Author Archives: afscme

His and Her Earnings Following Parenthood in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom

Source: Kelly Musick, Megan Doherty Bea, Pilar Gonalons-Pons, American Sociological Review, Volume: 85 issue: 4, August 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
This article advances a couple-level framework to examine how parenthood shapes within-family gender inequality by education in three countries that vary in their normative and policy context: the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We trace mothers’ share of couple earnings and variation by her education in the 10-year window around first birth, using long-running harmonized panel surveys from the 1990s and 2000s (N = 4,117 couples and 28,488 couple-years) and an event study methodology that leverages within-couple variation in earnings pre- and post-birth. Our results show steep declines in her share of couple earnings following first birth across the three countries that persist over several years of follow-up. Declines are smallest in the United States, due to U.S. mothers’ higher employment and longer work hours. Declines are also smaller among female partners without a college degree in the United States, where mothers have less work-family support and fewer options to manage work and family on one income. Results shed light on how parenthood plays into gender inequality within couples, and how country context shapes couple dynamics and inequality across households.

2020 Progress Update: Me Too Workplace Reforms

Source: Andrea Johnson, Ramya Sekaran, Sasha Gombar, National Women’s Law Center, September 2020

This report provides an overview of the state legislative progress that has been made in advancing workplace harassment reforms since #MeToo went viral. It also highlights some of the stories of how survivors have led the push for these important reforms.

This new report finds that we are closing in on workplace harassment law reform in #20Statesby2020, with a remarkable 19 states enacting new workplace protections since #MeToo went viral in October 2017. The report also finds, however, that states have been slow to adopt some of the reforms that promise to make the biggest difference for those most marginalized by harassment and for preventing harassment.

Some major trends include:
• 15 states limited or prohibited employers from requiring employees to sign nondisclosure agreements as a condition of employment or as part of a settlement agreement.
• 11 states and New York City implemented or strengthened anti-harassment training requirements for certain employers.
• 7 states enacted measures to require or encourage employer anti-harassment policies.
• 7 states limited employers’ use of forced arbitration, though several of these laws are being challenged in court.
• 6 states expanded workplace harassment protections to include independent contractors, interns, and/or volunteers for the first time.
• 5 states and New York City extended their statute of limitations for filing a harassment or discrimination claim.

National data release sheds light on past polling place changes

Source: Carrie Levine, Pratheek Rebala, Matt Vasilogambros, Center for Public Integrity and Stateline, September 29, 2020

The first installment of a new national data release that will help journalists and researchers analyze polling place accessibility was released Tuesday as part of an investigative series, Barriers to the Ballot Box, from The Center for Public Integrity and Stateline. The data, posted to Github, includes polling place locations and addresses for 30 states for the 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 general elections, and is aimed at aiding reporting and research on the impact that polling place closures and changes could have on the 2020 election. Data for additional states will be added in the coming weeks.

Polling place reductions and changes can lower turnout by creating confusion and barriers for voters, potentially disenfranchising them. There is no national public dataset of polling place locations and addresses for past federal elections.

…The polling place location information, now in a usable data format, standardized and available to the public, can be used to track the movement and consolidation of polling places. Combined with other data, such as voter file data, it can shed new light on which voters were affected by the changes. …

…U.S. elections are administered by thousands of separate jurisdictions. Every state has different laws and deadlines governing voting, which can include unique requirements for polling places. Local authorities typically choose them based on a variety of factors.

Public Integrity and Stateline filed and tracked roughly 1,200 records requests to assemble the polling place location data.

In 12 states — Alabama, California, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming — data had to be obtained county by county for at least one of those elections….

Should public safety shift workers be allowed to nap while on duty?

