Tag Archives: employees

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is suing over the law that prohibits companies from requiring customers and employees to give documentation of Covid vaccination

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is suing over the law that prohibits companies from requiring customers and employees to give documentation of Covid vaccination
(CNN) — Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is suing Florida’s surgeon general over the state’s law that prohibits companies from requiring customers and employees to provide documentation of Covid-19 vaccination status.

According to the complaint filed Tuesday, NCLH says the lawsuit is a “last resort” because Florida had indicated it would prevent the company from “safely and soundly resuming passenger cruise operations” next month. It described the state law as an “anomalous, misguided intrusion.”

CNN has reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment.

The NCLH complaint names Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees in his capacity as “the responsible state official.”

In April, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order banning the use of Covid-19 passports in the state. The order prohibited any government entity from issuing vaccine passports and blocks businesses from requiring any such documentation.
Senate Bill 2006 was signed into law on May 3, making that executive order official. “In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision,” DeSantis said.

The cruise line, though, wants documentation that all passengers and crew members have been fully vaccinated.

“The upshot places NCLH in an impossible dilemma as it prepares to set sail from Florida: NCLH will find itself either on the wrong side of health and safety and the operative federal legal framework, or else on the wrong side of Florida law,” the complaint says.

NCLH is set to resume cruises from Florida on August 15 “in a way that will be safe, sound, and consistent with governing law,” the complaint says, citing regulations set by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The risk of transmission of COVID-19 among the unvaccinated in the close quarters of cruise ships coupled with the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in preventing the spread of COVID19 and in reducing the deaths caused by COVID-19 makes transmission of information about COVID-19 vaccines a matter of life and death,” the complaint says.

NCLH is asking the court to suspend Florida’s prohibition, according to the lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

In May, NCLH CEO Frank Del Rio said Florida’s law could cause the company to move its ships elsewhere.

“At the end of the day, cruise ships have motors, propellers and rudders, and God forbid we can’t operate in the state of Florida for whatever reason, then there are other states that we do operate from, and we can operate from the Caribbean for a ship that otherwise would have gone to Florida,” he said during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

The CEO described the issue over the Covid regulations as a “classic state versus federal government issue.” He added, “Lawyers believe that federal law applies.”

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. operates three cruise lines: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

CNN’s Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.

Read more
This post originally posted here CNN.com – RSS Channel – HP Hero

'No one wants to work anymore': Oasis on Lake Travis needs employees

'No one wants to work anymore': Oasis on Lake Travis needs employees

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Friday, the extra $ 300 a week in federal unemployment assistance for the COVID-19 pandemic ends in Texas.

According to data from Indeed, in states where they have already ended that extra money, fewer people are searching for jobs compared to the rest of the nation. In states yet to end the benefits, people are searching for jobs at a higher rate.

Despite the concern, the Austin Chamber of Commerce reported Austin regained 97% of the jobs lost due to the pandemic last spring.

Leisure and hospitality industries added 4,800 jobs last month, which is nearly 74% of all jobs lost in that industry in March and April last year.

This data makes it tough for some restaurants who are searching for workers. The Oasis on Lake Travis, a popular Austin-area attraction, is saying “no one wants to work” there.

Outside the Oasis, you’ll find a sign that reads: “Thank you for coming. We are short staffed. Please be patient with the staff that did show up. No one wants to work anymore.”

The Oasis on Lake Travis now hiring (KXAN/Kaitlyn Karmout)
The Oasis on Lake Travis now hiring (KXAN/Kaitlyn Karmout)

“The entire public is ready to come back, and enjoy the summer as much as possible,” said Billy Enney, Oasis assistant general manager.

It’s a great, but frustrating struggle for Enney, who does the scheduling for staff at the Oasis.

“I’m more flexible than I’ve ever been before. We’re accepting part-time work, we’re accepting less than part-time work,” said Enney.

As a manager, he’s having to work in the kitchen and wait tables too to fill in those gaps. Enney said staffing is down by 30% for the summer peak hours. Generally the Oasis needs 200 employees to efficiently run during the summer. Right now they’re a little over 100.

“We’ve tried incentive programs, we’ve tried referral bonuses, we’ve raised the pay across the board,” said Enney.

In Austin, the Capital Area Workforce Solutions organization helps connect people to jobs. Leslie Puckett, a research director for the group, said unemployment in Austin is trending down.

“Some individuals are still hesitant to move into those face-to-face jobs,” said Puckett.

