Posts Tagged ‘minimum wage’

NYT public editor: yes, nail salon series had problems

Poynter: “A blockbuster investigation from The New York Times that provoked officials to intervene in poor workplace conditions in nail salons throughout New York ‘went too far in generalizing about an entire industry,’ Public Editor Margaret Sullivan wrote Friday morning.” That’s, well, cautiously worded: as critics have demonstrated, the series got basic facts wrong and its falsehoods have hurt thousands of New Yorkers, especially struggling immigrants, in multiple ways.

Major congratulations to Jim Epstein, Elizabeth Nolan Brown, and the others at Reason and elsewhere who relentlessly exposed the faults in the Times coverage. And Sullivan’s letter is revealing about just why editors until now ignored Epstein’s Reason coverage, which blew up some of the series’ central allegations about advertised pay rates in the Chinese-language press and about supposed clusters of health effects. “The Times has not responded [because] editors think the magazine, which generally opposes regulation, [is] biased.” Some Twitter responses:

Election results special

In an outbreak of economic sanity, voters in Portland, Maine on Tuesday rejected a $15 minimum wage, while San Francisco voters turned down a measure to crush AirBnB (complete with lawsuit-generating component). Ohio voters soundly defeated a proposal for a legalized, but monopolized, marijuana trade that many libertarian commentators considered worse than no bill at all. And after a race notable for its high volume of interest-group contributions, Pennsylvania voters chose to fill three seats on the state’s supreme court with a slate of three Democratic candidates backed by trial lawyers.

Wage and hour roundup

  • Danny Meyer decision to move NYC restaurants to no-tip policy “was driven by state and federal laws and regulations” [Ira Stoll, Future of Capitalism]
  • U.S. Department of Labor will seek comment on whether employers should be liable for overtime when non-exempt employees use company-issued mobile devices after hours [Daniel Schwartz]
  • Yes, the Gig Economy is piecework, no, there isn’t anything particularly horrible about that [Megan McArdle, Bloomberg View]
  • House panel blasts DoL regs prescribing overtime for junior managers [Littler, House Small Business]
  • The madness of King Andrew: Cuomo’s $15 minimum wage would amount to 90% of the median wage in Buffalo metro area, 86 percent in Rochester [Alex Armlovich, New York Daily News]
  • “Asian Nail Salon Staff Demand Apology From The New York Times for Poverty-Porn Series That’s Costing Them Jobs” [Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason, earlier] And more: Jim Epstein re-reports the Times nail salon story in the first of a four-part series. Devastating, read it;
  • Class action lawyer sues 2 more “Uber for…” startups on wage/hour classification theory [ArsTechnica, earlier]

Labor and employment roundup

  • The Bernie-Sanders-ized Democratic Party: $15/hour minimum for tipped workers now a platform plank [Evan McMorris-Santoro, BuzzFeed]
  • Austin’s new ban on unlicensed household hauling will hurt informal laborers without helping homeowners [Chuck DeVore]
  • Ellen Pao drops suit against Kleiner Perkins, complaining that California job-bias law, often considered among the nation’s most pro-plaintiff, is against her [ArsTechnica, earlier]
  • “Court of Appeals Reverses Board Decision Allowing Employees to Wear ‘Inmate,’ ‘Prisoner’ Shirts in Customer Homes” [Seth Borden, McGuireWoods]
  • “New Jersey’s Supreme Court has dramatically expanded the state’s whistleblower law… the Court’s decision confirms that CEPA likely is the most far-reaching whistleblowing statute in the U.S.” [New Jersey Civil Justice Association, more, Ford Harrison]
  • In NLRB-land, an employee can act all by himself and it will still be “concerted” action protected as such under the NLRA [Jon Hyman]
  • New York City government to invest in hiring halls for day laborers [New York Daily News]

