The Washington State Supreme Court is considering whether the decades-long exclusion of farmworkers from overtime protections violates our state constitution


On October 24, 2019 Washington Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument This Week in Case Concerning Farm Worker Exclusion from Overtime Protection

The Washington Supreme Court  heard oral arguments Thursday morning in Olympia concerning Washington’s decades-old exclusion of farm workers from overtime protection, a legacy of the Jim Crow era. The decision could impact overtime pay for over 200,000 farm workers across Washington State. (Español)

In 2016, Columbia Legal Services along with private co-counsel, Marc Cote of Frank, Freed, Subit & Thomas, filed a class action lawsuit, Martinez-Cuevas v. DeRuyter Brothers Dairy, on behalf of workers who allege they were not provided with adequate meal and rest breaks and not paid for all time worked while milking cows at the dairy in Outlook, Washington. In August 2017, a Yakima County Superior Court judge approved a $600,000 settlement in the case for 281 dairy workers.The Washington State Dairy Federation and the Washington Farm Bureau requested and were granted leave to intervene, so they are now also parties in the case defending against the farmworkers’ challenge. The overtime exclusion claim was not resolved by the settlement and is now before the state’s highest court.

Since 1959, the Legislature has exempted the agricultural industry from the overtime requirement in Washington’s Minimum Wage Act – protections afforded to almost all other workers engaged in dangerous occupations. As detailed in one of the five supportive briefs by amici curiae, the state exemption was directly modeled on a federal exemption crafted during the Jim Crow era, when most farm workers in the south were Black and lacked political power. This racially-tinged exclusion was incorporated into Washington law and remains today, affecting Latinx farm workers who make up the vast majority of our agricultural workforce.

“The exclusion of agricultural workers from overtime pay violates the Washington State Constitution by giving special treatment to agricultural employers and discriminating against Latinx farm workers,” said Lori Isley, Deputy Director of Advocacy at Columbia Legal Services, who will be making the oral argument. “It’s time for Washington State to end this vestige of racial discrimination, which denies farm workers fair and equal treatment under the law.”
“Overtime laws are meant to protect workers from long hours that are harmful to their health. Employees in factories and other dangerous industries are protected under our state’s overtime law.

There is no reason to exclude farm workers from this vital health and safety protection,” said co-counsel Marc Cote.

Media Contacts   No photo description available.
Lori Isley, CLS Deputy Director of Advocacy
509-575-5593 EXT:217, lori.isley@columbialegal.org
Charlie McAteer, CLS Communications
917-696-1321, charlie.mcateer@columbialegal.org

columbialegal.org

Happy Halloween


Halloween

 Happy Halloween

The weather outside is frightful depending upon which state you live in. It is reported that snow is rolling through the low land Plains, Canada and the PNW Mountains though life in the low lands here is as per usual here in the 206 … windy and cold. In a complete surprise, reports are that #Halloween2019 will be sunny and cold! So make sure to dress appropriately and be on the safe side!
Halloween in the 206 is usually rainy.

just another rant …
I don’t know about you but dang, the #WANov5ballot was complex and took a little longer than usual to fill out because of the many positions, issues and the lack of information to ponder but, the fact that I couldn’t vote for Mayor or the City Council in my area due to how the lines are drawn is upsetting, not acceptable. I did refer to the #ProgressiveVotersGuide website for help! So, my point is, I hope everyone has taken the time to go over that #Nov5Ballot and checked the information on it with some much-needed research. I did NOT vote for R88 in this era of trump because I don’t know who or how companies will be monitored; who will face any consequences if this policy is on an honor system only and as Vets have been stating … They might or will be left out.

Politics! has seeped into every part of our lives since trump managed to gain the highest position in the land and not in a good way IMO. Whoever helped him and however he got there, it certainly isn’t what our founders envisioned. When the 2018Midterms showed that the country wanted needed checks and balances on this guy, things just got crazier. Now, we are in a Historic moment where not only has the trump impeachment inquiry vote taken in the House and will move forward we have an African American Woman currently in the position of 4th in the Democratic Primary Candidate choices. While all this is going on the Republican Nationalist Party has made a whole lot of folks uncomfortable, what with all the loony tune behavior, overt lies and racist comments by folks who claim they are qualified to be representing constituents… Tell me how that can be if you are engaging in fear of nonwhites? We all need to repeat daily, that are a nation of immigrants yet, being brown and or black appears to be enough to be considered suspect.

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

I do not want to go back to what sounds like the colonial days …it controlled the lives & the future of people of colour and now a group that took a hard right are saying they are Nationalists …their definition btw hasn’t been clarified by team trump after tossing it out into the airwaves.

Q: Are they determined to repeal equity in all its forms …
We are a nation of immigrants, yet it seems like there is a stark difference between which immigrants, asylum seekers or refugees that are more acceptable … You heard the rhetoric, we must move forward to stay in the present so discrimination in all its forms fails.

