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February 2018

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February 2018: Month in review

February 2018: Month in review 5808 3876 Heidi McLean

January took forever and February flew. Just like that, the second month of 2018 is over. Below are a few of the topics in employment and politics that made news in the shortest month of the year.


The FMLA turned 25…and had a quarter life crisis 

On Feb. 5th, 1993 the Family and Medical Leave Act, which gave employees job protection to care for sick family members, was enacted. Some of the questions coming up around its birthday are:

  1. Should that time off should be paid? It’s up for debate, but at least two Trumps and a Rubio say yes.
  2. Who qualifies as a family member? Austin’s guidelines leave room for interpretation.
  3. Does it go far enough to protect everyone, including low wage workers? And what about parents?
  4. Will the Koch brothers and cronies be able to win the fight against the aforementioned FMLA expansions?


People got sick…or at least sick of work

Thirty-precent of prison guards called in sick for Super Bowl Sunday. And it happens every year. But it turns out, the real problem may be that Americans don’t take enough sick leave. Meanwhile, Airlines sued Washington State over sick leave laws and Maryland’s sick leave laws got delayed in Senate.

Interns and ballers said “Show me the money!”

As Vogue took criticism for unpaid internships, Carmelo Anthony and others called the NCAA corrupt. It all brings up the bigger question: is it time to classify internships and treat college athletes like employees?

It was quite a month in employment. What stories caught your eye?

About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events can be chaotic. At PayReel, we make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and that everyone is paid properly. Leave the details up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

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States double down to support women workers

States double down to support women workers 3000 2000 Heidi McLean

Between the famous gender wage gap and a dead last ranking among developed countries for paid maternity leave, the United States isn’t winning the Olympic gold for female-friendly business practices. While the federal government is scrapping Obama-era changes aimed at promoting pay equity, some states are enacting new protections.


Protections for family

New York requires paid family leave. 

With a law that entitles men and women alike to paid leave, the operative word here is family. Eligible workers get 50% of their salaries (up to $652 a week) for eight weeks. Workers may take leave to bond with a new baby, adopt a child, or care for a sick family member. The law represents a step towards combating the so called “motherhood penalty” while also recognizing fathers and male caretakers. New York is now the fourth state (following California, New Jersey and Rhode Island) to offer similar protections.

Massachusetts and Vermont offer protections to pregnant and nursing workers.

In another attempt to combat the aforementioned penalty to those who are building their careers along with their families, Vermont and Massachusetts expanded protections for pregnant and breastfeeding workers.

Oregon requires greater schedule predictability. 

This law requires larger employers to give new hires more information about their schedules. While the approach may have unintended consequences, it’s based on the fact that unpredictable work schedules make the already difficult task of balancing family commitments especially hard. Companies must also provide workers plenty of advance notice regarding upcoming schedule changes.

Nevada provides time off for domestic violence victims.  

Beyond accommodating growing families and closing the wage gap, Nevada is taking protections to a whole new level. Their new law provides battery and assault victims with protections such as transfers, reassignments, and modified schedules.


Closing the pay gap

18 states raise minimum wage.

The reasons for the pay gap are layered and up for debate. Still, the fact remains: On average, women in the United States earn 80% of what men earn. Increasing the minimum wage in 18 states affects all minimum wage workers’ pocketbooks, and nearly two thirds of these workers are women.

Massachusetts requires equal pay for equal work.

The state joins a growing list and requires equal pay for equal work. Even though the Massachusetts law is considered one of the strongest of its type, it still doesn’t guarantee a true “fix” to the wage gap.

California prohibits questions on income history.

California follows Delaware and New York City and prohibits potential employers from asking applicants such questions. The theory here says asking for income history causes workers to be saddled with their wage gap from job to job.


The bottom line

These new laws attempt to protect women from damages to their career and income based on the simple fact that they often simultaneously build families and careers. We will watch how these new laws play out. In the meantime, it’s worth considering what Vermont (the state with the lowest gap) is doing and how other countries compare on the issue.

Note: Click here for an article (which we relied on heavily for our brief overview) with a more expansive view of each of these new laws.


About PayReel

At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have Client Relationship Managers on call around the clock to answer your questions. All you have to do is call 303-526-4900 or email us. The PayReel team makes event payroll easier, faster, and seamless.

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team.


January 2018: The Month of Many Mondays

January 2018: The Month of Many Mondays 150 150 Heidi McLean

January 2018 is over (finally?) and it’s official: this year is already a doozy. It’s not that it’s all been bad, it’s just been…a lot. Below are a few (really, these are only a few) of the topics in employment, politics, and entertainment that made news in the first 31 days of 2018.

In employment

January 2nd ― A woman in Sydney wins a worker’s comp claim against Woolworths for a “savage bird attack.” Might sound crazy until you find out that the bird is responsible for injuries requiring treatment for at least 10 others.

January 12th ― Maryland passes the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (“The Act”) and now requires paid sick and safe leave for companies with fewer than 15 employees. Maryland is the 9th state in the country to hop on the paid sick leave bandwagon.  

January 24thStarbucks announced, in addition to giving all domestic employees a raise, it’s giving baristas paid sick leave, stock grants, and parental leave (including for the parent who didn’t give birth).

In politics

January 13th ― Hawaii accidentally (debatable) sends a false ballistic missile alert, sending residents and visitors (i.e. anyone with a cell phone) into a panic.

38 minutes later ―Hawaii issues correction, sending said cell phone owners into false near-death induced soul-searching.

January 20th – The government shuts down.

January 22nd – The government reopens.

January 30th – The State of the Uniom…err Union address. Trump gets the introduction of a WWF fighter (see Fox’s highlight reel) and Democrats hold their applause (see CNN’s highlight reel).

In entertainment

January 28th – The Grammy’s: Where Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar cleaned house, James Corden brought down the house, and Hillary Clinton took yet another jab at the White House. And in a reminder that our culture still has a lot of work to do to get our proverbial house in order, Kesha offered a sharp rebuke to the tune of “Prayin’ and Janelle Monáe said, #Timesup.

January 31st – Super blue blood moon. A beautiful overachievement, 150 years in the making. Just like the month of January, the moon decides to pack all sorts of events into a short timeframe.

January 31st – The nation takes a deep breath, and a nap…before heading into month two. To which February said, “Hellooooo, Super Bowl!”

These are just some of the headlining moments of January. We can only guess what’s next. What makes your list of notable January headlines? Share in the comments below.


About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events can be chaotic. At PayReel, we make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and that everyone is paid properly. Leave the details up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

Relax. We got it.