Wage and hour roundup

  • “No unpaid internship in the for-profit sector ever has or ever will satisfy these [USDOL] rules” [Bryan Caplan]
  • Obama wage/hour czar David Weil doubles as a key ideologist of the kill-outsourcing crowd [Weekly Standard, related earlier on NLRB move against franchise and subcontract economy]
  • “A $15-hour minimum wage could harm America’s poorest workers” [Harry Holzer, Brookings] Alderman Antonio French, a key Ferguson protest figure, opposes minimum wage hike in St. Louis [Washington Post “WonkBlog”]
  • “Andrew Cuomo’s leftward lurch: Calling for a $15-an-hour minimum wage is his latest out-of-character move” [Bill Hammond, NY Daily News] Since minimum wage hike, mini-recession has hit employment in Los Angeles hotel sector [Ozimek]
  • Court ruling: Yelp reviewers volunteer their reviews and are not entitled to be paid for them [Courthouse News]
  • 400 Uber drivers: don’t let them take away our independent contractor status [Daniel Fisher, Forbes] Mandated benefits and the “Happy Meal Fallacy” [Tabarrok]
  • “Bill Would Make Maryland Employers Set Work Schedules Earlier” [WAMU on Del. David Moon’s “Fair Work Week Act”; related on national “Schedules That Work” Democratic legislation, Connor Wolf/Daily Caller]

Seattle’s “Fight for 15” — in 1907

In 1907, unions helped convince Seattle to enact a 15-cent minimum price for restaurant meals, part of a backlash against inexpensive Japanese-run eateries that were providing unwelcome competition for existing restaurants and unions representing their employees. In San Francisco the same year, a mob attacked and destroyed the 10-cent Horseshoe Restaurant on Folsom Street, causing a diplomatic incident between the United States and Japan [H.D. Miller, Eccentric Culinary History; part 1 of his story]

Labor and employment roundup

  • Really, I never want to hear one word ever again about Gov. Andrew Cuomo being “at least good on economic issues” [Peter Suderman and Nick Gillespie, Reason (New York will mandate $15/hour for most fast-food workers, which in many upstate cities could amount to 75 percent of average wage); Heather Briccetti/New York Post (activists bused from one hearing to next to jeer opponents); Nicole Gelinas/City Journal (Cuomo picks online guy to represent business on brick-and-mortar-endangering wage board), Joanna Fantozzi/The Daily Meal (possible legal challenge); Coyote on Card and Krueger study]
  • Labor markets don’t behave the way sentimental reformers wish they behaved, part 53,791 [Seattle minimum wage hike: Mark Perry (largest half-year decline in foodservice jobs in region since Great Recession; but see, Brian Doherty on problems with that number series) and Rick Moran (“Employees are begging their bosses to cut their hours so they can keep their food stamps, housing assistance, and other welfare benefits.”); David Brooks via Coyote]
  • Employers scramble to monitor, control time worked in response to Obama overtime decree [WSJ] “No one wants to go back to filling out time sheets…. managers fear (rightly) that I will have to set arbitrary maximum numbers of work hours for them.” [Coyote] Business resistance aims for the moment at (deliberately abbreviated) public comment period [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner] “Can Obama Really Raise Wages for Millions of People So Easily? Quick answer: no” [David Henderson; WSJ/@scottlincicome on seasonal pool-supply company]
  • Hillary Clinton and the Market Basket Stores myth [James Taranto]
  • Labor Department proposes tightening regulation of retirement financial advisers [Kenneth Bentsen, The Hill]
  • Proposed: “well-orchestrated” state ballot initiatives aimed at overturning employment at will [Rand Wilson, Workplace Fairness] My view: “Everybody wins with at-will employment” [Ethan Blevins, Pacific Legal amicus briefs in Supreme Court of Washington, followup on oral argument, and thanks to PLF for citing my work in its amicus brief in Rose v. Anderson Hay and Grain; much more on employment at will in my book The Excuse Factory, also some here]
  • The SEIU’s home caregiver membership motel: you can check in, but just try checking out [Watchdog Minnesota Bureau]

Wage and hour roundup

If they choose our dues, low pay’s OK

“Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide [$15 and indexing] minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces.” [Los Angeles Times] What’s more, these union “escape” clauses keep coming up in minimum wage statutes, as the U.S. Chamber has documented in a lengthy report. It’s almost as if these campaigns are run for unions’ benefit rather than that of their ostensible beneficiaries!

Related: Tim Sandefur, 2011, on a Los Angeles ordinance

that forces businesses that buy grocery stores to retain certain employees on their payroll for three months, even though they don’t want to. There’s an exception in the law for companies that have a collective bargaining agreement with a union. Thus the ordinance is little more than a tax on non-union employers — a restriction that exists for no other reason than to make it more expensive to operate a non-union grocery store.