Today is the last day to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Here is how repeal of the ACA (Obamacare) will affect Louisiana residents.

The facts: repeal of the ACA would result in a 154% increase in residents without health insurance — 558,000 in La. would lose health insurance.
It would also result in the loss of over 28,000 jobs in the state — 14 of every 1,000 jobs would be lost.
ACA appeal would cost the state of Louisiana $2.2 BILLION in healthcare dollars.

The ACA = Obamacare.
Today (1/31) is the last day to sign up.

State minimum wage increases helped 4.3 million workers, but federal inaction has left many more behind

News from the Economic Policy Institute shows how many workers are receiving a raise with the new year.

On January 1, 19 states increased their minimum wage, lifting the pay of over 4.3 million workers. This is the largest number of states ever to increase their minimum wages without an increase in the federal minimum wage. In seven of these states (Alaska, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota), the increases …

Source: State minimum wage increases helped 4.3 million workers, but federal inaction has left many more behind

Undocumented Workers’ Right to Compensation for Workplace Injuries

After a 10-year legal battle, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has issued a decision affirming the right of millions of undocumented workers to protection from exploitation and discrimination in the workplace. The challenge, led by the National Employment Law Project, the ACLU, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Transnational Legal Clinic, was brought on behalf of two workers who were reported to immigration authorities and prosecuted, rather than receiving the treatment to which they were entitled for injuries suffered on the job.

In its decision, the IACHR determined that the United States is responsible for violating workers’ human rights by denying them the right to equality before the law and access to justice and labor protections. The IAHCR made several recommendations to address those violations including:

  • providing adequate monetary compensation to remedy the violations;
  • ensuring all federal and state laws and policies, on their face and in practice, prohibit any and all distinctions in employment and labor rights based on immigration status and work authorization, once a person commences work as an employee;
  • prohibiting employer inquiries into the immigration status of a worker asserting his or her employment and labor rights in litigation or in administrative complaints;
  • ensuring that all workers are granted the same rights and remedies for violations of their rights in the workplace;
  • establishing a procedure for undocumented workers involved in workers’ compensation proceedings to request the suspension of deportations until receipt of appropriate medical treatment and resolution of claims; and
  • improving and enhancing the detection of employers who violate labor rights and exploit workers because of immigration status and impose adequate sanctions against those employers.

For the full report from the ACLU, click here.

 

 

Millions more workers will be eligible for overtime under new federal rule

Today the Obama administration and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez unveil a new rule that expands eligibility for overtime pay. The new regulations increase the income threshold below which salaried workers must be paid time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 per week.

President Obama and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez announce new overtime regulations.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/get-there/wp/2016/05/17/millions-more-workers-would-be-eligible-for-overtime-pay-under-new-federal-rule/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_overtime-825pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

 

 

The U.S. Once Had Universal Child Care, But Rebuilding It Won’t Be Easy

As reported by NPR, “in urging greatly expanded subsidies during his Tuesday [State of the Union] address, the president referenced a national child care program that was in place during World War II, when his grandmother and other American women were needed in the nation’s factories. The program is not widely known today, but if it seems hard to believe, you can see evidence for yourself on YouTube.”

These days, affordable, quality childcare in the U.S. is hard to find, and yet crucial to the participation of so many parents in the workforce. “This grainy newsreel from Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, Calif., shows smiling toddlers doing puzzles, painting and listening to a woman play music. All this plus lunch and snacks, for 50 cents a day, or about $7.25 adjusted for inflation… The Works Project Administration first ran the day cares. The idea was to employ teachers and to also watch kids so that their unemployed parents could look for jobs. When women replaced deployed soldiers in the domestic workforce during World War II, the government funded a major expansion.” Read more or listen to the original story from NPR here.

The 3rd Reconstruction

Each time there has been a demographic shift in America that threatens the existing balance of power, new election laws have appeared to try to insulate the electorate from the emerging population. 

