- Bad idea keeps spreading: “Philadelphia to Prohibit Asking Job Applicants About Their Prior Wage History” [Ford Harrison] Bill introduced in Maryland legislature [Danielle Gaines, Frederick News-Post on HB 398]
- “New York (State and City) Imposes New Rules for Freelancers, State Contracts” [Daniel Schwartz]
- On the minimum wage, lame reporting and motivated reasoning make war on Econ 101 [David Boaz and Ryan Bourne, Cato]
- In final Obama days, EEOC finalizes rules toughening affirmative action requirements for federal agency employers regarding workers with disabilities [Joe Seiner, Workplace Prof]
- Study: Indictments of union officials correlate with close election outcomes [Mitch Downey via Tyler Cowen]
- “Ohio again tries to restore sanity to its bonkers employment discrimination law” [Jon Hyman]
“Federal judge rules it’s against state law to dock strippers’ pay if they remove their clothes too slowly” [Wisconsin; BNA via @jonsteingart]
Some on the left are still blasting judges as activist for standing up to Obama administration assertions of executive power in the regulatory sphere. That might prove shortsighted considering what’s on the agenda for the next four years, or so I argue in a piece in Sunday’s Providence Journal.
I take particular exception to a Bloomberg View column in which Noah Feldman, professor at Harvard Law, assails federal district judge Amos Mazzant III for enjoining the Department of Labor’s overtime rule for mid-level employees (earlier). In a gratuitous personal jab, Feldman raises the question of “whether Mazzant sees an opportunity for judicial advancement with this anti-regulatory judgment” in light of the election results, though he offers not a particle of evidence that the judge, an Obama appointee, is angling for higher appointment under the new administration.
The problems with the overtime rule were both substantive and procedural. As I mention in the piece, “more than 145 charitable nonprofits signed a letter begging the department to allow more than a 60-day public comment period. It refused.” That letter is here (via, see Aug. 5, 2015 entry). I also mention that a court recently struck down the Department of Labor’s very bad “persuader rule” that would have regulated management-side lawyers and consultants; more on that from Daniel Fisher, the ABA Journal, and earlier.
After pointing out that many of the rulings restraining the Obama administration have been written or joined by Democratic-appointed judges, I go on to say:
Judges rule all the time against the partisan side that appointed them.
And we’ll be glad of that when the Trump executive orders and regulations begin to hit, and Republican-appointed federal judges are asked to restrain a Republican White House, as they have often done in the past.
We should be celebrating an energetic judiciary that shows a watchful spirit against the encroachments of presidential power.
There’s hope for stopping some of the regulations that the Obama administration began dropping in its last months before heading out the door, including the arguably worst of all, overtime for mid-level workers, now blocked by a federal judge in Texas [Kathy Hoekstra/Watchdog, McClatchy, Brittany Hunter/FEE; Virginia Postrel (“Not every workplace is, or aspires to be, the civil service. Not every worker longs to be on an assembly line.”)]
- Following election results, lawprofs’ idea of persuading SCOTUS to kill state right-to-work laws is looking kinda dead [James Sherk, National Review] Sixth Circuit panel, reversing decision below, says law authorizes Kentucky counties to enact county-wide right-to-work statutes [Lexington Herald-Leader]
- “Congressional Budget Office: Canceling overtime rule would boost family earnings” [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner]
- “Another Lesson from Bastiat: So-Called Employment Protection Legislation Is Bad News for Workers” [Daniel Mitchell, Cato citing NBER working paper by Gilbert Cette, Jimmy Lopez, and Jacques Mairesse]
- Claim: lawmakers can “give” private employees paid parental leave and “there’s no added cost to employers” [Kate Ryan, WTOP citing views of Montgomery County, Maryland council member Tom Hucker]
- All California janitors must now take training against sexual harassment, on rationale of preventing rape [L.A. Times]
- A “complicated, highly regulated industry”: “Why Are Companies Abandoning On-Site Day Care?” [Rebecca Greenfield, Bloomberg] And: “Childcare costs skyrocket after minimum wage hike passes” [Alyssa Donovan, KXLY; Spokane, Wash.]
A class action suit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) cites California law, as well as the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, to argue that college football players should be deemed employees subject to minimum wage and overtime law. I find it a stretch for reasons quoted in the report [Robert Teachout, SHRM]
- “Study: Minimum Wage Cost Germany 60,000 Jobs” [Axel Schrinner, Handelsblatt]
- Even they can’t comply: federal Department of Labor settles overtime claims with its own employees [J. William Manuel, Bradley Arant]
- “50 Business Groups Sue Feds Over Upcoming Overtime Rule” [Connor Wolf, Inside Sources, related, Daniel Fisher on suit by 21 states] “With all these efforts to block it, can employers relax?” [Robin Shea]
- Translation: it’s time to throw many more disabled persons into involuntary unemployment [proposal to end sub-minimum wage exemption in disabled work centers, earlier here and here]
- Dems’ $15-and-index platform plank would set a “policy written for the nation’s very wealthiest enclaves, but incoherent for economically distressed regions.” [IBD]
- Efforts to measure early impacts of Seattle minimum wage hike [Charles Hughes/Cato, Tim Worstall, Sean Higgins/Washington Examiner]
- Refuting wage czar David Weil: “Employer Concerns About The New Overtime Exemption Rules Aren’t A Myth” [Bill Pokorny, Wage and Hour Insights] Federalist Society podcast on overtime rules with Tammy McCutchen and Elizabeth Dorminey;
- “The Customer Service Downside to the New Federal Overtime Rules” [Coyote] The “mass reclassification that will have to take effect by December 1 has the makings for an employee morale nightmare.” [Robin Shea, Employment and Labor Insider]
- “A $15 minimum wage will crush the retail industry” [Nicole Gelinas] “$15 minimum wage shutters old-school Brooklyn diner” [New York Post] “Minimum-wage increase sinks Roseville bookstore, owner says” [Sacramento Bee]
- Service sector even more susceptible to automation than manufacturing [McKinsey vs. Arnold Kling]
- Employers such as nonprofits that can call on the services of volunteers should not expect that to rescue them from new overtime mandate [Daniel Schwartz]
- “A worker-scheduling bill would be bad for business in D.C.” [Washington Post editorial; see also Seattle, February]
“After making stops at Canadian ports, the Draken’s crew was told by Coast Guard officials last week that if [the meticulously restored Norwegian Viking craft] wanted to sail through the Great Lakes, it had to hire a certified pilot, paid at an hourly rate that would amount to about $400,000 by the trip’s end. If unable to pay, the vessel would be forced to turn back.” The Coast Guard mandates what must be paid to pilots on the Great Lakes and recently raised its target compensation “to about $326,000 a year…unlike in Canada, the American regulations offer no exemption based on tonnage or size.” [Mike McPhate, New York Times]