Voters Approve Higher Minimum Wage in Nebraska and Washington, D.C.
Workspan Daily
November 11, 2022

Voters in Nebraska and Washington, D.C. on Tuesday approved higher minimum wages, according to a CNBC report. 

Nebraska voters supported Initiative 433, which increases the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, up from $9 per hour, by 2026. The minimum wage will adjust annually based on inflation after 2026. 

In D.C., voters approved Initiative 82, a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers to $16.10 per hour from the current $5.35 per hour by 2027, matching the floor for non-tipped employees. 

A similar Nevada ballot measure is still pending. If it is approved, the minimum wage would rise to $12 per hour by 2024, up from $9.50 or $10.50 per hour, depending on health insurance benefits. 

Currently, 30 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the $7.25 federal hourly rate, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The organization estimates that roughly 40% of U.S. workers are living in states that already have a $15 minimum wage or will increase to $15 in the near future.   

Twitter Asking Some Fired Workers to Return 

After completing his takeover, Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk laid off 3,700 people last week — almost half of its staff — but now the company is reaching out to some employees to come back, according to multiple reports. 

A Bloomberg report cited sources saying that the company asked some folks to return as they were laid off “by mistake.” It also noted it was calling some other employees back as they were critical for building features for the platform Musk envisions.  

The company had dismissed people across multiple departments, including human rights, accessibility, machine learning ethics, transparency and accountability, advertising, marketing, communications, engineering and curation.  

In addition, some Twitter employees who had been laid off last week have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company for not giving them adequate notice before dismissing them from their jobs. The case claims Twitter violated worker protection laws like the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act as well as the California WARN Act — both require 60 days of advance notice before a mass layoff. 

Facebook Parent Meta Announces Layoffs of 11,000 Staff 

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Meta Platforms Inc. plans to cut more than 11,000 workers, or 13% of staff, embarking on the company’s first broad restructuring to cope with a slumping digital-ad market and falling stock price. 

In a message to staff on Wednesday, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company, the parent of Facebook META and Instagram, would cut staff across all its businesses, with its recruiting and business teams disproportionately affected. The company is also tightening its belt by reducing its office space, moving to desk-sharing for some workers and extending a hiring freeze through the first quarter of 2023. 

“This is a sad moment, and there’s no way around that,” Zuckerberg wrote, adding that he had been wrong in assuming that an increase in online activity during the pandemic would continue. “I got this wrong and I take responsibility for that.” 

U.S. staffers who are losing their jobs will receive 16 weeks of severance, plus an additional two weeks for each year of employment at the company, and their stock options set to vest in mid-November will still vest. Meta will cover healthcare costs for those affected and their families for six months, Zuckerberg said. Employees outside the U.S. who are affected will receive similar support, with separate processes related to local employment laws. 

Meta reported more than 87,000 employees at the end of September, according to WSJ. 

Survey: One in Five Britons Have Felt Office Discrimination 

A recent survey by the Resolution Foundation, an independent British think-tank, discovered one in five working-age Britons (18-65-year-olds) reported experiencing some form of discrimination either at work or when applying for a job over the last year, with those from ethnic minority backgrounds and those with disabilities most affected. The survey included 3,000-plus working-age adults fielded in September 2022. 

The survey also found discrimination on the grounds of age (3.7 million people) and sex (2.7 million) were most commonly reported in absolute terms. But over one-fifth (21%) of people from ethnic minority backgrounds say they have faced workplace discrimination because of their ethnicity alone in the last year, for example, and 15% of disabled people report encountering discrimination in the labor market based on disability.  

In addition, the survey found low-paid workers are more likely to be anxious about discrimination at work than their higher-paid peers (20% of those in the lowest quartile of hourly pay, compared to 11% of the highest-paid quartile). 

Hannah Slaughter, senior economist at the think-tank, said the analysis confirmed discrimination remains “all too common in workplaces today,” and pointed to the necessity for the federal government to bolster enforcement of employees’ rights and assist low-paid employees who are less likely to take a case to court. 

Editor’s Note: Additional Content 

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