1433, the minimum wage and sick days initiative. And last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to provide a $200,000 tax cut to the wealthiest 0.1% of Americans by eliminating affordable healthcare for millions. The bill now heads to the Senate.
Three things to know this week:
Security flaw at Amazon. SIS, the company hired by Amazon to provide security at their Seattle headquarters, removed two workers from the schedule a day after they spoke out about their working conditions. Neither Amazon nor SIS has offered much explanation.
The healthcare bill passed by the House last week would allow insurance companies to effectively eliminate coverage for people with certain “pre-existing conditions,” a practice which had been barred by the Affordable Care Act. This powerful twitter thread details how that could play out in the real world.
Giant corporations are pushing for the right to give hourly workers comp time instead of overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week. Employers can already allow workers to take unpaid time after getting their time-and-a-half if that's how they want to be flexible, so the main impact of the proposal is to replace a guaranteed pay premium for workers with the option to take some time off later, if & when it’s approved.
Two things to ask:
“When can I take my baby home?” Jess Svabenik of Gig Harbor makes the case for paid family leave by referencing two times she asked that question with regard to her son, eleven years apart. And her letter raises more questions about why our state hasn't gotten this done yet.
Does that count as a good tech job? Facebook announced that they are going to add 3,000 “content moderators” this year to try and remove videos of murders and suicides. It's likely they're outsourcing this grueling, emotionally damaging work to lowest-bidder companies that require employees to sign non-disclosure agreements and then provide them virtually no support for their inevitable PTSD.
And one thing that’s worth a closer look:
The mostly young women who were hired to paint watch dials with radium in the early 20th century to make them glow in the dark were trained to lick their paintbrushes to create a sharp line because it was the fastest method. The radioactive substance was already known to be poisonous in larger doses and the male lab workers who handled it were provided lead aprons and time off. But as detailed in this interview with the author of “Radium Girls,” some of the first women who came down with radiation sickness from this work were accused of having syphilis, and their employer even posted notices inside the workplace insisting it was completely safe when they undeniably knew better.
Read this far?
Consider yourself briefed, boss.
The BossFeed Briefing is our look at the world of work, wages, and inequality.