community Service means Business!
7 August 2004
MICHEL MARTIN: Then he addresses the attack on Shawn's father.
Judge THOMAS EDWARDS: It's painfully apparent to the court that Shawn's knife attack on his father arose out of an interpersonal dynamic of extreme family dysfunction. It was an expression of Shawn's growing rage. And it may be drug-related. It may be related to a clinical sleep disorder. I don't know. The experts disagreed on that. In any event, since the problem in Shawn's case originates and lies in the family relationships, the solution must also begin there.
In my view, after considering all the different alternatives that are before the court, the best place for Shawn, as a unique person, to begin that process is here in Santa Clara County in the juvenile hall until he turns 19. YA will always be there if this doesn't work, or if he exhibits anti-social behavior or predatory behavior. So the community can be assured that it will be safe while we're trying to fix this young man and get this family back together in a healthy fashion.
BARBARA, Shawn's Mother: [weeping] Oh, thank you!
Judge THOMAS EDWARDS: Why don't we take a short recess, dry our eyes and then we'll come back on the record, and I'll make my findings and orders accordingly.
CHUCK, Shawn's Father: Barbara, you don't cry when you- when you're successful.
BARBARA: Yes, you do!
DAVID SOARES, Deputy District Attorney: At the end, I think everyone in that courtroom was ready to fall out of their chairs. And I think that it was a tremendous injustice that was done in this case, not just the fact that we didn't treat this individual the way that he should have been treated, in my opinion, but that we have created a perception in the community that certain people are going to be treated differently in the system because of where they come from.
MICHEL MARTIN: Even Shawn's attorney is surprised by the decision.
BRIDGETT JONES: Shawn got a break. I mean, that's the bottom line. He got a break because we have a lot of sick kids and they aren't treated the same way he is.
MICHEL MARTIN: [on-camera] Is that fair?
BRIDGETT JONES: No, it isn't. The system is not fair. Institutional racism is alive and well in the juvenile justice system.
MICHEL MARTIN: [voice-over] Judicial ethics prevent Judge Edwards from speaking about the specifics of Shawn's case. But he did respond to general questions about the equity of the juvenile justice system.
MICHEL MARTIN: [on-camera] Many of the kids we've interviewed believe that white middle-class kids get a break, that they are more likely to be kept at home, they're less likely to get the stiff sentences, they're more likely to be given opportunities to continue their education. Do you think that's true?
Judge THOMAS EDWARDS: Well, all the studies and the statistics say it is true. There is a disproportionate minority population in our custody facilities, and there shouldn't be.
MICHEL MARTIN: Why is that fair that the system seems to be so inclined to, I don't know, tolerate these disparities?
Judge THOMAS EDWARDS: Well, it all depends on what perspective you're giving it. Probably most judges, who would want to be defensive about it and argue with you, would say pretty much something like this. They would say kids who come from inner cities are more likely to come from a minority group in our culture.
They also come from areas that don't have strong neighborhood resources. Their parents do not have enough money to provide the type of supervision that a kid from, say, an affluent white neighborhood would. So why should the system then put these kids in custody, the white affluent kids, when the parents can do as good or a better job spending their own money doing it? [www.pbs.org: More on whether the system is biased]
MICHEL MARTIN: [voice-over] In addition to allowing Shawn to serve his time in Santa Clara County's juvenile hall, Judge Edwards gives him permission to leave during the day for counseling sessions, Narcotics Anonymous meetings and classes at the community college, all fees paid by his parents.
DAVID SOARES: I'll always wonder, is this young man going to re-offend? All I know for certain is that he did try and kill his father. And what's most chilling about the case is that we don't know for sure why. From FrontLine
NARRATOR: His employer, Edison Schools, Inc., is engaged in the largest corporate takeover of public schools ever, against the wishes of all the teachers here.
TEACHER: If everything is so great, if everything is so positive, like you're saying, if, you know, everything is so successful, why are we reading over and over again that Edison has failed here and has failed there, and they haven't turned a profit in 10 years? This doesn't make any sense to me.
EDISON REP.: That's a very fair question. First of all, no one is perfect, all right? So I don't want you to think every single one of our schools--
PEGGY SHRIVER, Teacher: I feel like they sidestepped every question. They went around every question, to the point where people forgot what the original question was, and that's why we had to keep asking them the same questions. Everything was a "maybe," "could be" and "they may decide," "it's at your discretion."
NARRATOR: The day did not go as Edison had hoped. In the end, the school salesman was lucky to get out of town with his own shirt. From FrontLine
“Snake-oil hustlers or global diplomats — no one can doubt the power of the PR industry. With the industry bringing in over $3.5 billion in revenue last year worldwide (according to the Council on Public Relations) and growing by over 140 percent in the past five years (PRWeek), we are talking about a major source of public information.
Is deceit endemic to the profession or does public relations simply need better PR? PR practitioners are aware of their image, of course, which is why the Public Relations Society of America has a "Reputation Management Division".