In May 2021, more than 30,000 new jobs were posted for the Austin metro area. 5,000 of those postings were for the tech industry, with roughly 3,000 being for retail.

The National Restaurant Association blames three things for the shortage of employees: People nervous about working in a close environment, switching from cooking and serving to driving for Door Dash or Uber Eats and unemployment benefits that often exceed the pay for some jobs.

“Everyone is different, and everyone has a different situation in life with their family and health,” said Puckett.

Enney is banking on the worker pool expanding as benefits run out.

“We’re pretty much always at 90% capacity for the first floor,” said Enney.

According to Capital Area Workforce Solutions, the Austin-area unemployment rate is 4.2%, which is about 54,000 jobless residents. That number is 2% higher than pre-pandemic, however, it’s still less than the national unemployment rate at 5.5% and the Texas unemployment rate at 5.9%.

Author: Kaitlyn Karmout
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Texas Senate gives initial approval to overhaul of pension plans for new state employees

Author: Shawn Mulcahy
This post originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed

Texas Senate gives initial approval to overhaul of pension plans for new state employees

The Xenoblade Chronicles Developer Monolith Soft Now Has 272 Employees

Pyra and Mythra as seen in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018)
Pyra and Mythra as seen in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (2018) (Image: Nintendo)

Apart from its recent work on the Mythra and Pyra reveal trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate earlier this year, we’ve not heard much from Xenoblade Chronicles developer Monolith Soft in recent times. We found out it was hiring for the Legend of Zelda series back in 2019 and there’s also been mention of a “new game” over the past year, but we still don’t really know what it’s up to.

Despite this, the Japanese studio has continued to increase its number of employees. In the latest update (via the official company website), it’s been revealed its headcount has gone from 261 employees in December last year to 272, as of this month. Nintendo Enthusiast shared a detailed breakdown of the company’s expansion:


  • (Released Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in December 2017)
  • December 2017 – 150 employees
  • April 2018 – 163 employees
  • August 2018 – 171 employees
  • (Released Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country in September 2018)
  • November 2018 – 184 employees
  • January 2019 – 193 employees
  • April 2019 – 209 employees
  • June 2019 – 215 employees
  • September 2019 – 224 employees
  • December 2019 – 236 employees
  • April 2020 – 248 employees
  • (Released Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition in May 2020)
  • August 2020 – 254 employees
  • December 2020 – 261 employees
  • April 2021 – 272 employees

Whatever it is Monolith Soft is working on – it’s likely to be just as big as its past projects. They might even be assisting with the upcoming sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Within this latest studio update, some additional data was shared – revealing 27.6% of company employees are female, 72.4% are men, while the average age is 36 years old.

What do you think we might see next from Monolith Soft? What would you like to see it work on? Leave your thoughts below.

This article originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Hillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says ‘our employees made the choice’

STORY OF THE DAY: Amazon came out victorious at the end of a two day vote counting session in the election to unionize the e-commerce giant’s facility in Bessemer, Ala. The closely watched election ended up breaking fairly heavily in Amazon’s favor:

ADVERTISEMENT

  • 1,798 of the 3,215 employees who sent in ballots to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) voted against unionization.
  • 738 workers voted to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).
  • The rest of the ballots were either contested or void.

CHALLENGES ARE EXPECTED: RWDSU President Stuart Applebaum said during a press conference after voting wrapped that it “was not a fair fight in any way.”

Michael Foster, a RWDSU member who was key in the Bessemer unionization drive, said that Amazon had succeeded in misleading workers at the plants but that the fight was not over.

“I don’t know how to do nothing but fight,” he told reporters.

Hillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice'

NEXT STEPS: The union has said it will file unfair labor practice charges and request that the NLRB set aside the result of the vote.

Expected challenges will focus on Amazon’s relentless anti-union messaging and the installation of a mailbox on warehouse property despite rules against onsite voting.

ANOTHER TRY: Applebaum said Friday that he believes a second election is “likely.” Emmit Ashford, a worker at the plant who voted “yes,” expressed confidence that the union would be able to pull out a win if that were the case.

ADVERTISEMENT

“This is just the spark that has started a fire across the United States,” Ashford said. “Our time will come around again, and next time we will win.”

WHAT IS AMAZON SAYING: Amazon is already pushing back on the expected challenge to the vote, maintaining that the company did not intimidate employees.

