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James Goodwin | September 29, 2022

The EPA Shows It Can Do Better Regulatory Analysis. Will Biden Follow?

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released what is almost certainly the best regulatory analysis it has performed in over 40 years. (To be clear, though, the bar for these analyses is pretty low.) More importantly, it provides President Biden with new impetus to finally follow through with the long overdue implementation of his administration’s “Modernizing Regulatory Review” memorandum.

The Founders of the Center stand together

Alexandra Rogan, Allison Stevens | September 28, 2022

The Center’s “Battery Pack”: Toasting our Member Scholars on Our 20th Anniversary

This month, three Member Scholars – Dave Owen, Rob Fischman, and Rob Glicksman – take center stage in the latest edition of Land Use and Environment Law Review (LUELR), an anthology of last year’s best writing on environmental law. In August, Member Scholar Rebecca Bratspies, earned the 2022 International Human Rights Award from the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, and […]

A construction worker wipes sweat from his forehead

M. Isabelle Chaudry, Sidney A. Shapiro | September 26, 2022

Congress Must Protect Workers from Extreme Heat — Now

As Cole Porter crooned in 1948, “It’s too darn hot.”  California and other parts of the American West are heading into another week of excessive heat that not only threatens public health and safety but also power shortages, which would cut millions off from the energy they need to fuel their lives. Workers, particularly those […]

Collage of images and the Center's logo

Allison Stevens | September 13, 2022

A New Look for a New Era

The founding of the United States was far from perfect, reflecting the deep flaws and exploitative practices of the founders themselves. But there was one thing they got right: They created a government charged, in part, with protecting the general welfare. That includes you, me, the American people writ large, and our environment. We at […]

Katlyn Schmitt | September 12, 2022

EPA’s Chemical Disaster Rule: Small Steps Forward When Environmental Justice Demands Giant Leaps

At the end of August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a draft rule to better protect people who live near industrial facilities with hazardous chemicals on site. The rule would strengthen EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP), which regulates more than 12,000 facilities in the United States that store, use, and distribute significant amounts of dangerous chemicals.

A construction worker wipes sweat from his forehead

Grace DuBois | August 31, 2022

Center Considers Worker Safety Amid Climate Change Ahead of Labor Day

Climate change poses a serious threat to occupational health and safety. Workers — especially low-income workers and those who work outdoors — are particularly vulnerable to rising temperatures and increasingly frequent extreme weather and other climate-related disasters.

Grace DuBois | July 20, 2022

Forced Arbitration Robs Workers of Billions in Wages

Corporations’ widespread use -- and abuse -- of forced arbitration in employment contracts allow them to steal billions of dollars from workers every year with impunity. Employers have unilaterally imposed mandatory arbitration agreements onto 60 million American workers, and the practice is only becoming more widespread. By 2024, 80 percent of nonunion workers will be subject to forced arbitration.

Grace DuBois | July 19, 2022

Protecting Workers by Prosecuting Wage Theft as a Crime

Wage theft is a massive crisis for workers, but federal, state, and local agencies have failed to address the problem. Wage theft occurs in many forms: Paying wages lower than the minimum wage, not paying overtime wages, coercing employees to work "off the clock" before or after shifts, prohibiting workers from taking legally mandated breaks, confiscating tips, and more.

Minor Sinclair | July 15, 2022

Op-Ed: We Committed to Paying Our Staff More Than a Living Wage. Your Nonprofit Should Do the Same.

Nationally, nonprofit organizations employ about 10 percent of the entire private workforce. That’s 12 million paid workers -- nearly as many as the entire manufacturing field. Many of those employees, with the exception of higher-paid college and hospital workers, earn $4 to $5 per hour less in terms of total compensation than similar workers in private industry. Many factors contribute to the nonprofit wage gap. For some organizations, a reliance on donations or government contracts puts a ceiling on employee compensation. For others, mission-first means serving the cause even if it means sacrificing the financial well-being of the employees tasked with doing the actual work. This is unacceptable -- especially during a time when the nonprofit world is increasingly focused on the importance of aligning mission and human-resource policies. But figuring out how to make that alignment happen is the tricky part.