To the pros, the critics totally miss the point: that the purpose of PR is to help companies and governments communicate with — and listen to — the public. PR firms don't just step in to cover up messes, but are increasingly involved in helping shape policy and practice with a sensitivity to the public's concerns.
In fact, they say, the practice of public promotion, whether for huge multinationals or tiny nonprofits, is exactly what enables democracy to flourish. PR's critics often seek publicity, too, so are they just jealous of the good connections and sophisticated techniques of the big guys? Or is this a case of access apartheid, where the powerful have the ear of the press and their detractors can't get calls returned?” From AlterNet
Media Access: Tricks Of The Trade Activists, consumer groups and critics often condemn PR as corporate media manipulation — but they too can benefit from public relations strategies to get attention for their issues and opinions. When it's done by professionals, they call it PR, but when individuals use media and communication skills to get their story or position out, they call it "Media Access." Check out our Media Access Toolkit: guides, tips and resources from our affiliates on all aspects of publicity, from writing a press release to holding a demonstration. From The Media Channel,
PR: It's A Woman Thing Since women are still not treated with parity in the business world, perhaps it's no surprise that they're most present in an area considered somehow peripheral to the corporate mission: public relations. Asks Salon's Janelle Brown: Are women able to break into PR because it's marginalized, or is PR marginalized because it's "women's work"? Either way, this may change as the information economy increases the importance of communication and marketing skills — and thus, perhaps, female practitioners. From Salon.com,
The Birth Of Spin According to PR historian Stuart Ewen, the origins of modern public relations lie in the radical labor movement and the disaffected middle class of the early 1900s. Corporations needed to protect themselves from the anti-corporate publicity of the progressive movement and, following the advice of John D. Rockefeller's PR man, Ivy Lee, their power from being usurped by the masses. At some point PR also became a way to increase corporate power and profits. From AT&T's efforts to overcome anti-monopolism and recreate itself as Ma Bell to Edward Bernays' campaign to connect cigarettes with feminism, Ewen reviews what he sees as PR's "illegitimate" history. From The Media Channel,
All In The Family Sigmund's great-grandson, boyfriend of Rupert Murdoch's daughter and member of a family full of notables, Matthew Freud is not only a fixture in the British tabloids, he's also a professional at shaping what's in them. As head of London's successful Freud Communications PR firm, he evokes another relative, Edward Bernays, the godfather of modern public relations. This profile of England's "PR guru" offers a peek into how Freud uses synergy between clients and exclusive access to big names to excel in what he calls the "art form of controlled media manipulation." From Guardian Unlimited,
Preserving DemocracyTo Fraser Seitel, PR professional and representative of the Public Relations Society of America, PR critic John Stauber is paranoid, angry and way off the mark. Serving the public interest is a fundamental lesson of PR, writes Seitel, and it is good business for corporations to be good corporate citizens. In fact, he argues, it is precisely the communications techniques of public relations that allow ideas to be tested in the courts of media and public opinion, enabling democracy to function. "More often than not, in fact, public relations strategies and tactics are the most effective and valuable arrows in the quiver of the disaffected and the powerless." As for Stauber's claim that most news is undiluted PR, writes Seitel: "I wish." From The Media Channel,
MERCHANTS OF COOL
The past decade's wave of media mergers has produced a complex web of business relationships that now defines America's media and popular culture. These relationships offer a massive opportunity for cross promotion and selling of talent and products among different companies owned by the same powerful parent corporation.
Examine the charts breaking down what each of the five U.S. media giants now control (as of February 2001). Also included on this list is Bertelsmann AG, which in globalizing has bought up several large American media divisions. From FrontLine
Bizarro Media Analysis, Part I
"I think there are a lot of reasons to be critical of the media in America. I think that a lot of times the media sensationalize or magnify things that aren't - that really shouldn't be. I do think there's a big move away from actual reporting, trying to report facts. It's in newspapers and and everything you read - that a lot more is opinion," said First Lady Laura Bush, in an interview with Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor." From Associated Press
Bizarro Media Analysis, Part II
"At this late stage, media companies have grown so large and powerful, and their dominance has become so detrimental ... that there remains only one alternative: bust up the big conglomerates. ... We've done this before: to railroad trusts in the first part of the 20th century, to Ma Bell more recently. Politically, big media may be on the wrong side of history," wrote Time Warner board member and Turner Broadcasting System founder Ted Turner, in an article for Washington Monthly magazine. Turner admits that he's benefited from media consolidation, but writes, "Yet I felt then, as I do now, that the government was not doing its job."From Wall Street Journal
6 August 2004
FROM JANUARY 2002
AT&T (Quote, Chart) and consulting firm Accenture have signed a $2.6 billion outsourcing agreement designed to cut the phone company's long-distance customer care costs in half and deploy new customer relationship management technologies.
