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Pro-Labor Bill in WA, Anti-Union Bill in GA & More

February 21, 2024 (2 min read)

WA House Passes Bill to Give Striking Workers Unemployment Benefits

Washington’s House passed a bill (HB 1893) that would allow striking workers to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Sen. Karen Keiser (D), chief sponsor of companion legislation in her chamber (SB 5777), said she expects that measure to reach the Senate floor, although she said she needed to review amendments made to the House version more closely. A spokesman for Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) office said the governor supports the legislation. California lawmakers passed a similar bill (SB 799 [2023]) last year, but it was vetoed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) out of concern the state couldn’t afford it. (WASHINGTON STATE STANDARD, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

GA Senate Passes Bill to Restrict Unionization

Georgia’s Senate passed a bill (SB 362) that would stop businesses from receiving state incentives if they recognize a labor union without a vote of their workers on whether to unionize first. The measure would also require such a vote to be by secret ballot. (GEORGIA PUBLIC BROADCASTING, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

SC House Passes Paid Family Leave Insurance Bill

South Carolina’s House passed a bill (HB 4832) that would allow but not require paid leave insurance policies to cover at least two weeks of paid time off for workers who need to take care of family members. The measure would also subject life and disability insurers who write the policies to a 1.25% tax on the total premiums they write. The bill comes two years after lawmakers approved six weeks of paid family leave for state workers and one year after they provided similar paid leave to teachers and other school employees. (INSURANCE JOURNAL, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

Amazon Argues NLRB Unconstitutional

Amazon argued in a legal filing that the structure of the National Labor Relations Board “violates the separation of powers” set forth by the U.S. Constitution by “impeding the executive power provided for in Article II.” The company also argued that the NLRB and its actions violated Articles I and III of the Constitution, as well as the Fifth and Seventh Amendments, in the latter case because the board can pursue legal actions beyond what is permitted without a jury trial. Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX and Trader Joe’s have made similar arguments recently. (NEW YORK TIMES)

Disneyland Performers Looking to Unionize

The employees at Disneyland Resort in California who are responsible for bringing Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and the other beloved Disney characters to life are seeking to unionize to address issues with costuming and scheduling, among other things. Most of the over 35,000 workers at the resort already have union representation, but the roughly 1,700 character actors, parade performers and support staff don’t. After a decades-long decline in the United States, labor appears to be making a comeback, as demonstrated by recent high-profile union victories for Hollywood actors and writers, as well as Las Vegas hotel workers. The National Labor Relations Board reported over 2,500 filings for union representation in the 2023 fiscal year, the most in eight years. (INSURANCE JOURNAL)

—Compiled by SNCJ Managing Editor KOREY CLARK

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