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EXTRA! for May 12, 2017

Stories of interest to working people

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By AFSCME Staff Media

Labor Department

Agency That Oversees Fiduciary Rule May Be Leaderless Until Fall
By Kristen Ricaurte Knebel, Pensions & Benefits Daily, May 11, 2017

Now that Alexander Acosta is in place as the Secretary of Labor, attention shifts to who will lead DOL’s sub agencies like the Employee Benefits Security Administration. There is some sense of urgency in getting an EBSA head in place, given that President Donald Trump asked the DOL to review the Obama-era fiduciary rule, which was drafted by EBSA, the sub agency tasked with regulating employee benefits. The rule, portions of which are set to become applicable on June 9, aims to reduce the allegedly conflicted investment advice given to retirement savers. 

Worker Pay

Wage Theft Is Costing Workers $50 Billion a Year in Stolen Pay
By Eli Horowitz, In These Times, May 11, 2017

Wage theft—any refusal to pay wages, benefits, tips or overtime—is epidemic in New York and the United States. Approximately $50 billion in wages are stolen every year from workers nationwide, according to a 2014 Economic Policy Institute (EPI) report. 

From the States

AZ: Mandatory paid sick leave for state employees
By Madison Kimbro, KYMA, May 11, 2017

Arizona will soon have mandatory paid sick leave for state employees. The law takes effect on July 1 and comes from proposition 206 that increased the minimum wage in Arizona. This affects nearly everyone in the state's workforce.= 

California governor's latest budget proposal doubles pension contribution to CalPERS
By Randy Diamond, Pensions & Investments, May 11, 2017

California Gov. Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown Jr. proposed a revised state budget Thursday that would double the state's contribution to CalPERS to $11.8 billion from $5.8 billion for the fiscal year starting July 1. 

MN: Dayton: I'll veto bill stopping cities from setting wages, sick time
By Brian Bakst, MPR News, May 11, 2017

Gov. Mark Dayton said Thursday he'll veto a bill to overturn municipal wage and benefit ordinances if it reaches his desk.  The so-called preemption legislation would bar Minnesota cities from setting their own paid sick leave requirements, minimum wages and other rules on private employers. 

MO: State worker pension changes advance in Missouri Legislature
By Kurt Erickson, St. Louis Today, May 12, 2017

State prison guards, social workers and other government employees won’t have to spend as much time on the state payroll to qualify for a pension under legislation approved in the Legislature Thursday. The proposal, which heads to Gov. Eric Greitens' desk, would allow workers to qualify for pensions at age 67 after working five years, rather than the current 10-year time frame.