06-29-2022  11:50 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Sydney McLaughlin Does It Again, Breaks Own World Record

When asked how she was going to celebrated afterward, McLaughlin joked: “Eating some real food besides vegetables. Like a cheeseburger or something, some pancakes.”

Inslee Seeks Abortion Rights Amendment to State Constitution

Gov. Jay Inslee will push for a state constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights within the state, and laws that make it difficult for other states to investigate whether their own residents have visited Washington for abortion care.

Summer of Sound Celebrates Portland’s Black Jazz and Soul Legacy, Elders

The World Arts Foundation and Albina Music Trust put North Portland’s music history back onstage.

LIV Golf Heads to Oregon, Where Local Officials Aren't Happy

Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf is getting a chilly reception in Oregon, its first stop in the United States.

NEWS BRIEFS

KGW and TEGNA Foundation Award $40k in Community Grants to Aid Four Oregon Nonprofit Organizations

Among the grant recipients are Urban Nature Partners PDX, Self Enhancement, Inc (SEI), Portland YouthBuilders (PYB), and p:ear. ...

Hawthorne, Morrison Bridges Will Close to Motorized Vehicles for July 4 Fireworks Show

The bridges will remain open for bicyclists and pedestrians. ...

Increased Emergency Snap Benefits Continue in July

Approximately 422,000 households will receive an estimated million in extra food benefits ...

Opacity of Performance: Takahiro Yamamoto Opens at PAM

The Portland Art Museum marks a return to live art inside its galleries with a dance installation by Takahiro Yamamoto, the museum’s...

Portland's First Black Book Festival Launches on Juneteenth Weekend

She’s bringing together the community through books! ...

Minimum wage increase initiative qualifies in WA city

TUKWILA, Wash. (AP) — An initiative to increase the minimum hourly wage in Tukwila, Washington, by more than has qualified for the November ballot. The Seattle Times reports the Raise the Wage Tukwila campaign has submitted enough signatures to qualify for a vote, according to a...

Feds looking at finances of Native American boarding school

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — One of only a few boarding schools for Native American students still run directly by the federal government in Oregon is undergoing a close look at the school’s finances by the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General. The office confirmed last...

OPINION

Portland Will Be Center of the Golf Universe as $25 Million Event Debuts in the Rose City

The last time Oregon hosted a PGA Tour event was the Portland Invitational Open back in 1966. ...

Quenn Tiye’s Kitchen

Centuries of indoctrination have ingrained into the minds of white and Black Americans that any aspect of Africanness is negative. ...

The Plan for Transforming Public Safety and Policing in the U.S.

Rising crime leaves communities feeling unsafe, however, police violence and killings of unarmed civilians demonstrate that pouring more money into more-of-the-same policing is not the answer. ...

What Is Afrofuturism? An English Professor Explains

Chambliss defines Afrofuturism as an intersection of speculation and liberation that’s inspired by the concerns of people of African descent. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Germany gets 1st Black member of state government

BERLIN (AP) — The daughter of two Malian refugees has become the first Black member of a state government in Germany. Aminata Touré was named Wednesday to the Cabinet of Governor Daniel Günther in Germany's northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein, on the border with Denmark. ...

Sale puts Ben & Jerry's ice cream back in West Bank, kind of

JERUSALEM (AP) — A new agreement in Israel will put Ben & Jerry's ice cream back on shelves in annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank despite the ice cream maker's protest of Israeli policies, according to Unilever, the company that owns the brand. But it's unclear...

Essence Fest is back in New Orleans after two-year hiatus

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Black culture, in all its glory, will be on display over the 4th of July holiday weekend in New Orleans as thousands converge on the city for the in-person return of the Essence Festival of Culture. The multiday event begins with a Thursday performance by...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Elvis' is king, alone, of box office after final tallies

NEW YORK (AP) — “Elvis” has won its box-office dance-off with “Top Gun: Maverick.” After the two films reported the same ticket sales Sunday, Monday's final numbers has “Elvis,” alone, as king of the weekend. “Elvis” ultimately grossed .1 million from Friday to...

Britney Spears' ex ordered to trial on stalking charge

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) — A California judge found Monday that there is enough evidence against a man once briefly married to Britney Spears who showed up uninvited at the pop star's wedding to go to trial on a felony stalking charge. After a two-hour preliminary hearing, Ventura...

Boston's Museum of Fine Arts reaches labor deal with workers

BOSTON (AP) — Employees at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts ratified their first labor deal Tuesday, becoming the latest prestigious art institution to protect workers with a union contract. The collective bargaining agreement is the first since museum workers voted to join the United...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Crews battle Maryland summer camp fire, no injuries reported

THURMONT, Md. (AP) — Crews battled a fire at an overnight summer camp in western Maryland on Wednesday morning,...