Dubbed a "co-sourcing" agreement, the five-year contract calls for AT&T and Accenture (Quote, Chart) to bring their employees together to deploy new customer service technologies built around voice recognition systems and build new consumer products.
The arrangement would also result in layoffs within the phone company. During a conference call Tuesday to discuss the contract, Betsy Bernard, AT&T Consumer president and chief executive officer, didn't give specifics on how many employees would be cut (ahead of the company's earnings results on January 30th), and stressed that the contract was about more than layoffs.
"There is a plethora of technology initiatives that this deal addresses," she said. "This is a terrific business opportunity for both companies and a positive development for consumers, employees and shareowners." She said the agreement will help AT&T dramatically increase operational efficiency and manage the business while preparing to become a tracking stock later this year.
AT&T and Accenture staff are expected to work on deploying new automated customer service products, such as VoiceXML-based applications and natural language recognition systems that build on AT&T's own research, including its "How May I Help You" voice recognition system, which features natural language interpretation.
FROM NOVEMBER 2002
AT&T Wireless has quietly cut staff and phased out projects over the past two months as the third-largest mobile-phone company in the United States tries to realign its business.
The Redmond company declined to disclose the number of employees affected by the cuts, which have occurred in small numbers throughout the United States.
"AT&T Wireless is always looking at ways to improve efficiency, working differently and streamlining things," spokeswoman Anne Marshall said. "We have been making some changes and so in some areas there have been cuts."
David Caouette, vice president of financial communications at AT&T Wireless, said there have been no across-the-board layoffs and the work force has remained fairly stable at 5,750 employees in the state and 30,000 nationwide.
In a company meeting Oct. 24, Chief Executive Officer John Zeglis told employees there was no plan for reducing head count at the company. But he said a small number of jobs might be eliminated in certain departments to more effectively manage the business.
Caouette said the company has eliminated jobs through attrition and where workloads have shifted.
FROM MARCH 2003
AT&T (Quote, Chart) said it has no plans to lay off more than 3,500 employees throughout this year, disputing sources familiar with the company that said the number of pink slips could hit just under 5,000.
A spokesperson for AT&T, Sue Fleming, said the layoffs, which were announced on January 6th, are being implemented in a rolling timetable throughout the year. "Some have been notified, some will be notified," she told internetnews.com.
The job cuts, she added, are largely the result of increasing automation and new technology deployment across the telecommunications giant. As a result, customer care work historically deployed on-site is increasingly addressed with software, remotely.
The company has deployed new software and provisioning upgrades to its network that enables technicians to upgrade customers' requests for more or less services from remote locations.
The cuts represent about 5 percent of the company's 70,000 staff, Fleming said. While they are being spread to different divisions within the phone company, she said the business services division could experience a slightly higher proportion because of the new automation services.
AT&T Corp. this week terminated more than 150 employees from its consumer telemarketing center in Lee's Summit.
The cuts came within days of a company declaration that it was pulling back from its traditional business of selling long-distance to residential customers to concentrate on selling to business.
Kerry Hibbs, an AT&T spokesman, confirmed that the company had laid off workers at telemarketing centers in Lee's Summit; St. Louis; Marietta, Ga.; and Honolulu.
He declined to specify the number of employees affected, saying it was company policy not to disclose layoff figures unless an entire operation is closed.
Judi Sterns, president of Communications Workers of America Local 6450, said 157 hourly workers had been terminated. The so-called “term employees” were working at AT&T under three-year agreements.
In addition to the 157 persons laid off, 60 term employees in Lee's Summit were transferred to lower-paying jobs, Sterns said. AT&T retained 30 term workers in their current positions in Lee's Summit, she said.
Some other term employees who currently are receiving disability benefits will be furloughed once they are ready to return to work, according to Sterns.
Sterns said AT&T did not offer any severance packages to the laid-off term employees other than paying them for the remainder of this week.
Sterns said the union was told that about 270 term employees were being let go at each of the St. Louis and Marietta facilities.
AT&T shifted its strategy after a regulatory ruling eliminated discounts given to long-distance companies to provide local phone service on their competitors' networks. That essentially meant AT&T could no longer compete in local service against rival companies such as SBC Communications Inc. that were once part of AT&T's operations.
AT&T decided not to fight the regulatory ruling in the courts when the Bush administration said it would not back the long-distance giant in a challenge.
In its second-quarter results issued last week, AT&T reported that profits plunged 80 percent and sales fell for the 18th consecutive quarter.
Hibbs said AT&T has not laid off salaried or permanent hourly workers as a result of deciding to focus on its business customers. However, the company's chief financial officer last week confirmed that the move would have a “significant impact” on jobs.
