Negligence in an armed society and transparency in pay

by Vivian Diep in February 18th, 2022
work table

Should job posts include expected wages?

Sat Jan 15

Current trends show that, without intervention, the U.S. wage gap will close only for white women... by 2059. Hispanic and Black women would have to wait a century. And this pay gap is the result of more than discrimination in the hiring process. From social expectations to the disproportionate marketing of low-paying jobs to women, the pay gap is also maintained by such lost opportunities and pathways.

But experts agree that wage transparency is the most effective first step. That’s why New York City will, starting April, require employers to post the minimum and maximum salary within any job posting. Only temporary hiring agencies or companies with fewer than four employees will be exempt. The change comes after decades of research proving how salary secrecy harms women most often by forcing them to be the ones to start salary negotiations. The salaries proposed by female candidates are often far less than those proposed by male counterparts.

And it’s not just New York City trying to close gender and racial wage gaps.

  • Asking for a candidate’s salary history has been prohibited in California, Washington, Maryland, Ohio, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Colorado, and Nevada, in a bid to price the job, not the person.
  • Nevada and Colorado also require companies to provide salary information to a candidate. In Nevada, this happens after a candidate completes an interview while in Colorado the intel is shared even sooner.
  • Most recently, New Zealand pushed forward a petition demanding pay transparency in an effort to catch up with similar legislation in Europe.

Student shooter displayed all the warning signs

Mon Feb 7

The U.S. is still struggling to address the rise in school shootings. Most recently in Michigan, a high school is avoiding blame for a shooting despite repeated signals and opportunities for prevention. Here’s what happened:

  • Around May 2021, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley’s depression hit rock bottom, he stopped doing his homework, and more generally showed signs of suicidal ideation.
  • In November, students reported that Ethan left a jar with a bird’s decapitated head in the boys bathroom. Though the school says they were unable to determine where the jar came from, Ethan was known for allegedly torturing animals regularly.
  • Throughout the month, the school was informed of concerning posts on Ethan’s social media pages and teachers reported worrisome behavior in the classroom. Still, the school emailed his parents saying that large assumptions were being made and turned into rumors.
  • On November 30, Ethan made a violent drawing of guns, a person bleeding, and the words, “The thoughts won’t stop. Help me” on a test review sheet. While the drawing was reported, Ethan’s parents refused to take him home and the school released him back to the classroom.
  • Later that same day, Ethan shot and killed four students and injured another seven. The gun was in his backpack — a gift from his parents — the entire day, including while in the office and with his parents. A simple backpack search would have found it.

Two lawsuits have since been filed against the high school, the latest for monetary compensation. The Michigan school district argues the school was not negligent. Ethan himself faces 20 felonies and his parents four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

So what could have been done to prevent the situation? While there’s a range of recommendations, from gun safety to greater responsibility on educators, no formal school policies have been standardized nationwide.

  • Some schools invested precious funding into expensive security services and metal detectors, though research is inconclusive on their efficacy.
  • The Safe School Initiative provides a series of recommendations following the 1999 Columbine shooting for how to make schools safer and identify students with potential for violence — though a Secret Service report concludes there is no accurate profile of such. Still, per their guidelines, Ethan posed a number of substantive warnings that should have prompted the involvement of a clinician and search of his home, locker, and backpack.

Below the Fold Bytes

Unapproved Coffee Joints

Is food or drink with CBD as an ingredient safe? The FDA seems to have no clue. And yet, food companies have been able to bypass FDA approval by listing their CBD ingredients as “GRAS,” or Generally Recognized as Safe. This GRAS label has been traditionally applied to products like flour, vinegar, and spices. The loophole resulted in 80 warning letters issued to products selling unapproved CBD products, such as CBD lattes and gummies. Congress is also stepping in with a bill forcing the FDA to write CBD-specific regulation around allowance and usage. >> Read More

Encouraging Meatless Meals

We’ve heard the reasons for reducing meat intake from health experts, climate advocates, and simply seeing its price inflate. A working paper shows how to actually make it happen with prompts on menus. The most successful prompt in their study resulted in twice as many plant-based orders. It read “Each of us can make a positive difference to the planet. Swapping just one meat dish for a plant-based one saves greenhouse gas emissions that are equivalent to the energy used to charge your phone for two years. Your small change can make a big difference.” >> Read More

🎬 Action of the Week

It’s hard to see how we’ll solve the issue of guns in schools without more rigorous policy and responsibility on the part of schools. But what does that change even look like? Every Town Research provides extensive insight and an eight step plan for keeping schools safe. Read it through and, if you have children in school, learn more about the policies in place.

Resources

  • CNN: NYC pay transparency 1 month old | 4 minutes long
  • CNBC: Salary secrecy research 1 year old | 5 minutes long
  • Money.com: Pay policy across U.S. 3 months old | 16 minutes long
  • SCOOP: New Zealand pay policy 8 days old | 3 minutes long
  • ABC12: Michigan school shooting 1 month old | 9 minutes long
  • CNN: Lawsuits against school 21 days old | 7 minutes long
  • Victims & Offenders: Metal detector effectiveness 4 years old | 81 minutes long
  • WBUR: School Safety Initiative 2 months old | 8 minutes long

ASCII-ing about the news

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This is 25 cents less than what you pay Steve.

Be the change!


Art Credit: ASCII Art Archive


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