Playing catch-up

BossFeed Briefing for March 12, 2018. Last Thursday was International Women’s Day, which at least one McDonald’s celebrated by flipping their arches upside down into a W and issuing a press release about it. Yesterday was the first day of Daylight Savings Time, shortening the weekend by one hour. Today is the 130th anniversary of the United States pressuring the government of China to abide by the terms of the blatantly racist Chinese Exclusion Act and bar all emigration of Chinese laborers to the US. And on Thursday, nannies & house cleaners with the Seattle Domestic Workers Alliance will attend a Seattle City Council meeting to share their stories and call for change.


Three things to know this week:


Residents of Washington DC are voting this summer on a proposal to eliminate the $3.33/hour sub-minimum wage rate which employers there are currently allowed to pay tipped workers. Washington State voters eliminated sub-minimum wages for tipped workers at the ballot in 1988, and despite threats from various industry lobbying groups, restaurants continue to exist in our state. 



The Washington State Legislature passed a law making it easier for people who work on the toxic Hanford Nuclear Reservation to collect workers compensation when they develop cancer. Workers had previously been denied workers comp benefits unless they could prove which particular radioactive contaminant caused their specific illness. 

Large publicly-traded companies will soon have to disclose the ratio of what they pay their CEO vs. what they pay their median employee. The National Retail Federation says this unfairly impacts retailers because their industry relies on a large number of seasonal and part-time employee who they pay low wages, but exposing these kinds of internal disparities is the point of this rule.


Two things to ask:


Will they let us in on the joke? Amazon’s Alexa listening device has been laughing spontaneously in people’s homes. CEO Jeff Bezos recently surpassed $100 billion in wealth, and is known for having a weirdly maniacal laugh of his own. 

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What was the mane issue? A 14-year-old who rode a horse to wait on line at a Starbucks drive-thru was denied the ability to order a Frappuccino for herself and a whipped cream for her mount. The next day the rider was allowed to place her order from her saddle, after a wave of pro-equestrian publicity forced company management to reconsider their nay. 


And one thing that's worth a closer look:


Canada has problems of its own (for example, have you heard them say “about”?), but it can be eye-opening to compare the public debate about healthcare up there, and in our otherwise-similar state. So it’s worth pondering what it means that more than 500 Canadian doctors signed a letter arguing that their pay is too high and therefore opposing a recent wage hike they received. Instead, they argued, nurses, clerks, and other hospital staff should be receiving higher pay. The same organization of doctors has also attempted to intervene in opposition to a common practice of overworking nurses — a form of active cross-professional solidarity that’s all too rare and worth a closer look.


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!