- Politicians interfere with a complex industry they don’t understand: when the $15 minimum wage came to New York car washes [Jim Epstein, Reason: article, 13:32 video]
- “D.C. Repeals a Minimum Wage Hike That Restaurant Workers Didn’t Want” [Eric Boehm, Reason] “Tipping lawsuit leads popular Salem restaurant to declare bankruptcy” [Dan Casey, Roanoke Times]
- Challenging a premise: “Why a federal minimum wage?” [Scott Sumner] “Pew Map Shows One Reason a National $15 Minimum Wage Won’t Work” [Joe Setyon, Reason]
- New evidence on effects of Seattle $15 minimum: benefits go to workers with relatively high experience, “8% reduction in job turnover rates as well as a significant reduction in the rate of new entries into the workforce.” [NBER] “Minimum wage hike in Venezuela shuts stores, wipes out many jobs” [Hans Bader]
- “Ontario labour minister’s office vandalized after minimum wage cap announced” [Canadian Press, CBC background of Ford provincial government rollback of Wynne-era labor measures]
- DoL plans new rules on joint-employer definition [Jaclyn Diaz, Bloomberg; Alex Passantino, Seyfarth Shaw, earlier]
- Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ro Khanna introduce legislation to punish employers whose workforce draws on government programs, and even lefty Center for Budget and Policy Priorities sees plenty of problems with that [Steve Goldstein/MarketWatch; Robert Greenstein, Sharon Parrott, Chye-Ching Huang, CBPP; Zuri Davis, Reason; related Ryan Bourne thread]
- “Prevailing Wage Legislation and the Continuing Significance of Race” [David E. Bernstein, Notre Dame Journal on Legislation]
- Study finds that after Minnesota jacked up minimum wage, youth employment and restaurant employment fell, restaurant prices rose [Noah Williams, Center for Research on the Wisconsin Economy]
- In a sleeper SCOTUS case this term, Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, on whether service advisors at car dealerships are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Justice Thomas for a 5-4 majority came down in favor of the position that FLSA exemptions should be read fairly, rather than narrowly; let’s hope this points to a wider retreat from the unsound practice of reading unnatural breadth into purportedly remedial statutes even when they contain no instruction to do so [Federalist Society podcast with Tammy McCutchen; Sachin Pandya/Workplace Prof (critical of ruling), Andrew Strom/On Labor (likewise)]
- “Why a Democratic City Council Is Working With a Republican Congress To Overturn a Minimum Wage Bill” [Eric Boehm on D.C.’s Initiative 77] “How Regulation Eliminated Your Waiter” [Ira Stoll on California labor laws]
- 1915 study on Oregon: “The belief was very prevalent among store women that the minimum wage had wrought only harm to them as a whole.” [David Henderson quoting Marie L. Obenauer and Bertha von der Nienburg, Bureau of Labor Statistics]
“Two city legislators on Tuesday are expected to announce legislation banning on-site workplace cafeterias in an effort to promote and support local restaurants.” The Golden Gate Restaurant Association, embracing the role of villains in an Ayn Rand novel, are backing the measure, sponsored by San Francisco supervisors Ahsha Safai and Aaron Peskin. The bill would be prospective only, so that while the famed in-house dining options at tech headquarters like Twitter’s could continue, new corporate arrivals would not be allowed to start anything similar. [Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, San Francisco Examiner]
- Protected class designation as departure from viewpoint neutrality: D.C. council proposal would make support for (but not opposition to) abortion a discrimination-law protected category in health care employment [Abortion Provider Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2017, Bill 22-0571, via Katie Glenn, Washington Examiner]
- You’ve heard of space junk, here’s statutory junk [David Schoenbrod, Cato Regulation magazine]
- “The Regulation of Language”: “countries that adopt a planned order approach to language, also do so in their law, and similarly rely on a planned order approach in their economy” [Yehonatan Givati, Journal of Law and Economics forthcoming/SSRN]
- “You typically don’t think of pizza chains as being recipients of government bailouts, but in a sense, that’s what happened here.” [Dan Lewis, Now I Know, cheese promotion]
- Federal judge in Southern District of Mississippi wants race and gender hiring set-asides for legal work in receivership case, which is not fair to victims of Ponzi scheme whose interests are under care [Scott Greenfield]
- Trademark claims on “Ruby Tuesday,” who can hang a name on you? [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
- California Supreme Court ruling on employee classification (Dynamex) expected to deal blow to gig economy [TaxProf, Bloomberg Daily Labor Report]
- Attorney fee request shows part of what’s wrong with Fair Labor Standards Act [Jon Hyman]
- Ninth Circuit: offshore platform workers entitled to hourly pay for 24 hours/day, including time sleeping [WLF on Newton v. Parker Drilling Management Services, Inc.]
