A hostile or threatening environment

BossFeed Briefing for August 22, 2017. Yesterday, the moon briefly obscured the sun, lowering productivity by $700 million according to some estimates. Also yesterday, taxi drivers at Sea-Tac Airport launched a one-hour strike over poor working conditions. Last Tuesday, results were certified in primary elections across the state. And last Thursday was the 130th anniversary of Marcus Garvey’s birth. 


Three things to know this week:


Dozens of berry pickers in Sumas, Washington went on strike earlier this month after a co-worker was reportedly made to return to work after complaining of health issues, then collapsed, and later died. Working Washington supporters stepped up along with local organizations like Community to Community Development to support the workers’ fight for justice.

A statewide survey found that 28% of transgender workers reported being fired, denied a promotion, or not being hired for a job because of their gender identity or expression. Seventeen percent reported being verbally harassed at work, and 14% were unemployed.


The Everett City Council voted unanimously to require employees of fast food restaurants, food trucks, and coffee stands to wear “at least” tank tops and “longer” shorts. The new law is intended to control the types of attire which can and cannot be worn on the job by people who work as so-called bikini baristas, which has now become one of the vanishingly few jobs with a dress code specified in municipal statute.


Two things to ask:


Are you surprised? Researchers from Harvard, UCLA, and the Rand Corporation who analyzed a first-of-its kind, in-depth national survey on workplace experiences were surprised to find that one in five U.S. workers report they face a “hostile or threatening environment” at work. Rates were even higher among customer service workers. 

OK, so who came up with that name? Barclays in London has begun to monitor whether or not their investment bankers are sitting at their workstations. They have deployed a device called the OccupEye (really!) which uses heat & motion sensors to record when and for how long a given desk and chair are being used.


And one thing that’s worth a closer look:


King County Metro Driver Nathan Vass and several of his regular riders on the #7 bus are profiled in a striking community profile by Jessica Lee in the Seattle Times. The bus is one of the few places where different slices of work, poverty, and “the system” intersect on a stop-by-stop basis, and while that can make mass transit difficult & frustrating for many riders, Lee here focuses on something else — the special opportunities it also provides for a unique kind of relationship-building that comes from regularly sharing a window of moving space & time. Every person in the piece comes through with a spirited human wholeness — absolutely worth a read before (or during) your next ride.


Read this far?


Consider yourself briefed, boss.

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