Working From Home And Worker Bargaining Power

A good deal of the narrative and debate over working from home focuses on workers—what do they get, why do they want it, how they are choosing it. But to work from home, someone has to pay you. Does telework signal a change in the power relationship between employers and employees?

Economist Teresa Ghilarducci told us in a recent Forbes blog that there are 10 indicators of workers’ bargaining power, and only 4 of them are up—quit rates, reservation wages, the unemployment rate, and the number of jobs per unemployed worker. But productivity and profits are rising faster than wages, the labor share of the nation’s wealth has fallen, and real income for workers also is down—all trends that favor employers over workers.

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Will Fired Unvaccinated Employees Get Their Jobs Back After SCOTUS Blocks Biden Mandate?

Employees who were terminated from their job because of their refusal to get vaccinated for COVID-19 aren’t guaranteed to get their jobs back just because the Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden’s vaccine or testing mandate.

The mandate, which required millions of employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing, sparked questions about the legality of terminating employees over their vaccination status. However, in the majority of the United States, businesses can terminate employees for not complying with company policies and that doesn’t necessarily change because of the Supreme Court’s decision.

Dorit Reiss, a University of California Hastings College of Law professor, told Newsweek that unless employees can claim religious discrimination or disability-based discrimination, employers are free to terminate employees for not being vaccinated. Employment in the United States is “at-will” so employers can implement whatever policies they want within the confines of the law and the default is that if employees don’t like the policy, they can find a new job.

Given that private employers can require employees to be vaccinated, Reiss said wrongful termination lawsuits are “unlikely to succeed.”

Dave Ramsey fired staffer for taking Covid precautions, lawsuit says

Radio personality Dave Ramsey allegedly fired one of his employees for taking Covid-19 precautions, such as wearing a mask at the office and requesting to work from home, according to new lawsuit claiming religious discrimination.

Ramsey, an evangelical Christian who owns financial advice company Ramsey Solutions, allegedly led a “cult-like” work environment where Covid-19 wasn’t taken seriously, while fear of working in the office due to the virus was branded “weakness of spirit” and staffers who wore masks to meetings were “mocked,” according to the complaint. 

The lawsuit was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court of Tennessee by former employee Brad Amos, 45, against Ramsey and the Lampo Group LLC, also known as Ramsey Solutions.

Amos was hired in 2019 as a senior video editor for Ramsey’s company and moved from Los Angeles, California, to Williamson County, Tennessee, to be close to the Ramsey Solutions headquarters, near Nashville.

He says he was terminated in July 2020, after repeatedly telling his supervisors he wanted to work from home and taking Covid safety precautions.

He is accusing Ramsey Solutions of religious discrimination and retaliatory discharge, claiming he was terminated because he refused to adhere to the company’s particular religious beliefs and refused to abandon his own on Covid, the lawsuit states. His Christian beliefs require him to protect his family’s health and safety, the lawsuit said.

Despite receiving initial praise and recognition for his video editing work in the start of his job, things took a turn once the pandemic gripped the nation, the lawsuit contends. 

On March 15, 2020, Dave Ramsey emailed all employees informing them that there has been a confirmed case of Covid in the department where Amos worked, the lawsuit said.