|As Hurricane Florence bore down on the Carolinas and super Typhoon Mangkhut devastated the Philippines and parts of China, the streets of San Francisco were also flooded last week by tens of thousands of people demanding greater, more urgent action to address the global climate crisis.Led by the native Coastal Miwok and Ohlone peoples of the Bay Area and indigenous peoples from around the world, over 30,000 demonstrators filled Market Street in the largest West Coast mobilization for climate justice ever. The “Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice” march in San Francisco was one of over 900 actions in 95 countries calling on governments and institutions to leave fossil fuels in the ground and commit to 100% renewable energy.Amazon Watch made sure that a delegation of the Kichwa indigenous peoples from Sarayaku was also there. They made the long journey from deep inside the Ecuadorian Amazon to share their solution to the climate crisis, their Kawsak Sacha, or Living Forest Proposal, which they publicly launched in Ecuador this summer. This visionary proposal would create a new international category for the permanent protection of native land, free of natural resource extraction and based upon the interconnected relationship between indigenous peoples and all the living beings within their their forests and waters.|
Congress passes the Judiciary Act of 1789, establishing a strong federal court system with the powers it needs to ensure the supremacy of the Constitution and federal law. The new Supreme Court will have a chief justice and five associate justices.
But right here in Washington state, there’s a loophole that lets companies get out of paying overtime — no matter how many hours you work. They simply have to pay you a salary and claim the nature of your job makes you “exempt” from overtime… and then they don’t have to pay you an extra dime if you work more than 40 hours in a week.
Technically there are rules about what kind of jobs can be exempt, but usually your employer is the one who tells you whether you get overtime or not. If you think they’re wrong, you maybe could file a claim over that classification. But unless you have a lawyer on retainer, in the day to day reality of the workplace, your employer gets to decide.
The good news: the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is working on new rules that could finally close the overtime loophole for hundreds of thousands of salaried workers.
We’re asking the state to require that any worker who’s paid less than three times the minimum wage (about $75,000 a year) gets time-and-a-half if they work more than 40 hours a week — regardless of whether or not they’re hourly or salaried, and no matter what fancy title their boss gives them.
It may seem weird to think of a salaried worker getting overtime pay, but as recently as the 1970s, more than 60% of salaried workers got time-and-a-half when they worked overtime. Now just 7% of salaried workers do — and it’s not because people are working less.
Workers won the 40-hour workweek a long time ago. It should be the standard, not the exception. Some jobs may require long hours, but if an employer expects someone to work more than 40 hours a week, they should be expected to pay accordingly.Workers are human beings, and our time counts, too.