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gollygee

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Member since: Sun Jul 4, 2004, 01:07 PM
Number of posts: 22,335

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Legacies of slavery and Jim Crow

This is an older article, updated because of an improvement in this issue, but there are still other legacies of this shameful part of America's past built into our society.

https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/home-health-care-workers-arent-guaranteed-minimum-wage-or-overtime-and-legacies

UPDATE (6/29/16): The Supreme Court this week declined to review Home Care Association of America v. Weil, in which the home health care industry challenged the Department of Labor’s extension of minimum wage and overtime protections to home health care workers.

The decision means that some 2 million home health care workers — 90 percent of whom are women and most of whom are women of color — will be entitled to basic wage and overtime protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (although the exclusion of agricultural workers from federal labor protections has yet to be remedied).

On August 21, 2015, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned a lower court ruling that had vacated the Department of Labor’s new protections for home health care workers. By declining to hear the case, the Supreme Court upheld the appeals court decision, rejecting a residual legacy of Jim Crow-era lawmaking and putting a long-overdue end to the shameful exclusion of home health care workers from federal protections.

(Start of original article)

Ever since the New Deal era, U.S. labor laws guaranteeing minimum wages and overtime pay have excluded workers who care for elderly individuals and people with disabilities in their homes. These home health care workers — 90 percent of whom are women and most of whom are women of color — perform strenuous labor for long hours, helping those who need assistance with everything from dressing to meal preparation to eating to going to the bathroom to getting around. To this very day, these workers are denied the basic protections of minimum wages and overtime pay, even as demand for their services grows. They are among the poorest workers in our country, barely getting by on low wages, with 23 percent living below the poverty line.

The GOP's war on voting is working

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-gops-war-on-voting-is-working/

took Johnson six months to get Hatten a state photo ID because, like many African Americans born in the Jim Crow South, he didn’t have a birth certificate, and the DMV rejected his initial application. He took his new ID to the polls, but the address on it didn’t match his new address, which the poll workers needed to register him at the site (Wisconsin is one of 14 states with Election Day registration). While Hatten conferred with the poll worker, another man who tried to register with his veterans’ ID was turned away.

After a lengthy conversation with election officials, Hatten went back to his apartment and retrieved a utility bill with his new address. After waiting patiently in line while Johnson looked on nervously, he was finally able to cast a ballot. “I’ve never had any problems voting until I came to Wisconsin,” Hatten said, holding up his “I Voted” sticker. “If someone didn’t know the law like I did, they would’ve walked away from the voting booth.”

In fact, many Wisconsinites who didn’t have Johnson’s help or Hatten’s perseverance were blocked from the polls. Their experiences offered a striking rejoinder to Governor Scott Walker’s contention that the state’s voter-ID law “works just fine.” Eddie Lee Holloway Jr., a 58-year-old African American who had moved from Illinois to Milwaukee, brought his expired Illinois photo ID, birth certificate, and Social Security card to get a photo ID for voting, but the DMV rejected his application because his birth certificate read “Eddie Junior Holloway,” the result of a clerical error. Holloway spent $200 on a bus ticket to Illinois to try to amend his birth certificate and made seven trips to government agencies in two different states, but he still couldn’t vote in the Wisconsin primary. To date, the state’s DMV has rejected nearly a fifth of all applicants for a voter ID, 85 percent of whom were African American, Latino, or Native American.

“This is the worst election I’ve ever seen in Wisconsin,” said Johnson, who’s lived in Milwaukee her whole life. “I go to bed thinking we’ve settled something, and I wake up and there’s something else.”
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