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BossFeed Briefing for March 4, 2019. Last Thursday, the Worker Protection Act advanced out of the Washington State House Appropriations committee, a legislative body which includes three different men named Drew. Last Friday, the New York State Attorney General announced the arrest of restaurant owners for wage theft. That same day the Maryland State House voted to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15/hour. Today is March 4th, which by some definitions is the only date that is also a command. And Wednesday is the 162nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s appalling pro-slavery Dred Scott ruling.

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Three things to know this week:


The entire staff at four Sonic fast-food outlets in Ohio quit “due to terrible management.” New owners reportedly reduced pay from the Ohio minimum wage of $8.55/hour to a subminimum rate of $4/hour plus tips. 


More than 100 tech workers have signed an open letter to DoorDash executives about the company’s pay practices. They are pledging to not work for the company until it stops taking tips and pays at least $15/hour + expenses. 


Gwen Bueling published an op-ed in the Yakima Herald about her experience with unstable and unpredictable work hours at TJ Maxx, and the need for statewide secure scheduling. Based on the editor's note, it appears Gwen bumped George Will’s weekly opinion column.

Two things to ask:


Could they really not find a single actual person? Every single one of more than a dozen different covered workers who have spoken on secure scheduling before the legislature have offered strong support. As a result, the business lobby has apparently turned to… stock photos.


Anyone going to rethink their hot takes from last year?When Seattle was debating a tax on big businesses to fund housing and homeless services, Amazon lashed out by threatening to not occupy a new downtown building if the tax was passed. The tax was repealed under this pressure, and now less than a year later, Amazon has quietly decided to not occupy the building anyway.

And one thing that's worth a closer look:


 Tech companies like to make it seem that every job in the industry pays six figures, and that the biggest workplace issue in the tech economy is the forced choice between playing foosball all day or clocking a few hours in the ball pits too. But this astonishing piece by Casey Newton in The Verge on the lives of Facebook content moderators shows a whole different world of trauma, isolation, and human misery in this fast growing nook of the tech economy. There are about 15,000 people across the world who work moderating Facebook posts — a subcontracted position that includes perks like exposure to a constant stream of disgusting fringe and graphical content; the possibility at any moment of having to watch a murder happen on livestream; and even worse. The topper: while the median Facebook employee gets paid $240,000/year in salary, stock, and bonuses, the content moderators make less than $30,000/year for their work.


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!