A new report from the NC Justice Center has found 48% increase in workplace deaths in North Carolina over the last decade. The report also alleges that the North Carolina Department of Labor is inadequately investigating workplace deaths, and failing to appropriately punish companies that break state laws regarding worker safety.The North Carolina Department of Labor has a history of having a lower average penalty cost than the national average. However, the North Carolina Labor commissioner, Cherie Berry, has been vocal about her stance that the Department of Labor is less of a regulatory agency, and more of collaborative agency working with employers to ensure workplace safety.
See Thomasi McDonald, Indy Week , January 22, 2020
Front is an email platform that aims to improve communication and collaboration methods for organizations by centralizing emails, live chats, social media posts, SMS, and data from Salesforce and other platforms. By centralizing conversations in a single place companies can coordinate responses, comments, and message-tracking and increase their overall productivity. Today, Front announced that it has raised 59 million in a funding round that was supported solely by fellow companies that were aimed at tackling workplace issues, such as Zoom and Qualtrics. The funding alliance highlights how critical the problem of workplace collaboration remains.
The gaming and tech industries has grown significantly over the past few years. As the industry has grown, employees have been more vocal about the pervasive issues of its workplace management such as “crunch” or long hours for weeks or months to meet launch deadlines; cyclical layoffs; harassment; misogyny; gender-based pay discrimination. This has led to a significant organizing effort led by Emma Kinema, co-founder of Game Workers Unite, and Wes McEnany, a leader of the “Fight for 15” effort. A 2019 survey has found that that gaming worker interest in unions has increased to 47 percent conveying the effectiveness of the organizing campaign.
See Patrick Egan and Jonathan Spitz, The National Law Review, January 22, 2020
The President of France has introduced a pension reform plan which has been received poorly by energy workers. In order to protest this plan, workers discontinued power, leaving the wholesale food market in the dark. This incident is just the latest in a number of wildcat strike actions that energy workers have engaged in. Previously, public transport workers were on strike until concessions were made with regard to increasing the retirement age.
See Matthieu Protard, Geert De Clercq, Reuters, January 21, 2020
A year has passed since thousands of Los Angeles teachers went on strike. While this strike encouraged others to stand up for their rights and shed light on the lack of resources available to public schools and teachers, it is unclear whether or not much has actually changed following the strike effort. Teachers' wages have not increased beyond the 6% that the district offered prior to strike activity. However, union leaders have asserted that the strike was crucial in beginning conversations about how to reduce class sizes, expand social services, and alter education policy so that teachers and their students can have their needs met.
See Howard Blume, Sonali Kohli, Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2020
Manna Inc., a franchise company that manages a number of fast food restaurants has been ordered to pay a sizeable fine for having minors work beyond normal business hours. Young workers in Wendy's and Fazoli's franchises across numerous states were found to be working before or after legally approved hours, and an excessive number of hours on school days. Child labor laws were established to protect children form unsafe working conditions and excessively long hours while they are attending school. Violations are not taken lightly, hence the six-figure fine that Manna Inc. will now have to pay.
Health and wellness has been a critical issue for many organizations. Many studies have derived a connection between employee health and employee effectiveness. Consequently, an app, dayzz, has been developed to monitor employee sleep patterns and diagnosed previously unnoticed sleep disorders.
See Alyssa Place, Employee Benefit News, January 17, 2020
Ageism is one of the most persistent biases in the workplace. But it is also one of the most subtle. As the US population continues to ages and over a quarter of the workforce will be over the age of 55 by 2024, tackling ageism is a critical issue that organizations must tackle. The World Health Organization has rolled out a plan to aid companies in fostering a more age inclusive environment.
The professional sports industry is a male dominated industry, especially in the exclusive field of coaching. Today, the San Francisco Giants’ announced that Alyssa Nakken will be a full time coach for the franchise, and will specifically aid in team culture. This announcement makes Alyssa Nakeen the first female full-time coach in MLB history.
See Steve Almasy and Homero De la Fuente, CNN, January 17, 2020
In response to labor exploitation accusations proceeding the 2020 World Cup, Qatar has eliminated rules that disallow migrant workers from leaving the country. A new measure will get rid of exit visa requirements for domestic workers excluded from earlier reforms. A number of unions and activists have pressed for Qatar to eliminate exit barriers due to labor exploitation and poor working conditions that vulnerable workers who migrate to the country may be unable to escape.