Working + Economy

D.C. Dispatch: Iowa lawmakers advance bills addressing electric vehicles, manufacturing and Medicare

BY: - December 8, 2023

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks passed several bills through committee this week, while Sen. Chuck Grassley lamented the shorter amount of time senators spend on the budget compared to when he started in 1981. Members of Iowa’s congressional delegation introduced new bills and made progress on those already introduced before a three-week holiday break that starts Dec. […]

Care facility workers fired for neglect, falsified records, on-duty intoxication

BY: - November 24, 2023

An Iowa hospital worker was forced to resign in September after co-workers reported they suspected he was intoxicated. According to state records, Kevin K. Bennett worked as a full-time patient access professional for Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital in Council Bluffs prior to his termination on Sept. 5, 2023. Typically, patient access professionals guide patients through […]


What does the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling mean for businesses?

BY: - November 24, 2023

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision reversing years of precedence on affirmative action has thrown some of our clients a bit of a curve ball. While some in higher education are looking closely at the impacts to their work, business clients, especially federal contractors, are also assessing the new landscape. Corporations like stability and navigating […]

Retailers pare back their seasonal hiring to prepare for ho-hum holidays

BY: - November 23, 2023

Black Friday shoppers may notice longer lines and fewer retail associates in some of their favorite stores than in past holiday seasons as retailers scale back seasonal hiring over concerns about consumer spending. JCPenney is hiring 12,000 fewer workers than last year; Macy’s, 3,000 fewer. Meanwhile a Walmart executive said the retail giant has been hiring […]

Lawsuit: Iowa trucking companies exploited South African workers for cheap labor

BY: - November 17, 2023

Two Iowa trucking companies are being sued for racketeering and fraud for allegedly obtaining cheap labor from South Africa through the use of a fictitious cattle-feeding operation. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa by the national nonprofit organization Farmworker Justice and by Iowa Legal Aid. Named as […]

Democrats urge feds to update banking ‘red flags’ on legal marijuana businesses

BY: - November 16, 2023

The federal government unfairly penalizes state-legal marijuana businesses whose owners have been convicted of marijuana-related crimes, restricting them from loans and other banking tools, a group of U.S. Senate and House Democrats wrote to the Treasury Department asking for a change in policy. The group of 20 lawmakers, who mostly represent states where recreational marijuana […]

Oklahoma senator challenges Teamsters president to fight at U.S. Senate hearing

BY: - November 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — Sen. Markwayne Mullin, an Oklahoma Republican, challenged the head of the Teamsters union to a physical fight at a U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday intended to showcase how labor unions are making families’ lives better. The tense confrontation at the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing stemmed from acrimonious posts on social […]

County zoning administrator was fired for criticizing her boss

BY: - November 13, 2023

A Warren County administrator was forced to resign from her position in August after she criticized her supervisor’s management of the zoning department. According to state records, Warren County Zoning Assistant Administrator Karoline Ellwanger and her supervisor, Zoning Director Lindsey Baughman, attended an Iowa State Association of Counties conference on Aug. 24, 2023. While there, […]

Former fire captain again denied jobless benefits over comments about ‘gay porn’

BY: - November 10, 2023

A former captain with the Des Moines Fire Department has again been denied jobless benefits after being fired for online comments suggesting a colleague had an interest in gay pornography. State records indicate David Bernal last worked for the city on June 16, 2023, when he was fired. He had worked for the Fire Department […]

Sewer rates soar as private companies buy up local water systems

BY: - November 7, 2023

For residents in some Pennsylvania communities, flushing the toilet has suddenly gotten much more expensive. In many townships and counties, rates have spiked as private water companies have bought up wastewater systems from local governments. The new push to privatize sewer services follows the passage of a state law in 2016 that allows the dollar […]

UAW reaches tentative pact with General Motors, the last Detroit Three holdout

BY: and - October 31, 2023

The United Auto Workers reached a tentative contract agreement with General Motors on Monday, day 46 of the strike. The announcement follows previous UAW tentative pacts with the other Detroit Three automakers, Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis, which were announced on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively. The union went on strike on Sept.15. “Once again, we […]

Residents of Midwest, Mountain West see biggest pay bumps

BY: - October 30, 2023

Residents of some Midwestern and Mountain states gained the most income per capita during the past four years, a Stateline analysis shows, as competition for workers drove up wages in relatively affordable places to live. With the COVID-19 pandemic now in the nation’s rearview mirror, Stateline’s analysis offers a more complete understanding of how some […]