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A federal labor board ruling that green-lighted unions’ use of the inflatable protest symbol “Scabby the Rat” highlights longstanding tension between free speech protections and federal labor law restrictions. Risa Lieberwitz, professor of labor and employment law at the ILR School, discusses the ruling. 

This op-ed from Russell Weaver, quantitative geographer at the IRL school, discusses enhanced unemployment insurance. He writes workers getting these benefits are now in a stronger position to reject exploitative and dehumanizing work.

The pandemic may permanently change the hotel industry’s approach to services like housekeeping and check in. Christopher Anderson, professor in the School of Hotel Administration, says we could see a system similar to airlines – where guests choose the services they are willing to pay for. 

“People are building really interesting – but mostly experimental – tools. These are being built mostly by amateurs who do not understand how actual finance works,” says Emin Gün Sirer, associate professor of computer science. “So some of these ‘LEGO building blocks’ are quite interesting and do things that Wall Street cannot do. But some of them end up interacting in unforeseen ways.” 

“Rapid increases in sea level rise and heat that will affect many of Asia's apparel workers directly have received little attention,” write Jason Judd and J. Lowell Jackson of the New Conversations Project out of the ILR School.

“It's still a career field that I think is not relatively understood,” says Brooke Erin Duffy, associate professor of communication. “Like any feminized career field, it is seen as frivolous and therefore not taken seriously and not valued.” 

“One of the biggest problems in this area has been overly broadly defined noncompete clauses that cover large geographic areas. There are clauses that apply beyond a single state and that wouldn’t be an automatic bar to enforceability in the courts,” says Alexander Colvin, dean of the ILR School.  

Daniel Alpert, senior fellow in financial macroeconomics at the Law School, talks about how both inflation and deflation impact the economy. 

“The phosphine is not telling us about the biology of Venus,” says Jonathan Lunine, professor of astronomy and co-author of the paper. “It’s telling us about the geology. Science is pointing to a planet that has active explosive volcanism today or in the very recent past.”

“Different workers have different needs,” says Ian Greer, senior research associate in the ILR School. “For some of them the real barrier is not money, it is not the low wage, but it is the schedule. For many workers health insurance is a huge need. They will take a lower wage job so their family can have health insurance.” 

“If you want to build confidence in the criminal legal system, you can’t have circumstances where people cheated and won,” says Carlton Williams, assistant clinical professor of law.

“We should be doing anything we can to trim the rate of warming,” says Robert Howarth, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “We can do a lot of damage in the next few years. You actually run the risk of irreversible, catastrophic warming.”