Author Archives: Scott Michelman

In odd twist on minimum wage fight, union fights to pay union workers… less?

Unions have successfully pushed counterintuitive carve-outs to minimum wage hikes in California permitting employers to pay union workers less than other workers. Union leaders say they are trying to make unionization more attractive to employers. But union members aren't pleased. The L.A. Times explains.

NCLC and ACLU sue Dep’t of Education for student-debt collection data

Last week, the National Consumer Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union sued to enforce a FOIA request to the U.S. Department of Education seeking information on the Department's policies concerning collections on student loan debt. As the press release explains, the groups are concerned about differential treatment of student borrowers of color and […]

Blankenship sentenced to one year in prison for mine safety violations

We've mentioned before the case of Don Blankenship, the former head of Massey Energy whom a jury convicted of conspiracy to violate federal mine safety standards in connection with the Upper Big Branch disaster that killed 29 workers. Today a federal judge sentenced Blankenship to one year in prison. It's not as much as you might expect given […]

Obamacare hasn’t uprooted employers’ health coverage for their workers

One of the doomsday scenarios about the ACA was that it would prompt employers to stop covering their workers' health insurance and force them to fend for themselves. That threat hasn't materialized, reports the New York Times. Instead, "health care remains an important recruitment and retention tool as the labor market has tightened in recent […]

DOJ resumes controvesial program regarding forfeiture of innocent people’s assets

Asset forfeiture is the controversial practice of taking people's stuff when they may be involved in criminal activity. Why is the program controversial? Because sometimes the government seizes the assets of people who are innocent and it's very difficult to get it back. Compounding the problem is a racial disparity in whose stuff gets taken. […]

Education Dep’t rehires debt collectors fired for misleading consumers

As UPI reports: Coast Professional and National Recoveries were among the five private collection agencies terminated in February 2015 after they made "materially inaccurate representations" to borrowers in default, the Education Department said. But in the final few months of 2015, Coast Professional was given an additional $863.5 million worth of student loans, and National […]