We’d been holding our breath all of June, waiting for yet another Supreme Court decision that could change the lives of millions of Californians. Heartbroken and disappointed, but not surprised, this court denied our dream of opportunities for the millions of immigrant workers who are at risk every day. At risk of getting separated from their families, at risk of employer exploitation, at risk of returning to a country they hardly remember, at risk of losing their children.
Each week, we take a look at the biggest friends and foes of labor. We celebrate the workers who are winning big and small battles, and we shame the companies or people who are trying to deny working people their rights.
Let’s be clear: U.S. Supreme Court nominees are, in fact, confirmed in election years—even when the Senate is not controlled by the president’s party. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Ronald Reagan appointee, was confirmed by a Democratic-controlled Congress in February 1988, 65 days after his nomination in November 1987. And Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voted to confirm now-Justice Kennedy in that election year.
We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the DAPA and expanded DACA case, which will have profound consequences for our immigrant brothers and sisters who live and work every day under a cloud of fear, as well as for the state of racial and economic justice in our country. We are confident that the Court will reverse the Fifth Circuit and allow the DAPA and expanded DACA policies to go into effect, affording millions of people the opportunity to apply for work authorization and temporary protection from deportation. We encourage the Department of Homeland Security to take all steps necessary to ensure these much-needed policies can be implemented as soon as possible after the Court issues its decision this summer.
Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a major win for working families, ruling that housing discrimination does not have to be intentional in order to be illegal. Victims of housing discrimination may now bring a complaint when there is clear evidence that a housing provider intended to discriminate, or when a practice or policy that is not intentionally discriminatory has a negative impact on a particular group of people, like people of color or persons with disabilities. Wages have remained stagnant for decades, and today, too, many middle- and working-class families are locked out of buying a house or renting affordable housing because of discrimination. This decision by the court helps ensure that working families will have access to safe and affordable housing across the country.
Using logic so tortured that Dick Cheney would approve, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that companies didn't have to compensate workers for required security checkpoint waits that take as long as 30 minutes a day to complete. The ruling overturned a federal appeals court decision from 2013, which held that workers at a warehouse that provides services for Amazon.com should be compensated for the time they were required to go through security checkpoints whose purpose was to prevent employee theft. The workers don't work directly for Amazon but are hired by Integrity Staffing Solutions. The outcome of the case is likely to affect workers at other companies, such as Apple and CVS, who are currently engaged in similar lawsuits.