“It’s easy to predict the union will say that Amazon won this election because we intimidated employees, but that’s not true. Our employees heard far more anti-Amazon messages from the union, policymakers, and media outlets than they heard from us. And Amazon didn’t win—our employees made the choice to vote against joining a union,” the company said in a statement.

Will Stokes, an Amazon associate who voted against unionizing, said during a press conference organized by Amazon that workers are planning to discuss changes with management but he doesn’t think the union is necessary to accomplish those goals.

THE ANTI-UNION VIEW: “We just feel like we can do it without the union. Why pay the union to do what we can do ourselves,” he said.

The Amazon associates at the press conference also pushed back on criticism over Amazon adding the on-site mailbox during the election period.

“We feel like the mailbox was more of a convenience than anything. To my knowledge, and talking with other employees, no manager or anyone in senior management has tried to influence our vote. Our votes were our vote,” Stokes said.

J.C. Thompson, another associate speaking at the conference, said there were already conversations about installing the mailbox when the building first opened.

WASHINGTON’S VIEW: Several high-profile progressive Democrats (and Sen. Marco RubioHillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice'Marco Antonio RubioFour players lead Florida’s golden age of Republican dominance Senate Republicans voice opposition to Biden on Iran Republican battle with MLB intensifies MORE[6][7][8][9][10][5] [R-Fla.]) had come out in support of the unionization effort.

“The willingness of Amazon workers in Bessemer to take on the wealthiest man in the world and a powerful company in an anti-union state is an inspiration,” tweeted Sen. Bernie SandersHillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice'Bernie SandersOVERNIGHT ENERGY:  Intel community warns of fragile future shaped by pandemics, climate change | Haaland meets with Utah politicians, tribes as Biden weighs monument change | Biden admin could decide whether to wade into DAPL fight Twitter will not allow Trump account archive on platform McConnell looking for Democratic defections on .25 trillion infrastructure plan MORE[12][13][14][15][16][11] (I-Vt.), who visited the facility last month. “It takes an enormous amount of courage to stand up and fight back, and they should be applauded.”

NOW WHAT? Amazon’s success in beating back the unionization effort will likely only serve to heighten the scrutiny the company faces from Congress – both over its workplace policies and alleged monopoly power.

ADVERTISEMENT

Expect the PRO Act, a piece of legislation passed by the House last month aimed at protecting workers seeking to unionize, to gain more attention in the light of allegations about Amazon’s response to the union vote.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said that the result showed why the PRO Act is needed.

“Working people should not have to walk the gauntlet to form a union,” he said at the RWDSU event. “The Senate needs to step up and level the playing field, because it’s past time to return power to workers.”

Read our story on the vote here.[21]

ADVERTISEMENT

IN OTHER NEWS…

Hillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice'

SHOW CONGRESS THE MONEY: President Biden called for over $ 1.3 billion in cybersecurity funds as part of his proposed budget request sent to Congress on Friday, along with major investments in emerging technologies such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

The budget proposal was submitted in the wake of two of the largest cyber espionage attacks in U.S. history, including what has become known as the SolarWinds hack, which likely involved Russian hackers and compromised at least nine federal agencies and 100 private-sector groups.

In an effort to combat these rising threats, Biden requested a budget increase of $ 110 million for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), along with $ 20 million to establish a “cyber response and recovery fund” at the Department of Homeland Security.

“This funding would allow CISA to enhance its cybersecurity tools, hire highly qualified experts, and obtain support services to protect and defend Federal information technology systems,” reads Biden’s budget proposal, as submitted Friday to Congress by the Office of Management and Budget.

ADVERTISEMENT

Additionally, the budget proposal recommends $ 500 million for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) at the General Services Administration in order to strengthen federal cybersecurity and replace aging systems, and allocates $ 750 million for reserve funds to strengthen agency information security.

Read more about the proposed funding here.[22]

GOOGLE EMPLOYEES PETITION COMPANY: Google workers launched a petition Friday calling for the company to bar employees who have harassment claims against them from managing others. [23]

“No harasser should manage or lead a team — whether directly or indirectly — including dotted line reports or managing temps, vendors, or contractors,” the petition states.

The document, signed by more than 500 employees as of Friday afternoon, also calls for Google to force any employees with verified claims of harassment to change teams so that workers are not forced to work with their alleged harassers.

In response to the petition, a spokesperson for Google said the company is “deeply aware of the importance of this issue” and noted the company’s “significant improvements” on its process to investigate claims. The spokesperson’s statement, however, did not directly respond to the petition’s demands.