…AND FROM THE AT&T PUBLIC RELATIONS SITE:
August 05, 2004
New York Financial Services Firms Invest In Infrastructure; Analyst Cites "Customer-Centric" Move Toward Technology
August 04, 2004
newzealand.com Finds a New Home
August 03, 2004
Imerys Selects AT&T For $2.25 Million Networking Contract
July 29, 2004
AT&T Helps Allied Electronics Deliver To Customers
July 27, 2004
Elizabeth Arden Chooses AT&T To Integrate Communications
July 26, 2004
AT&T Foundation Donates $150,000 to Acclaimed JFK Library Foundation
AT&T in Leader Quadrant in Latest Pan-European Network Service Provider Magic Quadrant
AT&T Wins $1 Million Networking Contract From University Of Miami
July 22, 2004
AT&T Announces Second-Quarter 2004 Earnings, Company to Stop Investing in Traditional Consumer Services; Concentrate Efforts on Business Markets
July 21, 2004
AT&T Awarded $7 Million Networking Contract From Deere
July 20, 2004
AT&T Foundation Supports Education Department's "Research-to-Practice Summit" for Nation's Teachers
Health Net Inc. Signs Networking Contract with AT&T
July 19, 2004
AT&T CallVantage Service Now Available in New Hampshire
AT&T CallVantage Service Now Available In Northern Kentucky
July 16, 2004
Bay Area Companies Vulnerable If Disaster Strikes
AT&T Stages Network Disaster Recovery Exercise In San Francisco Bay Area
AT&T To Fund San Francisco's First Canine Search and Rescue Teams
July 15, 2004
AT&T 'Excellent' Overall and 'Best in Class' in Global Survey of User Opinion
AT&T, Invizeon Deliver Agriculture Emergency Alert System For Georgia
July 14, 2004
Security is top concern for corporate networks, according to global survey of senior executives
July 13, 2004
K/P Corp. Signs $1.8 Million Networking Contract with AT&T
July 12, 2004
AT&T CallVantage Service Now Available in 100 Major Markets
July 07, 2004
Mavent Enhances Networking Capabilities with AT&T
July 06, 2004
AT&T and McLeodUSA Reach Agreement To Provide Customer Choice and Jointly Propose Rules for Continued Competition in Residential and Business Local Phone Service
AT&T Foundation supports Smith Family's 'Learning for Life' program
July 01, 2004
AT&T Says Bellsouth's Practices Are A Barrier To Facilities-Based Competition In The Special Access Wholesale Market
AT&T To Withdraw From Public Utilities Commission of Ohio SBC Wholesale Cost Case
Pro-Monopoly Illinois Commerce Commission Decision Forces AT&T To Raise Residential Local Phone Rates as of July 2
Layoff Policies to Keep Recently Hired Women and Minorities
When companies lay off employees these days the last person hired isn't automatically the first one fired.
That's a big boost for women and minorities--but it can leave senior white men out in the cold and employers in a quandary. Major corporations are dropping their 'last hired, first fired' rules in order to preserve their carefully cultivated ranks of women and minorities, typically the newest hires.
Employers don't want to risk job-bias suits from women and minorities nor jeopardize government contracts tied to affirmative-action efforts. Business leaders say they also must retain women and minorities to compete for an increasingly multi-ethnic and female customer base.
'Many companies are finding a 'last hired, first fired' policy is too damaging to minorities and women,' explains Judith Katz, vice president of Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, a management- consulting firm in Cincinnati. 'They're having to resort to other means when downsizing.' Among them: sweetened pensions to encourage voluntary retirements, job sharing, reduced workweeks and performance appraisals. "
AT&T Corp. disclosed plans to stop competing for traditional residential phone customers, marking a momentous shift in the strategy of an ailing phone giant whose predecessor incorporated in 1885.
"AT&T CFO Tom Horton said the company expects the new strategy to have a significant impact on jobs. The company has reduced its headcount by 8 percent this year, he said. AT&T had 61,600 employees at the end of last year.
Beyond the impact to its local and long-distance residential services, AT&T's decision also will affect strategic initiatives the company has pursued, including Internet-based phone service and wireless service targeted for consumers, AT&T executives said. AT&T offers Internet-based phone service to consumers in 100 markets, but the service is limited by the number of homes with broadband connections. "
The No. 1 long-distance phone company will shift its resources to the business unit, which comprises roughly 70 percent of revenue. Its consumer unit has been under heavy attack for years, with billions of dollars in sales evaporating due in part to competition from the biggest local phone companies and the predominance of wireless service.
5 August 2004
By RICHARD LICHTMAN
"...Our society is no different from others in attempting to codify "ideologies" designed to establish and perpetuate the "legitimacy" of our ruling order. What distinguishes us is the manner in which we construct this ruling illusion: by technology, the manipulation of mass media, the proliferation of integrated civic institutions and the state's endorsement of professional, that is, expert, identities.
