BossFeed Briefing for March 5, 2018. Last Monday an appeals court affirmed that existing federal civil rights law bars employers from discriminating against LGBTQ people. Last Wednesday marks the 17th anniversary of the Nisqually earthquake, the most recent major quake in the state. Yesterday, Frances McDormand used her Oscar acceptance speech to call on fellow stars to add "inclusion riders" to their contracts, which would require the movie productions they work on to include diverse cast and crew. And Thursday is the last day of the state legislative session.
Three things to know this week:
An employee of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says she was retaliated against after refusing to “find money” to supplement the $5,000 legally allowed for HUD Secretary Ben Carson to use to redecorate his office. According to her claim, a top official in the department insisted the permitted budget allotment was wildly insufficient, since “$5,000 will not even buy a decent chair.”
Due to understaffing in the prosecutor’s office, King County has decided to drop 1,500 misdemeanor cases for offenses like bus fare evasion and trespassing. County prosecutors have not indicated if they will continue to pursue these kinds charges in the future.
West Virginia teachers went on strike and won a 5% raise and improvements to their healthcare benefits, agreed to by the Governor. In a stirring show of power, they’ve decided to stay on strike until the Legislature actually passes the raises they won and details are resolved about the changes to their health plan.
Two things to ask:
Do they expect us to just take this lying down? Researchers have repeatedly confirmed that sitting for long periods of time is bad for you. Now there are indications that standing for long periods has similar detrimental impacts on mental & physical health.
Do paid sick days apply to the State Legislature? State Senator Tim Sheldon has introduced a bill which would require study of the health impacts of the "film of fungus” which has appeared on the capitol dome. It would also require the development of a survey for visitors titled “You likin’ the lichen?”
And one thing that's worth a closer look:
Debtors prisons were abolished in the US in the 19th century, and yet increasing numbers of people are in fact getting locked up for owing money, as detailed in a disturbing report by Rebecca Burns in The Intercept. The way it works is that after people are issued civil judgments for unpaid debt, they can be issued a warrant for their arrest if they fail to show up for the judgment — and then held if they can’t make the bail. The result: being poor leaves you in debt, your debt gets you in prison, and doing time expands your debt. It sure sounds like we’re living in a Charles Dickens reboot that ought to be canceled.
Read this far?
Consider yourself briefed, boss.