BossFeed Briefing for August 28, 2017. Last Monday, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin flew to Kentucky to view the solar eclipse from atop Fort Knox, which holds much of the nation's gold reserves. This past Friday, a Federal judge lifted the injunction against Seattle’s law providing Uber, Lyft, and other drivers the right to organize. Saturday was Women’s Equality Day, marking the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which recognized women’s right to vote in the U.S. And today is the 54th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Three things to know this week:
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan came to Everett on Thursday to try and use Boeing workers as a backdrop to sell his latest plan to give billions of dollars of new tax breaks to CEOs & giant corporations. We flooded the livechat with so much feedback, he had to shut it down — but comments are still up, so enjoy!
A new study of British workers suggests that having a bad job could be worse for your health than having no job at all. People working in jobs that offered low pay, unpredictable shifts, and little autonomy had higher levels of chronic stress and a worse health outlook than those who were unemployed.
A woman who worked at a 911 call center is suing over being disciplined and then fired after "experiencing two incidents of sudden onset, heavy menstrual flow." First she was told she would be fired "if she ever soiled another chair from sudden onset menstrual flow,” and then terminated for not practicing "high standards of personal hygiene and maintain a clean, neat appearance while on duty.”
Two things to ask:
Think he’ll write back? Seattle City Councilmember Lisa Herbold wrote an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos calling on the multi-billionaire to lead a national conversation on wages and working conditions in the new economy. In her letter, Councilmember Herbold details poor conditions for Amazon Prime Now employees, contracted security workers, and others at the margins of the tech boom.
Is this any way for a burger chain to treat its employees? A former worker at local restaurant chain Blue Moon Burgers has shared his story after going public with a screenshot showing texts between a manager and the chain’s owner that used a racial slur to refer to employees. When the employee raised the issue, the owner told him that if he had an issue, he could leave and not come back.
And one thing that’s worth a closer look:
When online childcare matchmaking app Wondersitter went out of business, the site suddenly shut down and paychecks never arrived, so hundreds of sitters were left unpaid for work they had done, and hundred of parents who had purchased sitting credits in advance were left unable to use money they had already spent. As Catherine Ho explains in an eye-opening look at some lesser-known issues around app-based work for the San Francisco Chronicle, the app matched parents with sitters and collected a percentage of payments up front, but technically the sitters were classified as independent contractors rather than employees. While employees get priority to recover unpaid wages in the event their employer goes bankrupt, the legal rights of independent contractors in these circumstances are less clear.
Read this far?
Consider yourself briefed, boss.
The BossFeed Briefing is our weekly look at the world of work, wages, and inequality.