This effort is exercised in the realm of popular culture, the political and economic systems, and in the enclaves of the intellectual elites. We possess no generally acknowledged set of institutions charged to construct definitions of the "moral" and "immoral," "good" and "bad," or "normal" and "pathological." The closest we come, perhaps, is in the realm of psychotherapy, where the DSM, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual serves to define what would generally be considered by the mental health profession, "mental disorders."
This is a manifestation of what Niebuhr had referred to as 'the conflicts of sick souls being replaced by the struggles of sick minds' in "a seeking after the kingdom of health and mental peace and its comforts." Of course, the DSM being itself an ideological work, that is, an analysis designed to disguise, mystify and invert the actual creation of "dysfunction," must be "stood on its feet" to reveal the reality it functions to obscure.
So it is no accident that the DSM begins by informing us that "Neither deviant behavior (e.g. political, religious, or sexual) nor conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict is a symptom of dysfunction in the individual...." By this account we are precluded from locating the sources of individual aggression, destruction, violence, venality, manipulation, exploitation, subordination and other such "pathologies" in the larger society. " more
Need some Land?
The Real Estate Division of the Department of Finance accepts inquiries from the general public for purchase of properties. The City makes certain that the requested property is not needed for public improvement and establishes a sale price.
The prospective purchaser is notified of the price and, if agreeable, completes a Request to Purchase Form to become a qualified buyer.
A qualified buyer is one who has paid taxes, water, sewage, etc. and is in compliance with City codes and policies.
Properties for Sale
Properties for sale through the City of Pittsburgh fall into one of three categories:
2004 Community Festivals
- Troy Hill- Picnic in the Park. Sunday, September 12, 2004. Troy Hill Citizens Park
- Bon Air- Bon Air Community Festival. Saturday, September 18, 2004. Bon Air Tot Lot & Basketball Court
Pittsburgh City Council
Pittsburgh's City Council represents nearly 370,000 citizens across nine districts. District elections are held every four years, and are staggered to ensure that an experienced member is always aboard. Council member Gene
Ricciardi, incumbent representative for District 3, is currently president of this legislative body.
City Council is the legislative branch of government. It carries out duties in accordance with the Home Rule Charter and the laws of the state, and is primarily responsible for making laws which govern the City of Pittsburgh.
City Council proposes, debates, and votes on legislation governing and/or affecting the city. This body also approves appointments as provided by the Charter, regulates revenues and expenditures, incurs debt, and approves the final operating and capital budgets for the city.
Council is responsible for the introduction of legislation generated by the Administrative Branch of city government.
Council may also introduce legislation generated by individual Council Members or Council as a body.
Visit the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's homepage to learn about state laws.
4 August 2004
The Content of their Character:
The State of the Nonprofit Workforce
by Paul C. Light
"The state of the nonprofit workforce is excellent--the state of nonprofits and funders in supporting that workforce is more questionable.
The nonprofit sector is blessed with employees that come to work for the right reasons because they have jobs that give them a chance to make a difference. But the degree to which they can leverage this energy on behalf of their organization's mission is highly dependent on funder and organizational practices that either actively support or ignore their potential.
Boards and executive directors need to look carefully at how they manage their human capital. Are their practices designed for workers who are intrinsically rather than extrinsically motivated? Do their workers have the right tools and access to training? Do employees have time to plan and reflect?
At the same time, funders need to ask how they can assure that the sector maintains its competitive advantage in coming years, starting with a hard look at how their own policies about infrastructure and operating expenses affect the sector's workforce. "
"The findings we present in this article raise important questions on
A nonprofit organization is accountable when it 'recognizes that it has made a promise to do something and accepted a moral and legal responsibility to do its best to fulfill that promise' (Brown & Moore, 2001, p. 570).
Part of being accountable may also include facilitating stakeholders' ability to monitor this promise fulfillment and being responsive to stakeholders' expectations and demands (Brown & Moore, 2001).
More than one third of agency mission statements in our study were explicit in their
desire to empower their clients. Although it is not necessarily essential, we assume that to be responsive and empowering nonprofit directors must listen to client needs.
Thus, the two groups come to share a similar perspective of the social context and, at the very least, share a similar vision for future program work. We find that the nonprofit directors to whom we talked may not be living up to the latter aspects of accountability if we consider their stakeholders to be disadvantaged individuals residing in their geographic community.(4)
The nonprofit directors did not share a similar perspective with the community residents on the local neighborhood context or on what services to add. " (more...)
The spread of racial profiling since 9-11: Civil Rights Rollback
by Chisun Lee - August 3rd, 2004 10:10 AM
"Racial profiling is being stopped driving while black or driving while Hispanic. This is not racial profiling," said Mark Corallo, spokesperson for the Department of Justice, when asked about the administration's 9-11–related operations. He voiced precisely the kind of thinking that has obscured the crisis of profiling for the past three years.
Trawling for terrorists and pulling over motorists in search of drugs are in fact the same thing. While it may be acceptable to target people based on a racial or ethnic description if—and only if—there is some specific indication that those particular people are actually criminals, broad sweeps based on general traits are never OK.
