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Don't Forget That the Supreme Court Just Allowed Workplaces to Become More Hostile

Photo courtesy the Supreme Court of the United States collection

While the focus in the past week has been on Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage, voting rights and affirmative action, two other rulings released this week have made it easier for employees to be harassed in the workplace and reduced the legal recourse those workers have to end harassment. In two separate 5–4 rulings, in which the conservative justices sided against workers, the court made it harder to take recourse against a supervisor who is harassing a worker, and made it easier for bosses to punish workers who complain about discrimination.

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Will Immigration Reform Work for the U.S. Economy?

This is a crosspost from The Huffington Post by Annette Bernhardt and Haeyoung Yoon.

The debate over comprehensive immigration reform has the potential to be one of the defining moral moments of our time. In the ongoing struggle over what kind of country we want to be, immigration reform gives us the chance to show our humanity, commit to values of inclusion and justice and honor the dreams and aspirations that immigrants bring to our shores.

But immigration policy is also economic policy, and here the case for reform is just as strong. If we care about future growth in America, our goal must be to provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States, as well as for future immigrants. If we get it right, a new report from the Congressional Budget Office shows that everyone who lives and works in America will see significant economic gains; even conservative economists are weighing in to support reform.

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Journalists Debate Impact of Potential Koch Takeover of Tribune Newspapers

What would happen if David and Charles Koch, the conservative billionaire brothers, bought the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and other leading newspapers from the Tribune Co.?

Concerned about the likelihood of the Kochs purchasing some of the largest and most influential newspapers in the nation from the financially troubled Tribune Co., The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America organized a very spirited debate at the National Press Club in Washington on June 26.

“The fear is that the Kochs are motivated to use the newspapers to further their overt conservative agenda. Credible news will suffer. This is of special concern as virtually every city in America, with just a handful of exceptions, is now a one-newspaper town,” Guild President Bernie Lunzer said in a statement at the event, attended by about 60 journalists, Guild members and members of the public. 

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International Day of Action to Target Walmart, Gap

International Day of Action to Target Walmart, Gap

This Saturday, June 29, Students Against Sweatshops will lead a coalition of groups and individuals in an international day of action to pressure Walmart and Gap to stop the use of unsafe factories that have killed more than 1,800 workers in Bangladesh since 2005. To date, the two corporate giants have refused to sign on to an Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh that would go a long way toward making workers in Bangladesh safer. The accord would require independent inspections by trained fire safety experts, mandatory repairs and a central role for workers and unions.

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NY City Council Overrides Bloomberg Veto to Enact Paid Sick Days

Photo courtesy of Aldon

On Thursday morning, the New York City Council overrode a veto by Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) to pass a new paid sick days requirement for businesses with more than 15 employees. Employees at those businesses will earn five paid sick days each year. The law will be implemented in 2014 and initially it will apply to companies with 20 or more employees; after a year and a half it will apply to businesses with 15 or more workers. Smaller businesses will be required to provide their employees with five unpaid sick days. The victory for both workers and consumers makes New York the largest city with a paid sick days requirement.

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Senate Passes Immigration Reform Bill

Senate Passes Immigration Reform Bill

The U.S. Senate just voted 68–32 (with 14 Republicans joining all 54 Democrats) to approve immigration reform legislation that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says will move the nation “a big step closer” to building a commonsense immigration system that will allow millions of aspiring Americans to become citizens. 

Now it is up to the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead by allowing a majority of House members to vote on a bill with a road map to citizenship.

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Obama Administration Suspends Trade Privileges for Bangladesh Over Worker Safety, Rights

The Obama administration announced Thursday it is suspending trade privileges for Bangladesh because of that country's poor record of safety and protection of workers' rights in the garment industry. After a recent building collapse killed more than 1,100 workers and a fire in a separate factory led to another 112 deaths, the administration was under pressure to take action. The suspension means Bangladesh no longer will be able to avoid paying duties on more than 5,000 products the country exports to the United States.

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So the Supreme Court Struck Down Part of DOMA. What Does That Actually Mean?

So the Supreme Court Struck Down Part of DOMA. What Does That Actually Mean?

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a 5–4 ruling, a big step toward equality for LGBT families.  But now that part of the discriminatory law has been ruled unconstitutional, what does it mean for same-sex couples? Lambda Legal has a thorough guide to the legal ramifications of the ruling.

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Join a Human Chain Against Chained CPI

Join a Human Chain Against Chained CPI

Social Security advocates, senior activists, community and faith allies will form a “Human Chain Against the Chained CPI” in front of congressional offices and federal buildings in more than three dozen cities July 2. The Alliance for Retired Americans’ national day of action is designed to showcase the broad base of support for protecting and enhancing retirement security, not dismantling Social Security inch by inch.

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Take Action

Protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done crucial work to safeguard Americans against the deceptive and abusive practices of big banks, student loan servicers, credit card companies and predatory lenders. Tell Congress to protect this important agency.

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