Amanda Terkel at the Huffington Postreports that House Republicans in Maine have proposed legislation to loosen protective child labor laws. The proposed bill, LD 1346, would reduce the minimum wage for anyone under the age of 20 from $7.20 per hour to $5.25 per hour for the first 180 days of work while, for students, the law “eliminates the maximum number of hours a minor 16 years of age or older can work on a school day and allows a minor under the age of 16 to work up to four hours on a school day.” Essentially, Republicans are looking to reduce teens to a large pool of low-wage labor.
Today, the Supreme Court heard the largest gender-discrimination case in history. In Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the Court will decide whether a class-action suit brought by 1.5 million female employees of the retail giant will be allowed to proceed with their action – or whether, as Wal-Mart argues -- the class is too big.
Victoria Pynchon at Forbes has a great piece on the importance of social science in this case, noting that the argument against Wal-Mart contains seminal testimony from sociologist William T. Bielby:
An undated file photo of actress Elizabeth Taylor dressed in costume for her film The VIPs. (Press Association via AP Images)
When the actress Elizabeth Taylor died on Wednesday at the age of 79, headlines across the country remembered her for the qualities they obsessed over while she was alive: her looks. One of the last curvy females before our obsession with thinness took over Hollywood, Taylor had the title of most beautiful woman in the world as a young star. As she grew older, we remembered her looks while commenting on her aging appearance and fluctuating weight. So it was entirely appropriate that fake-news outlet The Onion announced her death by mocking the media's fixation with her appearance: "Georgeous 25-Year-Old Dead at 79."
Maine's new Tea Party governor, Paul LePage, is going after more than union workers' pensions and right-to-work legislation. He is going to remove a mural depicting the history of labor in Maine from the state's Labor Department building. The mural, which depicts local strikes and Rosie the Riveter, is one-sided, LePage claims. The artist has countered that it's not biased; it simply depicts historical events.