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Union Station: Public-sector labor policy litigation four years post-Janus

June 27, 2022 // We are currently tracking 144 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking.

U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear freelancers’ challenge to California employment law

June 29, 2022 // In 2020, California voters approved a ballot referendum exempting app-based transportation services such as Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc from the scope of AB5. A state judge last year struck down the measure, saying it violated the state's workers' compensation law. An industry group's appeal is pending. The ASJA in its 2019 lawsuit claimed AB5 unreasonably blocks many freelance writers from being treated as independent contractors based on the content of their speech, while exempting similar work performed for marketing or artistic purposes. Samuel Siegel, California Department of Justice

Union election begins for over 400 Planned Parenthood workers

June 29, 2022 // Like other nonprofit workers who have formed unions in recent years, Planned Parenthood staffers hope to gain more control over decisions that affect their day-to-day work in support of the organization’s mission. “I am often training the same position in the same clinics over and over again, and this has been an ongoing trend for the last several years,” Clark said. “Caretakers often cannot voice issues on the job in a way that leads to meaningful change. We trudge on until we burn out, and then we leave.” Planned Parenthood workers said wages and working conditions also factored into the decision to unionize. Many of her co-workers, Brewer said, are “overworked, underpaid and undervalued.” April Clark, Mimi Arabalo, Sadie Brewer,

Former New Bedford police union treasurer sentenced for stealing $50,000 in union funds

June 30, 2022 // “Mr. Fernandes took an oath to protect and serve the people of New Bedford. Instead, he violated the trust bestowed upon him by both the New Bedford community and his fellow officers,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins in a press release. “For several years, Mr. Fernandes stole tens of thousands of dollars in union funds and recklessly spent it on a range of personal expenses including beach vacations, phone bills and online dating. Adding insult to injury, he tried to cover up his theft by backfilling the depleted accounts with more stolen funds from the union’s retirement investment account. Public officials who misuse their positions of trust for their own personal enrichment will be prosecuted. No one is above the law.” U.S. Attorney Rollins, FBI SAC Bonavolonta and Jonathan Russo, district director of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards made the announcement Monday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugenia M. Carris, deputy chief of Rollins’ Public Corruption & Special Prosecutions Unit, prosecuted the case. Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Joshua Fernandes, U.S. Senior District Court Judge, Mark L. Wolf

Biden’s Recordkeeping Rule is Another Flawed Obama-era Rerun

June 30, 2022 // “The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) should abandon this proposed rule because it completely ignores worker privacy concerns and adds burdensome new requirements with little value in keeping workers safe. With this proposed rule, the administration seemingly intends to reward its Big Labor allies and to continue its crusade against job creators and their employees without improving workplace safety.” “Among the egregious provisions this proposed rule revives from the 2016 rule is the requirement that certain establishments submit detailed injury and illness data that contain confidential and personally identifiable worker information. These forms contain sensitive employee information such as employee names, date of hire, job titles, gender, descriptions of injuries and body parts affected, employee’s home address, date of birth, and treatment for each recorded injury. This is sensitive employee information which the government is obligated to protect.”

Northern KY Worker Asks State Official to Prosecute Steelworkers Union for Violating Kentucky Right to Work Law

July 1, 2022 // After Hernandez tendered her resignation to Purnhagen, “Ms. Purnhagen scolded and harassed me, accusing me of trying to convince my fellow co-workers to drop their union memberships,” Hernandez’s complaint says. Purnhagen also forbade Hernandez from discussing with her coworkers reasons to refrain from union membership. “As of today’s filing, the company and the union have not reimbursed me for the money seized in union dues in violation of Kentucky law,” the complaint says. Kentucky’s Right to Work law, Kentucky Labor Cabinet, USW Local 832 President Tara Purnhagen, Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary,

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