Rev. Dr. William Barber: The 3rd Reconstruction

Amazon Wage Theft Ruling by Supreme Court

“Retail warehouses don’t have to pay workers for the time they spend in security screenings to make sure they’re not stealing, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a unanimous decision that reverses a lower court’s finding that workers must be paid for that time.”

“The decision was a big loss for workers challenging the security checks, which are common among retailers. According to a brief filed by the agency, there have been 13 class-action lawsuits against Amazon and other companies involving more than 400,000 plaintiffs and seeking hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Read more on the case here and here.

Why struggles for criminal justice and living wage are uniting

“Black Lives Matter” doesn’t just refer to cops killing unarmed teens. Here’s why it’s expanding to mean much more. Black poverty is state violence, too. 

“For the second time in a week, the swelling protests against police brutality and an unequal criminal justice system coincided with planned labor strikes at low-wage employers yesterday, and for the second time, protesters joined forces, combining the struggle for a living wage with the struggle for the right to live free of police violence.

Members of Show Me $15 in North St. Louis (Credit: David Nehrt-Flores)

Members of Show Me $15 in North St. Louis (Credit: David Nehrt-Flores)

“Convenience store workers, airport workers, and home care workers joined the actions calling for $15 an hour and a union, broadening the movement still more, but what really gave Thursday its kick was the connection to the emotions (and tactics) of Ferguson activists and their nationwide supporters. Robinson and his fellow workers staged a “die-in” as part of their day of actions, in a North St. Louis convenience store, their bodies stretched between metal racks of chips and candy, clogging the space in an echo both of historic sit-down strikes (that Walmart workers also evoked two weeks back) and a reminder of the way Brown’s body lay in the street for four and a half hours after he was shot.

“Labor struggles have a long, checkered history with struggles for racial justice and particularly against violence. Black workers’ unions were central to the Civil Rights movement… Their struggle—remember the “I Am a Man” signs carried by the workers in Memphis—was always about more than just wages. It was and is about being seen as humans worthy of respect, respect they would demand if it was not freely given.”

Read more from Salon here

 

 

 

It’s Time for a National Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights

 

San Francisco became the first city in the nation Tuesday to demand retail chain stores give at least two weeks’ notice before altering an employee’s work schedule. Under the Retail Workers Bill of Rights, retailers, as well as security and janitorial contractors who are employed by retail stores, must afford greater protections to workers’ schedules.

The bill requires that retail stores offer part-time employees additional hours before hiring new part-time employees, hoping to slow “involuntary part-time employment,” whereby employees are boxed into part-time work even though their employer has more work available. “The involuntary part-time employment rate more than doubled between 2007 and 2012, the Carsey Institute observed in a 2013 labor study. “For women, it rose from 3.6% to 7.8%. For men, the rate increased from 2.4% in 2007 to 5.9% in 2012.”

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Last week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously backed this “Retail Workers Bill of Rights” which combined several pieces of legislation with an eye toward

* Promoting Full-Time Work and Access to Hours

To encourage full-time employment, employers must offer more hours to existing part-time employees before hiring additional part-time workers.

* Encouraging Fair, Predictable Schedules

To discourage erratic, unpredictable scheduling practices, employers will be required to post schedules at least two weeks in advance. Employees will receive one hour of pay at their regular rate of pay for schedule changes made with less than a week’s notice and two to four hours of pay for schedule changes made with less than 24 hours’ notice.

* Discouraging Abusive On-Call Scheduling Practices

Employers will be required to provide two to four hours of pay to an employee at his/her regular rate of pay when she/he is required to be “on-call” for a specified shift but the employer cancels the shift with less than 24 hours’ notice.

* Equal Treatment for Part-Time Workers

Employers will be prohibited from discriminating against an employee with respect to their starting rate of pay, access to employer-provided paid and unpaid time off, or access to promotion opportunities.

* Encouraging Worker Retention and Job Security

If an employer’s company is bought or sold, the workers must keep on at their jobs for at least a 90-day trial period.

Read more from The Nation and News.Mic.