- Employees, too: “D.C. gay bars launch campaign against ‘tipped wage’ measure” [Lou Chibbaro, Jr., Washington Blade]
- Study of restaurant employment: “Industry Dynamics and the Minimum Wage” [Daniel Aaronson, Eric French, Isaac Sorkin, & Ted To, Cato Research Briefs in Economic Policy] The “empirical evidence on the effect on minimum wages on employment is mixed. The empirical evidence on the effect of minimum wages on prices is pretty clear—it raises prices.” [Scott Sumner]
- Carceral progressivism: “Rethinking wage theft criminalization” [Ben Levin/On Labor, Terri Gerstein and David Seligman response, rejoinder]
“An oft-forgotten provision of Obamacare is being pushed over the finish line by Trump’s FDA.” [Helena Bottemiller Evich, Politico; Jacob Sullum (FDA overstates evidence); Mike Riggs (FDA honcho Scott Gottlieb “is not a free market firebrand”); Christian Schneider, USA Today] Earlier on FDA menu labeling here.
- “The biggest question from Friday’s disappointing Canadian employment report is how much can be traced to Ontario’s sharp minimum wage increase last month.” [Theophilos Argitis and Erik Hertzberg, Bloomberg] Decline in teen employment in US since 2000 was sharpest for those age 16–17, examining some reasons [David Neumark and Cortnie Shupe, Mercatus Working Paper via Connor Wolf, Inside Sources]
- “Will D.C. End Tipping?” [Thomas Firey, Cato] “I’m your bartender. I don’t want a raise.” [Ryan Aston, Washington Post] Hollywood campaign isn’t helping [Wendyll Caisse, Inside Sources on Restaurant Opportunities Center vs. Restaurant Workers of America]
- If freedom of contract had been respected, whole debate would look different to begin with: “A Colorado Minimum Wage Waiver?” [Ryan Bourne, Cato]
- Federal regulatory role: “Will Restaurants Steal Employees’ Tips if the Feds Let Them?” [Robert Verbruggen, NRO]
- Seyfarth Shaw survey: while employers beat more wage/hour cases at the certification stage in 2017, overall class action payouts in workplace class actions continued to soar [Glenn Minnis, Cook County Record]
- “If You Don’t Want To Tip 15%, An NYC Lawyer Will Help You Sue Applebee’s” [Angela Underwood, Legal Newsline]
Under a California bill introduced by Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderone and backed by the L.A. Times, restaurants would be permitted to give plastic straws only to patrons who ask for them. A widely cited statistic in support of the measure turns out to be based on research done by a 9 year old. [Christian Britschgi, Reason; who updates the story to say the sponsor now intends to revise the bill to take out the fines]
Today the Philadelphia city council may vote on a bill to ban bulletproof glass at hundreds of small delis. My New York Post take: are they crazy?
“Have you ever been served food at a sit-down restaurant establishment through a solid barrier? That is not acceptable.” There’s an “indignity” to it, she adds, and it happens “only in certain neighborhoods.” Hence : “No more normalization of receiving food or drink through a prison-like solitary confinement window. What message does it send our children? What are we conditioning them for?”
Well, it sends several messages.
One is a moral that echoes down through the ages: Human beings threatened with violence have the right to protect themselves.
Another is that no matter how many of your neighbors may be personally liked and trusted, it takes only a few bad actors for you to live in a rough neighborhood. Acting as if it isn’t — or that police will always arrive in time to stop an assault — is playing pretend.
Predictably, some of the store managers say if their glass comes down they will start carrying guns to defend themselves….
Some sources: Philadelphia Inquirer coverage and editorial; Councilwoman Cindy Bass on Twitter; Joe Trinacria/Philly Mag; local WTXF and more, WPVI; draft ordinance; local commentary by Christopher Norris (sends a “damning message”: “The presence of bulletproof glass in corner stores promotes the dehumanization and distrust of the poor, while centering the privilege of its erector.”)
Note also UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh’s argument that a right of self-defense may be implicit in the U.S. Constitution as an unenumerated right, as it is explicit under many state constitutions.