How Toothless Are Laws Protecting Workers?

Greg Boles
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Partner at The Boles Firm | Experience Matters
How poor are the protections workers have in the U.S.? This amazing post from Crooked Timber provides a good summary. "On pain of being fired, workers in most parts of the United States can be commanded to pee or forbidden to pee. They can be watched on camera by their boss while they pee. They can be forbidden to wear what they wantsay what they want (and at what decibel), and associate with whom they want. They can be punished for doing or not doing any of these things-punished legally or illegally (as many as 1 in 17 workers who try to join a union is illegally fired or suspended). But what’s remarkable is just how many of these punishments are legal, and even when they’re illegal, how toothless the law can be. Outside the usual protections (against race and gender discrimination, for example), employees can be fired for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all. They can be fired for donating a kidney to their boss (fired by the same boss, that is), refusing to have their person and effects searchedcalling the boss a “cheapskate” in a personal letter, and more."
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