FROM Karen Harned
Walmart, the Minimum Wage and the Working Poor Last week, Walmart stunned the world of retail by announcing that it will give half-million low-wage workers a raise in April to $9 an hour, with the promise of $10 an hour by February of next year. Low pay has created image problems for America's biggest private employer, while reduced unemployment means new competition for workers. But even $10 is hardly enough to support a family, and labor advocates are pushing for $15. As some cities and states increase the minimum wage, we hear what life is like at the lowest end of the pay scale.
Do Pregnant Women Suffer Workplace Discrimination? Women are nearly half America's work force, and three quarters will be pregnant at least once during their working lives. When UPS driver Peggy Young became pregnant, her doctor told her not to lift packages weighing more than 20 pounds. But UPS refused to accommodate her. She had to take unpaid leave, lost her medical coverage — and sued for damages. Lower courts have disagreed about the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act , and today the US Supreme Court agreed to decide if pregnant workers are entitled to special accommodations — just like employees who are injured on the job. Many companies — small and large — call that an expensive burden that discourages the hiring of women. Women's groups, evangelical Christians and the Obama Administration call it a violation of equal rights. We hear about today's arguments.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?