Not only are they unlikely to yield "hits" and certain to humiliate innocent parties, but such dragnets also violate this nation's fundamental principle that people will be treated as individuals and not according to stereotypes. (more...)
"The anti-war movement opposed the U.S. invasion, and true to our predictions, the occupation has turned into a bloody mess and a recruiting ground for fanatics and terrorists.
But in opposing the occupation, we also cannot find anything to support among the insurgents. Especially for those of us from majority-Muslim nations, Muqtada Al Sadr or Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi are not heroic guerilla figures.
In kidnapping poor migrants and using them to punish the U.S. occupation, they reveal their true inhumanity.
The truth is that in the present crisis in Iraq, there is no 'right' side, a condition reflective of our tangled global politics.
The only resort in this bloody impasse is the UN. Defanged by the U.S. and hemorrhaging credibility, this rickety institution still offers the best hope for peace in Iraq."
(CNSNews.com) - The Los Angeles police chief has suggested that lighter flashlights are the answer, after one of his officers was captured on videotape beating a suspected car thief with a heavy flashlight."
While checking the arrival of the new Federal Overtime Pay policy i began to wonder what other real news stories are not be covered by the 'so-called' liberal news services.
check-out Project Censored for the top 25 underreported stories...
After employers reclassify workers from nonexempt to exempt from overtime pay, they will likely assign much more overtime work to exempt employees and much less overtime to nonexempt employees. This hurts all workers. The exempt employees will be compelled to work harder for less pay while the nonexempt employees will lose opportunities to earn the overtime pay that so many depend upon. The result is a massive subsidy to employers at the expense of employees.
States can follow the lead of Illinois which recently passed a law guaranteeing the right to overtime pay.
Illinois legislation, passed in March 2004, essentially blocks new federal overtime rules from being implemented in Illinois by adopting as state law the rules that were in effect before the Bush Administration regulations were proposed. The legislation, SB 1645, was sponsored by Senator Barack Obama and approved by two-to-one majorities in both the House and Senate. "
...for example, administrative workers will have no right to overtime pay if
they earn at least $23,660 and meet both of these DOL requirements (taken
verbatim from the FLSA fact sheet):
The employee's primary duty must be the performance of office or nonmanual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer's customers; and The employee's primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.
Employee attorney Amanda Farahany sees this language as an opening for employers to deny overtime pay to almost any office worker whose occupation is not specifically listed as nonexempt.
“Does that test mean that the receptionist who decides how to route a phone call is exercising discretion and is exempt?” asks Farahany, a partner with Barrett & Farahany LLP in Atlanta.
What About the Unions?
Few union workers are covered by FLSA overtime pay regulations, but organizers still worry that their members will be hurt indirectly if their nonunion peers lose overtime rights. “Whenever labor standards in general are weakened, the next time the union contract is up, the company says, ‘Our competitors don't pay overtime,'
and then they try to weaken the contract,” says Jeff Miller, a spokesman for the
Communications Workers of America in Washington, DC.
In the end, some workers in high-demand occupations will see their overtime pay protected by market forces rather than federal regulation. “Even if someone has duties that fit the definition of exempt, that doesn't mean they can't be paid overtime,” says Ronald Bird, chief economist at the Employment Policy Foundation in Washington, DC.
For example, many hourly healthcare professionals will keep their overtime pay, simply because their employers can't afford to lose them to the competition.
"The Bush Administration proposal to abrogate workers' rights departs from policies in place for over 60 years. The FLSA includes narrow exceptions for certain workers "employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity."
Under regulations released in 1940 to implement the Act, this exception is confined to employees who meet certain standards of income, who are paid a salary rather than by the hour, and whose duties involve supervision, discretion, or independent judgment, i.e., actual executives, administrators, and professionals.
Bush's proposed regulations would expand these terms, changing their definitions beyond recognition: The "executive" exception would be expanded to include even those who spend only a fraction of their time supervising two other employees, and who are without power to hire or fire them.
The "administrative" exception would be vastly expanded to include everyone in a "position of responsibility" who spends even a fraction of their time in so-called administrative work, and even those who do not exercise independent judgment or discretion.
The "professional" exception would be expanded to include workers, like dental hygienists, who lack advanced training and who do not exercise discretion or independent judgment.
Finally, ignoring the clear language of the Act, the Bush plan would declare an entirely new group ineligible for overtime protection. The proposal would classify
white-collar workers earning over $65,000 a year as "highly compensated employees," and then declare virtually all such workers to be bona fide administrators, professionals, and executives - whether their duties support this description or not.
For example, a purchasing agent or bookkeeper earning $65,000 would be ineligible for overtime protection. And, incredibly, this threshold would not increase with inflation, so the "highly compensated" category would include more and more workers - of smaller and smaller means - each year.
Take action to save your overtime pay!