~ Nativegrl77

 

 

 

Separation of Powers ~ Constitution


Based on their experiences, the framers shied away from giving any branch of the new government too much power.

The separation of powers provides a system of shared power known as Checks and Balances.

Three branches are created in the Constitution.

The United States Constitution is deliberately inefficient.

The Separation of Powers devised by the framers of the Constitution was designed to do one primary thing: to prevent the majority from ruling with an iron fist. Based on their experience, the framers shied away from giving any branch of the new government too much power. The separation of powers provides a system of shared power known as Checks and Balances.

Three branches are created in the Constitution. The Legislative, composed of the House and Senate, is set up in Article 1.

The Executive, composed of the President, Vice-President, and the Departments, is set up in Article 2.

The Judicial, composed of the federal courts and the Supreme Court, is set up in Article 3.

Each of these branches has certain powers, and each of these powers is limited, or checked, by another branch.

For example, the President appoints judges and departmental secretaries. But these appointments must be approved by the Senate. The Congress can pass a law, but the President can veto it. The Supreme Court can rule a law to be unconstitutional, but the Congress, with the States, can amend the Constitution.

All of these checks and balances, however, are inefficient. But that’s by design rather than by accident. By forcing the various branches to be accountable to the others, no one branch can usurp enough power to become dominant.

The following are the powers of the Executive: veto power over all bills; appointment of judges and other officials; makes treaties; ensures all laws are carried out; commander in chief of the military; pardon power. The checks can be found on the Checks and Balances Page.

The following are the powers of the Legislature: Passes all federal laws; establishes all lower federal courts; can override a Presidential veto; can impeach the President. The checks can be found on the Checks and Balances Page.

The following are the powers of the Judiciary: the power to try federal cases and interpret the laws of the nation in those cases; the power to declare any law or executive act unconstitutional. The checks can be found on the Checks and Balances Page.

Historical Examples

Historically, the concept of Separation of Powers dates back as far as ancient Greece. The concepts were refined by contemporaries of the Framers, and those refinements influenced the establishment of the three branches in the Constitution.

Aristotle favored a mixed government composed of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, seeing none as ideal, but a mix of the three useful by combining the best aspects of each. In his 1656 Oceana, James Harrington brought these ideas up-to-date and proposed systems based on the separation of power. John Locke, in his 1690 Civil Government, second treatise, separated the powers into an executive and a legislature. Montesquieu’s 1748 Spirit of the Laws expanded on Locke, adding a judiciary. The framers of the Constitution took all of these ideas and converted the theories into practical applications.

When discussing Separation of Power, is it helpful to contrast the American System to the governments of other nations. This list below is far from a representative sample of nations or systems. The United States, Britain, France, Canada, and Mexico are actually more similar than they are different, especially when the whole range of nations is taken into account. However, sometimes the smaller differences between similar systems can be interesting and illustrative. It is left to the reader to conduct studies of more disparate systems.

Conclusions

Is the American system superior to any of these, or to any other, system of government? That depends on where you sit. The French and the British might scoff at the fact that our head of state, the President, has no power to make laws. They might cringe at the thought that judges can render the will of the people, in the form of a duly passed law, null and void. Canadians might think that state powers ought to be enumerated; Mexicans might marvel at the longevity of some career American politicians.

Americans might look with amusement at the institution of the British monarchy, and its continued hold, if only on paper, on Canada. Americans might cringe at the British thought of majority rule with no written constitution to be used as a guide or rule book. We might worry that the French Presidency has the potential to turn tyrannical by the misuse of emergency powers. We might worry that a Mexican judiciary, without lifetime tenure or a solid stare decisis system might lead to incoherent judicial policy.

But recall that each of these nations, and the hundred others in this world, have political and social traditions that sometimes date back a thousand years. Despite what Americans might think are odd institutions and traditions in France, Britain, Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere, these are all prosperous nations. The systems work in the context of each nation, even if the details could not work in some others.

Primary sources for this topic page are Comparative Politics by Gregory Mahler (Schenkman Publishing, 1983) and Comparative Politics by Gregory Mahler (Prentice Hall, 2000). Individual pages from Wikipedia and Canada in the Making were also helpful in keeping this page up to date.

1945 – The U.S. government announced the end of shoe rationing.


Posted by Gerry le Roux in Special days

on 30 October 1945 – a happy day for shoe lovers! – the rationing was lifted. Men were again able to buy as many pairs of work boots as they liked. Shoe addicts were no longer bound by the painful limit of three pairs of new must-have’s a year. Children could get all the shoes they needed to accommodate their growing feet. And athletes could burn through as many pairs of sneakers as they wanted.

I for one would have easily been able to carry on as normal during the great WWII shoe rationing – shoes are practical things, after all, and surely don’t need replacing until they fall apart, do they? And, in most cases, they’re not even good for you – as I’ve mentioned before, you’re definitely better off going barefoot when possible. So the whole shoe addiction thing is a bit of a mystery to me.

Resource: sciencelens.co.nz