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Why You Might Not Be Returning to the Office Until Next Year

Postponing gives the workers who are responding to new requirements sufficient time to become fully vaccinated. And it gives companies more time to set up the logistics that accompany vaccination mandates, such as processes for tracking vaccination status and, soon, who has received a booster.“Within a company, a C.E.O. can say: ‘Our company, our culture, our business. We need to be together, we need to be in the office, this is the date,’” said Mary Kay O’Neill, a senior health consultant at Mercer Consulting Group. “And then our friends in H.R. are like, ‘How are …

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California Bill Could Alter Amazon Labor Practices

Among the pandemic’s biggest economic winners is Amazon, which nearly doubled its annual profit last year to $21 billion and is on pace to far exceed that total this year.The profits flowed from the millions of Americans who value the convenience of quick home delivery, but critics complain that the arrangement comes at a large cost to workers, whom they say the company pushes to physical extremes.That labor model could begin to change under a California bill that would require warehouse employers like Amazon to disclose productivity quotas for workers, whose progress they often track using algorithms. .“The …

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When Heat Waves, Wildfires and Drought Grip Oregon and Washington

In early summer, a day laborer laying irrigation lines at a plant nursery just south of Portland, Ore., collapsed to the ground and died. His official cause of death was declared “heat related.”It was 104 degrees out — several days into a brutal heat wave whose like has become increasingly commonplace in many parts of the country. Mussels and clams baked in their shells along the Washington coast. Record temperatures and fierce winds fueled one of the largest wildfires in the United States.Drought, megafires and heat waves are descending on the Pacific Northwest as the effects of climate change alter …

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Alibaba Faces Reckoning Over Harassment

At an employee dinner, women were told to rank the attractiveness of the men at the table. During a team-building exercise, a woman was pressured to straddle her male co-worker in front of colleagues. Top executives traded lewd comments about male virility at company events and online.The e-commerce giant Alibaba, one of China’s most globalized internet companies, has often celebrated the number of women in its senior ranks. In 2018, the company’s billionaire co-founder, Jack Ma, told a conference in Geneva that one secret to Alibaba’s success was that 49 percent of employees were women.But that message …

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Delta’s Extra $200 Insurance Fee Shows Vaccine Dilemma for Employers

At Delta, the surcharge is one of several new requirements for unvaccinated workers. Starting immediately, those employees will have to wear masks indoors. In about two weeks, they will be subjected to weekly coronavirus tests. Then, on Sept. 30, unvaccinated employees will lose protections intended to cover pay for work missed while having to quarantine.The airline, which is based in Atlanta, its biggest hub, has a lot of employees in a state with a relatively low vaccination rate. Just over half of Georgia’s adult population is fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. …

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Flight Attendants’ Hellish Summer: ‘I Don’t Even Feel Like a Human’

But while airlines are eager to capitalize on the demand, many appear to lack the staffing to keep up.Bureau of Transportation Statistics data show that the number of full-time-equivalent employees at U.S. scheduled passenger airlines was nearly 14 percent lower in June 2021 than in March 2020. Tens of thousands of flight attendants took leave during the pandemic, the A.F.A. union said. American Airlines said about 3,300 flight attendants have yet to return from leave.“So many people were let go so quickly on extended leave of absence, early retirement, that they’re struggling to meet the travel demand,” said …

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They Don’t Want the Shot. They Don’t Want Colleagues to Know.

“We’ve taken the stance that we’re not going to ask employees to get vaccinated because of the sheer multiple who don’t want to get vaccinated,” said Mr. Lucanera, who is vaccinated. “If we demand for a lot of them to get vaccinated to come back to work, we are afraid they’re not going to come back.”But as Covid cases have escalated, some of his unvaccinated workers have gotten sick. To cover their shifts, he has had to pay others overtime, which has been a drain on the company’s bottom line. Recently, he turned down …

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Amazon Faces Wider Fight Over Labor Practices

Perhaps the most prominent voice in this discussion is the more than one-million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which approved a resolution at its convention in June committing the union to “supply all resources necessary” to organize workers at the company and help them win a union contract.The Teamsters argue that holding union votes at individual work sites is typically futile at a company like Amazon, because labor law allows employers to wage aggressive anti-union campaigns, and because high turnover means union supporters often leave the company before they have a chance to vote.Instead, the Teamsters favor a combination …

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Blizzard President J. Allen Brack Steps Down After Workplace Protests

Activision Blizzard, the video game maker, said on Tuesday that the president of its Blizzard Entertainment studio was stepping down, a week after workers staged a walkout over allegations of harassment and discrimination.Activision, known for Call of Duty and other popular gaming franchises, has been under intense pressure over the last couple of weeks following a lawsuit filed on July 20 in which California accused the company of fostering a “frat boy workplace culture” in which men joked about rape and women were routinely harassed and paid less than their male colleagues.The departing executive, J. Allen Brack, will be …

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Nooses, Anger and No Answers: Inside the Uproar Over a Future Amazon Site

Representatives for Amazon and the other companies involved say they have done everything they can, delaying construction twice, adding security and cameras at the site and putting up $100,000 in award money for anyone who can provide information about the nooses. Those are unusual steps, particularly for Amazon, which often avoids getting caught up in local affairs. The companies also say their power is somewhat limited, because there are dozens of subcontractors that have a hand in the project and are not under their direct control.Adding to the turmoil is disagreement about even some of the most basic facts of …

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