The Bush administration’s yearlong drive to take away millions of U.S. workers’ overtime pay protections could become law Aug. 23, unless Congress acts to stop it.
President George W. Bush used the federal regulatory process, which does not require congressional approval, to make it easier for employers to avoid paying overtime to their employees. The new overtime regulations, which redefine who is eligible for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, were published in the Federal Register in April.
Since then, the U.S. Senate twice voted to block any changes in the overtime eligibility regulations. But in the House, Republican leaders refuse to even let the issue come up for debate.
Sign the petition to protect overtime pay at www.saveovertimepay.org.
Tell President Bush to withdraw his overtime pay take-away.
Get the Myths and Facts about Bush’s new overtime regulations.
Read AFL-CIO President John Sweeney’s statement on the House refusal to debate overtime.
The nation’s top three police employee organizations question new overtime regulations.
Read what nurses have to say about the new overtime regulations.
See how your senators voted on the Harkin overtime amendment.
Read former Labor Department wage and hour investigator’s testimony about the Bush plan.
See the Economic Policy Institute’s analysis of the Bush overtime rule.
See the Flash cartoon, “Overtime Pay B-Gone.”
Listen to AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson’s radio comments on overtime for the Democratic National Committee (in Spanish).
Recent Economic Policy Institute work on overtime issues:
“Comments filed by employer organizations support EPI’s conclusion that the proposal will lead to employers disqualifying workers from earning overtime pay. For example, Hewitt Associates, a leading human resources consultant, wrote in a memo to clients: "In any event, these proposed changes likely will open the door for employers to reclassify a large number of previously nonexempt employees as exempt. The resulting effect on compensation and morale could be detrimental, as employees previously accustomed to earning, in some cases, significant amounts of overtime pay would suddenly lose that opportunity."
“On September 9, 2003, the Senate voted to block any of the provisions in the new rules that would deny workers overtime pay. The House, on October 1, reversed a previous vote and voted to instruct negotiators, when they meet with the Senate to reconcile differences over the Labor Department’s appropriations, to support the Senate’s language to block the new proposal from stripping workers of their overtime rights.”
“The Administration however, threatened to veto any bill that included the Harkin amendment. Under the threat of a veto, on January 22, 2004, the Harkin amendment was stripped from the appropriations bill and the massive federal
spending bill was passed. The Department of Labor announced that it expects to issue the final rules by the end of March. Efforts to block the government's plan to deny workers their overtime rights continue.”
Visit Viewpoints to read EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey's May 20 congressional testimony on the Department of Labor's final overtime regulations.
Read EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey's written testimony delivered on May 4, 2004 before the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations, On the Department of Labor’s Final Overtime Regulations: Preliminary Analysis of DOL's Final Rule on Overtime Exemptions.
Read the January 20, 2004 testimony on the Department of Labor's proposed rule on overtime pay presented by EPI senior economist Jared Bernstein before the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education of the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Read The Truth Behind the Administration's Numbers on Overtime Pay, an explanation of the vast difference between Department of Labor and EPI estimates of the number of workers that would be affected by DOL's proposed overtime regulation.
DOL Overtime Rule Won’t Guarantee Overtime Pay for 1.3 million Low-Income Workers
Read the December 11, 2003 testimony on the Department of Labor's proposed overtime regulation presented by EPI vice president Ross Eisenbrey before the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee.
Read the EPI Briefing Paper, Eliminating the right to overtime pay. Read a summary of the paper's findings in the News Release Millions Stand to Lose Overtime Pay Under Bush Plan .
Top Employer Groups Name Specific Occupations And Activities To Be Ineligible For Overtime Under New Regulations
Read the July 31, 2003 testimony of EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Read the December 5, 2003 op-ed about Bush administration's changes to the rules governing overtime pay.
The Department of Labor's Claims about the Overtime Rule: A Rebuttal
Read EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey's October 29 letter of explanation to House Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, regarding inquiries about the Department of Labor's proposed revisions to overtime regulations.
Occupations In Danger Of Losing Right To Overtime Pay If Proposed DOL Rule Changes Are Passed
U.S. Employer Groups Hail Proposed DOL Overtime Regulations
Read the February 14, 2003 op-ed, Just What the Worker Needs -- Longer Days, No Overtime.
Read the August 31, 2003 op-ed, Sad Labor Day for Working Americans
Economic Policy Institute's Recommendations to Clarify U.S. Department of Labor's Overtime Rules
3 August 2004
What is the federal minimum wage?
The federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees is $5.15 an hour. The federal minimum wage provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Many states also have minimum wage laws. Where an employee is subject to both the state and federal minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to higher of the two minimum wages.
Various minimum wage exceptions apply under specific circumstances to workers with disabilities, full-time students, youth under age 20 in their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment, tipped employees and student-learners.
What is the minimum wage for workers who receive tips?
