– The Los Angeles Times
The $47-billion agriculture industry is trying to bring technological innovation up to warp speed before it runs out of low-wage immigrant workers. California is in the process of remaking its fields like it did its factories, with more machines and better-educated workers to labor beside them, to offset the risk of losing entire crops, economists say.
– USA Today
Congressional Democrats have reintroduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave, or FAMILY, Act, which they first submitted in 2013. It would permit all workers to take up to 60 individual days of paid leave per year. Workers would receive up to 66% of their regular wages to a maximum $1,000 per week. Republican lawmakers have countered this year with the Strong Families Act. That bill would give employers offering at least two weeks of paid family or medical leave a 25% tax credit for wages paid to workers taking up to 12 weeks of leave. The credit would be capped at $3,000 per employee per year. Shifting trends in the economy and increased support for better work-life balance are driving forces behind the interest in paid leave
– Economic Policy Institute
The purchasing power of the federal minimum wage — now at $7.25 — is down 12.5 percent from 2009, the last time it increased, according to the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. At its high point in 1968, the federal minimum wage was equal to $9.90 in today’s dollars. If the minimum wage had been raised since 1968 at the same growth rate as average wages of typical U.S. workers, it would be $11.62 today.
– The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board calls upon Capitol Hill Republicans to use their majorities to reform a 70-year old law, the National Labor Relations Act. The piece argues that given the NLRB’s zeal to support union priorities under the last administration, it’s time to act.