Source: P. Daniel Patterson, Matthew D. Weaver, Francis X. Guyette, Christian Martin‐Gill, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Vol. 63, No. 10, October 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Fatigue and sleep deficiency among public safety personnel are threats to wellness, public and personal safety, and workforce retention. Napping strategies may reduce work‐related fatigue, improve safety and health, yet in some public safety organizations it is discouraged or prohibited. Our aim with this commentary is to define intra‐shift napping, summarize arguments for and against it, and to outline potential applications of this important fatigue mitigation strategy supported by evidence. We focus our discussion on emergency medical services (EMS); a key component of the public safety system, which is comprised of police, fire, and EMS. The personnel who work in EMS stand to benefit from intra‐shift napping due to frequent use of extended duration shifts, a high prevalence of personnel working multiple jobs, and evidence showing that greater than half of EMS personnel report severe fatigue, poor sleep quality, inadequate inter‐shift recovery, and excessive daytime sleepiness. The benefits of intra‐shift napping include decreased sleepiness and fatigue, improved recovery between shifts, decreased anxiety, and reduced feelings of burnout. Intra‐shift napping also mitigates alterations in clinician blood pressure associated with disturbed sleep and shift work. The negative consequences of napping include negative public perception, acute performance deficits stemming from sleep inertia, and the potential costs associated with reduced performance. While there are valid arguments against intra‐shift napping, we believe that the available scientific evidence favors it as a key component of fatigue mitigation and workplace wellness. We further believe that these arguments extend beyond EMS to all sectors of public safety.

Uninvestigated fatal workplace injuries in the United States

Source: Bethany Boggess, Lisa Pompeii, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, Version of Record online: September 7, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Approximately 5000 people are killed by an injury at work every year, but the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) only investigates 25%–35% of these deaths. The aim of this study was to identify industry, geographic, and worker demographic disparities in the proportion of fatal workplace injuries that are investigated by OSHA.

This cross‐sectional analysis drew from 2 years of public data (2014–2015) from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and investigation data from OSHA. Differences by worker age and sex, geographic region, industry, and State Plan‐ versus Federal Plan‐state were examined.

Nationally, OSHA investigated about one in four (27.5%) of the 9657 fatal workplace injuries that occurred. Higher odds of uninvestigated fatalities were observed for female workers compared to male workers (odds ratio, 2.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.89, 2.93), for workers over age 65 compared to those aged 18–24 (3.05; 2.44, 3.82), for worker deaths occurring in State Plan states compared to Federal Plan states (1.64; 1.49, 1.79), among other differences.

Although some of the disparities could be explained by OSHA jurisdiction restrictions, other areas of potential reform were identified, such as investigating a greater number of workplace violence deaths and increasing focus in industries with a low proportion of investigations but a high number of fatalities, such as transportation and warehousing. Consideration should be given to adapt policies, expand OSHA jurisdiction, and to increase OSHA resources for conducting both fatality investigations and proactive investigations that can identify and abate hazards before a worker is injured.

Envisioning the future of work to safeguard the safety, health, and well‐being of the workforce: A perspective from the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Source: Sara L. Tamers, Jessica Streit, Rene Pana‐Cryan, Tapas Ray, Laura Syron, Michael A. Flynn, Dawn Castillo, Gary Roth, Charles Geraci, Rebecca Guerin, Paul Schulte, Scott Henn, Chia‐Chia Chang, Sarah Felknor, John Howard, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Early View, Version of Record online: September 14, 2020

From the abstract:
The future of work embodies changes to the workplace, work, and workforce, which require additional occupational safety and health (OSH) stakeholder attention. Examples include workplace developments in organizational design, technological job displacement, and work arrangements; work advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and technologies; and workforce changes in demographics, economic security, and skills. This paper presents the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Future of Work Initiative; suggests an integrated approach to address worker safety, health, and well‐being; introduces priority topics and subtopics that confer a framework for upcoming future of work research directions and resultant practical applications; and discusses preliminary next steps. All future of work issues impact one another. Future of work transformations are contingent upon each of the standalone factors discussed in this paper and their combined effects. Occupational safety and health stakeholders are becoming more aware of the significance and necessity of these factors for the workplace, work, and workforce to flourish, merely survive, or disappear altogether as the future evolves. The future of work offers numerous opportunities, while also presenting critical but not clearly understood difficulties, exposures, and hazards. It is the responsibility of OSH researchers and other partners to understand the implications of future of work scenarios to translate effective interventions into practice for employers safeguarding the safety, health, and well‐being of their workers.

Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018

Source: Carter C. Price, Kathryn A. Edwards, RAND Corporation, Document Number: WR-A516-1, 2020

From the abstract:
The three decades following the Second World War saw a period of economic growth that was shared across the income distribution, but inequality in taxable income has increased substantially over the last four decades. This work seeks to quantify the scale of income gap created by rising inequality compared to a counterfactual in which growth was shared more broadly. We introduce a time-period agnostic and income-level agnostic measure of inequality that relates income growth to economic growth. This new metric can be applied over long stretches of time, applied to subgroups of interest, and easily calculated. We document the cumulative effect of four decades of income growth below the growth of per capita gross national income and estimate that aggregate income for the population below the 90th percentile over this time period would have been $2.5 trillion (67 percent) higher in 2018 had income growth since 1975 remained as equitable as it was in the first two post-War decades. From 1975 to 2018, the difference between the aggregate taxable income for those below the 90th percentile and the equitable growth counterfactual totals $47 trillion. We further explore trends in inequality by applying this metric within and across business cycles from 1975 to 2018 and also by demographic group.

Occupational Heat Stress and Practical Cooling Solutions for Healthcare and Industry Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Source: Josh Foster, Simon G Hodder, James Goodwin, George Havenith, Annals of Work Exposures and Health, Advance Articles, Published: September 21, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Treatment and management of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, which causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), requires increased adoption of personal protective equipment (PPE) to be worn by workers in healthcare and industry. In warm occupational settings, the added burden of PPE threatens worker health and productivity, a major lesson learned during the West-African Ebola outbreak which ultimately constrained disease control. In this paper, we comment on the link between COVID-19 PPE and occupational heat strain, cooling solutions available to mitigate occupational heat stress, and practical considerations surrounding their effectiveness and feasibility. While the choice of cooling solution depends on the context of the work and what is practical, mitigating occupational heat stress benefits workers in the healthcare and industrial sectors during the COVID-19 disease outbreak.

In Union, There is Strength: How Our Union Benefits Our Nonprofit’s Mission

Source: Juli Adhikari, Thomas Waldrop and Malkie Wall, Nonprofit Quarterly, September 22, 2020

…As nonprofit workers at a policy thinktank, we realize we are relatively shielded from some of the worst conditions that others face. And yet young workers like us, and especially those of us who are workers of color, face considerable market vulnerability. Without a union, many in our sector face long hours for low wages under the burden of sky-high rents and student loans. …

…So, what to take from our experience? If you are a staff member at a nonprofit, we encourage you to consider the benefits of organizing. In the past month alone, nonprofit workers have formed new unions at the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, Feminist Majority Foundation, Scholars Strategy Network, New American Leaders, Innovation Law Lab, and The Hub Project. And just months ago, workers also unionized at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

And if you’re a nonprofit manager or board member, we encourage you to work with unions and workers as partners, not see unions as something to “avoid.” We are well aware that there is an entire union-busting industry out there. Certainly, it is possible for a nonprofit board to spend thousands or even tens of thousands of donor dollars on lawyers who will tell you to not voluntarily recognize the union and instead insist on a prolonged election process, and advise you on how to postpone the election date, reduce the number of people in the union, and even how to intimidate workers to vote against the union when an election is held. A nonprofit board and management can do this—but not without doing grievous harm against their social justice missions….

Study Finds Productivity Not Deterred by Shift to Remote Work

Source: Roy Maurer, HR News, September 16, 2020

Recent research shows that the skepticism many companies had about working from home may be eroding. Ninety-four percent of 800 employers surveyed by Mercer, an HR and workplace benefits consulting firm, said that productivity was the same as or higher than it was before the pandemic, even with their employees working remotely…. Looking ahead, 83 percent of respondents said that even after the health crisis has passed, they plan to put more flexible work policies in place, such as allowing more people to work from home or letting them adjust their schedules….