An employer of a tipped employee is only required to pay $2.13 an hour in direct wages if that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage, the employee retains all tips and the employee customarily and regularly receives more than $30 a month in tips. If an employee's tips combined with the employer's direct wages of at least $2.13 an hour do not equal the federal minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.
Some states have minimum wage laws specific to tipped employees. When an employee is subject to both the federal and state wage laws, the employee is entitled to the provisions of each law which provide the greater benefits.
Must young workers be paid the minimum wage?
A minimum wage of $4.25 per hour applies to young workers under the age of 20 during their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment with an employer, as long as their work does not displace other workers. After 90 consecutive days of employment or the employee reaches 20 years of age, whichever comes first, the employee must receive a minimum wage of $5.15 per hour.
Other programs that allow for payment of less than the full federal minimum wage apply to workers with disabilities, full-time students, and student-learners employed pursuant to sub-minimum wage certificates. These programs are not limited to the employment of young workers.
What minimum wage exceptions apply to full-time students?
The Full-time Student Program is for full-time students employed in retail or service stores, agriculture, or colleges and universities. The employer that hires students can obtain a certificate from the Department of Labor which allows the student to be paid not less than 85% of the minimum wage. The certificate also limits the hours that the student may work to 8 hours in a day and no more than 20 hours a week when school is in session and 40 hours when school is out, and requires the employer to follow all child labor laws. Once students graduate or leave school for good, they must be paid $5.15 per hour.
There are some limitations on the use of the full-time student program. For information on the limitations or to obtain a certificate, contact the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Southwest Region Office at 525 S. Griffin Square, Suite 800, Dallas, TX, 75202, telephone: (972) 850-2603.
What minimum wage exceptions apply to student learners?
This program is for high school students at least 16 years old who are enrolled in vocational education (shop courses). The employer that hires the student can obtain a certificate from the Department of Labor which allows the student to be paid not less than 75% of the minimum wage, for as long as the student is enrolled in the vocational education program.
Employers interested in applying for a student learner certificate should contact the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Regional Office with jurisdiction over their state. The Regional Office addresses and telephone numbers are:
Northeast Region (Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia)
USDOL Wage and Hour Division
170 South Independence Mall, West
Room 850, West
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Southeast Region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee)
USDOL Wage and Hour Division
Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street SW, Room 7M40
Atlanta, GA 30303
Midwest Region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska)
USDOL Wage and Hour Division
230 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604-1591
Southwest Region (Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming)
USDOL Wage and Hour Division
525 South Griffin Square, Suite 800
Dallas, TX 75202
Western Region (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington)
USDOL Wage and Hour Division
71 Stevenson Street, Suite 930
San Francisco, CA 94105
Other programs that allow for payment of less than the full federal minimum wage apply to disabled workers and full-time students employed pursuant to sub-minimum wage certificates.
How often does the federal minimum wage increase?
The minimum wage does not increase automatically. Congress must pass a bill which the President signs into law in order for the minimum wage to go up.
Who makes sure workers are paid the minimum wage?
The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for enforcing the minimum wage. Using both enforcement and public education efforts, Wage and Hour strives to ensure that workers are paid the minimum wage.
The Wage and Hour Division has offices throughout the country. The phone numbers and addresses for these offices may be found on the Internet or in the federal government "blue pages" section of the telephone book under "Labor Department."
To whom does the minimum wage apply?
The minimum wage law (the FLSA) applies to employees of enterprises that do at least $500,000 in business a year. It also applies to employees of smaller firms if the employees are engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for commerce, such as employees who work in transportation or communications or who regularly use the mails or telephones for interstate communications. It also applies to employees of federal, state or local government agencies, hospitals and schools, and it generally applies to domestic workers.
The FLSA contains a number of exemptions from the minimum wage that may apply to some workers.
The Wage and Hour Division has a Handy Reference Guide to the Fair Labor Standards Act that explains how the law applies. Call 1-888-4-USWAGE (1-866-487-9243) for a printed copy of the guide.
What happens if state law requires a different minimum wage than federal law?
Where state law requires a higher minimum wage, that higher standard applies.
Where to Obtain Additional Information
This publication is for general information and is not to be considered in the same light as official statements of position contained in the regulations.
For additional information, visit our Wage-Hour website: http://www.wagehour.dol.gov and/or call our Wage-Hour toll-free information and helpline, available 8am to 5pm in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).
"After a year of controversy, the federal government has published new rules that determine whether millions of Americans will keep, gain or lose the right to overtime pay. The new 500-page regulation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) takes effect August 23, 2004."
if you're homeless, every night is 'night out'.
Seniors often are prescribed multiple medications for different ailments, and knowing which medicines to take when can become confusing and difficult for seniors and caregivers alike. The Family Caregiving Alliance addresses medication problems in their Guide to Medications and Aging, and includes helpful tips for for some common dillemnas. :: more
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