Five Things You Need to Know: 8/1, Wednesday Edition


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1) WA: Worker Bill of Rights Signed by Seattle Mayor

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has signed the first Domestic Worker Bill of Rights in the U.S., which is expected to go into law July 2019, writes Marjie High of the Washington State Wire. The Bill of Rights “…aims to protect the roughly 33,000 domestic and household workers in the city, many of whom are independent contractors or have informal or ‘gig’ relationships with their employers and are not covered by federal worker protection laws,” per the article. New protections will include minimum wage requirements, mandatory meal/rest breaks, and specific identification/passport requirements. Another workplace related bill, this time for sexual harassment policies, is in the works too: “…The bill would extend protections already available in an employer/employee context to independent contractors and is anticipated to be considered by the council in August.” 

2) CA Supreme Court Rules for Workers to be Paid for their Opening and Closing Tasks

The State Supreme Court in California has ruled that employers will be required to pay employees who open and close the workplaces, writes Maura Dolan of the LA Times. “…The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which asked the state high court to clarify the law, is considering a proposed class-action lawsuit against Starbucks brought by a supervisor who spent several minutes each night closing the store and walking workers to their cars after clocking out,” writes Dolan. “…Stanley D. Saltzman, who represents the Starbucks workers, said federal judges have been throwing out these kinds of lawsuits, a practice that will now end.”

3) CA: Court Ruling Backs Taco Bell in Lunch Break Requirements 

While California “…Taco Bell employees that bring food from home or purchase a meal from Taco Bell at full price are allowed to leave and eat wherever they choose,” writes Alexandra Deabler of Fox News, “…A recently court-upheld decision allows the fast food chain to ban customers that use their employee discount to purchase food from eating off-site, Inc. reported.” A class action lawsuit alleges this requirement makes employees “on-call.” The restaurant employer states “…the policy is used to prevent workers from using their discount to purchase meals for friends and family members.”

4) Town in CT to See $100K Reduced Liability Check

Southington, CT will see approximately $103,902 for risk reduction in the workplace, writes Jesse Buchanan of the Record-Journal. “…The town has used CIRMA (public sector insurance company) for its workers’ compensation insurance for some time and usually gets refunded between $40,000 and $60,000 per year. (Town Manager Mark) Sciota said three years ago, the town also got a liability, auto and personal policy with CIRMA. Now with three years of data, the company found that Southington’s claims are lower than initially anticipated,” writes Buchanan. “…Brian Goralski, chairman of the Board of Education, said reducing risk and associated insurance costs is a benefit of better school district and town collaboration.”

5) CA: Disney to Increase Minimum Wage for Some of Its Employees

A new three-year contract will come into play for some Disneyland staff members, writes Natasha Bach of Fortune. “…Four unions representing close to 10,000 theme-park workers voted in favor of the new three-year contract. Starting salaries will begin at $15 an hour come January, with an immediate bump from $11 to $13.25, according to the Los Angeles Times. That minimum will increase again, to $15.45 an hour, in June 2020,” per the article. Current Disney employees will see a pay increase as well, 3 percent or 50 cents per hour, whichever is greater.


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