A week


BossFeed Briefing for September 11, 2017. Last Monday was Labor Day, the one day on the calendar that’s officially set aside to honor workers (though many people still have to work that day). Last Tuesday, the Justice Department announced they would halt any legal defense of the Obama-era rule allowing more people to qualify for overtime pay. Last Thursday, Amazon.com announced they are going to build a second headquarters somewhere else in the US, while they still continue to invest and grow in Seattle. That same day, Spokane city officials announced they regretted the decision they made the previous week to use large boulders to move homeless people.

A week

Notice posted at a Florida Pizza Hut, tweeted by @uhwpa

Notice posted at a Florida Pizza Hut, tweeted by @uhwpa

Three things to know this week:

More than three years after SeaTac workers helped spark a national movement when they won a $15/hour living wage at the ballot box, workers at Hertz and Thrifty Car Rental have won a settlement of nearly $2 million. The figure covers backpay and interest for the time after the law passed when the employers were fighting in court instead of paying a living wage.


Canada has officially proposed that the U.S. and Mexico agree to improve labo(u)r standards as part of a renegotiated NAFTA agreement. The Canadian government argues that low-road employers in the U.S. and Mexico have an unfair advantage over Canadian employers because of lower wage and benefit rates.

When a worker in Tacoma files a complaint over a violation of the city’s paid sick days law, the city can investigate the entire workplace. As a result of this approach, Tacoma has recovered $595,000 for workers in the last 18 months — which may be why the local Chamber of Commerce wants the city to drop it.


Two things to ask:

How can we bring our rights into reality? Seattle nanny Nikole Larsson and security officer Khalid Elmi marked Labor Day by sharing their thoughts about the best way to deliver on the promise of our workers’ rights laws and set new standards. Nikole & Khalid know from their own experience that we can’t just rely on the law to enforce itself.

What if our laws weren’t terrible? As many Texans and Floridians have learned recently, it is alas generally legal for your boss to fire you if you miss work on account of fleeing a hurricane. Sounds like another law we need to get lined up with expectations of basic decency.


And one thing that’s worth a closer look:

 A long and revealing new analysis of the gig economy from JP Morgan Chase finds that while more and more people are making money from online platforms, growth is slowing. Monthly individual earnings from these platforms have fallen since a June 2014 peak of about $1200, and turnover is remarkably high: more than half of people working in what they call the Online Platform Economy stop doing that work within a year. There’s a ton of different conflicting reports and datasets out there on the gig economy, and research from big banks is always worth being wary about. But this piece is still worth a closer look on account of its uniquely large 240,000-person dataset and detailed, approachable analysis.


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!