Hard-line conservative Reps. Boebert, Miller win primaries

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two of Congress’ staunchest conservatives repelled more centrist alternatives to lock up...

US stocks waver, on track for 4th monthly loss this year

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks shifted between gains and losses on Wall Street Wednesday, keeping the market on track...

Duma moves forward on proposed law on banning foreign media

MOSCOW (AP) — The lower house of Russia's parliament on Wednesday approved the critical second reading of a...

Powell: 'No guarantee' Fed can tame inflation, spare jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said there's “no guarantee'' the central bank can tame...

EXPLAINER: How was Turkey’s veto of Nordic NATO bid avoided?

ISTANBUL (AP) — When the leaders of Finland, Sweden and Turkey met with NATO’s chief Tuesday, the potential...

Blair Hickman and Christie Thompson Propublica

In 1994, Bridget O'Connor began an internship at Rockland Psychiatric Center, where one of the doctors allegedly began to refer to her as Miss Sexual Harassment, told her that she should participate in an orgy, and suggested that she remove her clothing before meeting with him. Other women in the office made similar claims.

Yet when O'Connor filed a lawsuit, her sexual harassment claims were dismissed because she was an unpaid intern. A federal appeals court affirmed the decision to throw out the claim.

Unpaid interns miss out on wages and employment benefits, but they can also find themselves in "legal limbo" when it comes to civil rights, according to law professor and intern labor rights advocate David Yamada. The O'Connor decision (the leading ruling on the matter, according to Yamada) held that because they don't get a paycheck, unpaid interns are not "employees" under the Civil Rights Act -- and thus, they're not protected.

Federal policies echo court rulings. The laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including the Civil Rights Act, don't cover interns unless they receive "significant remuneration," according to commission spokesperson Joseph Olivares.

"At least with respect to the federal law that we enforce, an unpaid intern would not be legally protected by our laws prohibiting sexual harassment," Olivares said in an email to ProPublica.

It's unclear how many interns are sexually harassed at work. The commission doesn't keep those statistics, according to Olivares. And as the Chicago Tribune detailed in 2011, interns often don't know where to turn when faced with harassment or can fear retaliation from bosses they look to for future jobs or recommendations.

"You can understand perhaps why there haven't been more cases," said Yamada. "If you're a young student, and have been trying to get a career off the ground, the bind that puts someone in is significant, because there's retaliation."

Olivares noted that while federal laws don't protect unpaid interns, company policies and state or local laws could sometimes broaden workplace protections.

In June, Oregon passed a law expanding discrimination and harassment protections to interns, whether they are paid or not. According to Charlie Burr, spokespersonfor the state's Bureau of Labor and Industries, Oregon is the first state to pass such protections.

"Those principles of protecting people in the workplace have been in place for a long time, but they've never applied to interns," said Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian. "It really left them with few options."

Oregon's law protects interns from sexual harassment and discrimination based on race, religion, gender, disability, and sexual orientation and covers wrongful termination tied to discrimination — but it doesn't create an employment relationship or impact wages, an issue the state was careful to avoid, according to Avakian.

The idea for the law came from Carole Delogu, a former unpaid intern in the state's Bureau of Labor and Industries, after she read an article in the Public Interest Law Journal on the workplace protections not afforded to interns.

"I was in disbelief," Delogu said, of her reaction to the loophole. "Interns are in a fragile place, they want to get their foot in the door, so they don't complain."

So Delogu brought her concerns to the Labor bureau, and helped draft a proposal to close the gap in protections. Under the new law, Delogu hopes "more people will be able to stand up for their rights."

D.C. has made similar strides to protect interns. Council member Mary Cheh lobbied successfully to extend the D.C. Human Rights Act protections against sexual harassment to interns after hearing the story of one intern's sexual harassment claims against her employer, a massage and body therapy center in Friendship Heights. The intern's case was dismissed because she was unpaid.

Yet as Maurice Pianko, attorney and founder of Intern Justice, points out: if for-profit employers paid their interns when they should (and usually they should be paid), protection from discrimination and sexual harassment would automatically apply.

"It's a surprise to me to see that there are still companies not paying their employees," Pianko said. "If any general counsel wants to find out the law they can, and honestly I don't know what they're thinking." 

 

Jan. 6 Committe Hearings - Day 6

A suprise hearing with newly discovered evidence will be held Tuesday, June 28 at 9:45 a.m. PT (12:45 p.m. ET).

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