Despite what occurred during the 2011 season, professional football has meant a great deal to people in the Indianapolis area for close to two decades. Yet continued labor disputes between the NFL and the player's union threaten to bring the game to a halt.
Indiana women make 74 cents to every dollar that men make on average. Black women make 62 cents for every dollar that men make, and Latino women make 54 cents per every dollar. The circumstances really are not much better nationwide as women overall make 77 cents for every dollar across the country.
Indiana has the 5th greatest disparity between the average wages of men and average wages of women. While the national gap between men and women's wages is 77 cents for every dollar, in Indiana the gap is 72 cents for every dollar.
Determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor was the center of a lawsuit held in Indiana. What was alleged in the lawsuit was that drivers performing identical duties for FedEx were treated differently. Some drivers were able to obtain the employment rights of full time employees while others were denied benefits on the grounds that they were deemed independent contractors.
The number of wage and hour law disputes has been increasing in Indiana and across the nation. There has been a 325 percent increase in wage and hour lawsuits filed during the last decade in the federal courts. The number of such disputes has exceeded all other employment type cases combined.
With Indiana passing the so-called right-to-work legislation, it's not surprising that employers and employees differ on the perceived benefits of such legislation. Employers feel that the new law will promote economic growth while employees tend to view the legislation as adversely affecting their economic wellbeing as they will have less union protection when it comes to wage and benefit disputes.
Generally speaking, employees who work in dangerous professions get paid more for placing their lives at risk. But what about people who are at risk of suffering from sexual harassment in the workplace--do they get paid more for working in a potentially hostile work environment?
The Indiana legislature will soon be discussing the so called "right-to-work" laws. The debate concerning the law is bound to be contentious as labor unions oppose certain of its provisions. This would include the provision that would exempt non-union workers from having to pay "fair share" fees to the union at places of employment. One state senator referred to this as "a big stick to bust unions."
A hostess that worked in the press box for the Indianapolis Colts alleges that she was underpaid for her job duties and is now taking her case to the Federal District Court in Indianapolis. The hostess and a number of her co-employees were paid only $40 for an eight hour workday. Federally mandated minimum wage laws indicate that she should have been paid at least $7.75 per hour.
There is disputed legislation making its way through the Indiana house popularly known as the "right to work" proposal. This legislation would make it illegal in Indiana for workers to be required to pay union representation dues. Though such a proposal will probably not be passed until well into next year, whatever is passed will affect the wages and benefits of workers throughout the state.