• An update Rhode Island’s new adult use cannabis law, which requires all retailers to have labor peace agreements. 
  • Updates from the Department of Labor including information on upcoming public forums regarding worker misclassification.
  • News around the nation and in your region.

** Like this newsletter? Make sure you and your colleagues are subscribed, sign up here to get on the list! **

Federal Legislative and Policy Updates

  • The Supreme Court ruled unanimously for workers in a ruling that says a company can lose its right to force arbitration if it waits to long. 
  • The General Services Administration (GSA) sent the White House for review a final rule to allow union organizers access to the employees of federal contractors on Federal Property controlled by GSA. 
  • JBS Foods received a slap on the wrist from OSHA for exposing workers at seven of its plants to the deadly coronavirus.  This is a few weeks after the House Oversight Committee released an extensive report detailing how Trump was manipulated by the meatpacking industry, in what UFCW President Perrone called, “a deliberate attempt to put industry profits ahead of the people just trying to make a living.”
  • The Department of Labor announced that it will hold two public forums to “hear diverse perspectives” from those effected by worker misclassification. These events are both virtual, one will be on June 24th for employers (register here) , the other will be on June 29th for workers (register here). 
  • The Economic Policy Institute released a study on income inequality, saying that it cost the U.S. economy more than $300 billion every year, dragging growth by more than 1.5% of GDP some years since 1979.

News From Around the Nation

  • Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee (D) signed a bill to make recreational cannabis use legal in the state of Rhode Island. The bill includes provisions ensuring that labor peace agreements will be required for all retail cannabis shops in the state. The bill also provides for automatic expungement of past criminal records associated with low level marijuana offenses.
  • A Starbucks store in Ithaca, New York closed after workers there formed a union and staged a one-day strike.  The company has said the decision to close the store was unrelated to the unionization effort.
  • The Republican controlled North Carolina Senate voted in favor of a medical cannabis bill. The bill is narrow and does not include chronic pain as a justification for prescribing cannabis, nor does it include labor protections or social justice provisions. It is unclear whether the bill can advance this session.
  • In Arkansas, Chris Jones makes history as the first black nominee for Governor from either party.  Jones is a nuclear engineer, holds a Ph.D. in urban planning, is an ordained minister, and led the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. 
  • The Seattle City Council unanimously passed the “Pay Up” bill, increasing wage and mileage requirements for on-demand gig workers. The bill’s intent is to ensure that all gig workers are being paid the Seattle City minimum wage of at $17.27 an hour.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a law that would ban employee noncompete agreements for workers not deemed highly compensated.  The measure, HB22-1317 would put Colorado among states with the strict bans on noncompetes for low-wage workers.
  • The Arizona Republican Party, urged a judge Friday to invalidate Arizona’s overwhelmingly popular system of mail-in voting, a process used by about 90% of voters. They argued that voting by mail is inconsistent with the Arizona Constitution’s requirement for a secret ballot.