Read more about the petition[24]

Lighter click: Rest in peace[25]

An op-ed to chew on: The information superhighway must be affordable and accessible for all[26]

NOTABLE LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB: 

There’s another Facebook phone number database online (Vice Motherboard / Joseph Cox) [27]

Online scammers have a new offer for you: vaccine cards (The New York Times / Sheera Frenkel)[28]

Online testing firm agrees to security audit after inquiry from senator (CyberScoop / Sean Lyngaas) [29]

‘Bro Culture’ at Camera Maker Verkada Pushed Profits, Parties (Bloomberg / William Turton, Ryan Gallagher, Sarah McBride, and Brody Ford)[30]

References

  1. ^ HERE.  (www.email.thehill.com)
  2. ^ @magmill95 (twitter.com)
  3. ^ @chrisismills (twitter.com)
  4. ^ @rebeccaklar_ (twitter.com)
  5. ^ Marco Rubio (thehill.com)
  6. ^ Marco Antonio Rubio (thehill.com)
  7. ^ Four players lead Florida’s golden age of Republican dominance (thehill.com)
  8. ^ Senate Republicans voice opposition to Biden on Iran (thehill.com)
  9. ^ Republican battle with MLB intensifies (thehill.com)
  10. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  11. ^ Bernie Sanders (thehill.com)
  12. ^ Bernie Sanders (thehill.com)
  13. ^ OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  Intel community warns of fragile future shaped by pandemics, climate change | Haaland meets with Utah politicians, tribes as Biden weighs monument change | Biden admin could decide whether to wade into DAPL fight (thehill.com)
  14. ^ Twitter will not allow Trump account archive on platform (thehill.com)
  15. ^ McConnell looking for Democratic defections on .25 trillion infrastructure plan (thehill.com)
  16. ^ MORE (thehill.com)
  17. ^ https://t.co/vWHyEjnz8P (t.co)
  18. ^ April 9, 2021 (twitter.com)
  19. ^ #PROAct (twitter.com)
  20. ^ April 8, 2021 (twitter.com)
  21. ^ Read our story on the vote here. (thehill.com)
  22. ^ Read more about the proposed funding here. (thehill.com)
  23. ^ launched a petition Friday (stopprotectingharassers.medium.com)
  24. ^ Read more about the petition (thehill.com)
  25. ^ Rest in peace (twitter.com)
  26. ^ The information superhighway must be affordable and accessible for all (thehill.com)
  27. ^ Facebook phone number database (www.vice.com)
  28. ^ vaccine cards (www.nytimes.com)
  29. ^ agrees to security audit (www.cyberscoop.com)
  30. ^ ‘Bro Culture’ (www.bloomberg.com)

[email protected] (Chris Mills Rodrigo,Rebecca Klar and Maggie Miller)

Volvo to give employees 24 weeks paid parental leave

Volvo to give employees 24 weeks paid parental leave

Volvo Cars announced on Tuesday that it would be expanding paid parental leave for its employees to 24 weeks regardless of gender.

CNBC reported[1] that Volvo employees, both salaried and hourly, who have worked for the company for at least one year will be eligible to be a part of the “Family Bond” program, which significantly expands on the prior parental leave plan that granted six weeks of pay in the first year of parenthood.

The plan covers those who become parents through birth, adoption, surrogacy and permanent foster care. During their leave, employees will be paid 80 percent of their base pay.

ADVERTISEMENT

Employees in the U.S. will have the option of taking 19 weeks of fully paid parental leave in the first three years of becoming a parent.

According to Volvo Group North America, Volvo currently employs more than 17,000 people in North America.

“It’s something we believe is setting a new standard in the business,” Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson told CNBC. “We do this, not to introduce some kind of new favorable benefit to our employees, we do it more because we think it’s good for our company. We will be more attractive as an employer. There’s a competition going on for talent.”

ADVERTISEMENT

He said the company decided to launch the program after observing positive results from a pilot program for its European sales employees.

Samuelsson said the new program will likely cost the company the “considerable sum” of somewhere in the low millions but added that because “it gives us better, diverse management and a stronger brand, it will definitely be worth it.”

“What we do as a company is living our values,” he said. “It will be good for our reputation everywhere.”

References

  1. ^ CNBC reported (www.cnbc.com)
  2. ^ #LifeAtVolvoCars (twitter.com)
  3. ^ pic.twitter.com/ukhTXzSYLv (t.co)
  4. ^ March 30, 2021 (twitter.com)

[email protected] (Joseph Choi)