Disability: Website access suit can proceed
The Supreme Court denied a petition from Domino’s Pizza this week to block a lawsuit over whether its website must be accessible to the disabled, said Tucker Higgins in CNBC.com. The case was brought by a blind man named Guillermo Robles, who sued the chain in 2016 “after he was unable to order food on Domino’s website and mobile app using screen-reading software.” Domino’s had argued that the Americans With Disabilities Act “does not apply to online platforms that were not envisioned when the law was passed in 1990.” Last year, more than 2,200 federal lawsuits were filed over website accessibility.
Jobs: Hiring slows as unemployment stays low
The Labor Department reported last week that employers added 136,000 jobs to the economy in September, while the unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 percent, said Anneken Tappe in CNN.com. Though the U.S. unemployment rate is at its lowest point since 1969, “the pace of hiring has slowed considerably since 2018, when the economy added an average of 223,000 jobs per month.” Other reports have found that American factory activity has contracted for two straight months.
Manufacturing: GE freezes its pension plan
General Electric announced it was freezing its pension plan for 20,000 U.S. workers as a way to pare back its debts, said Thomas Gryta in The Wall Street Journal. The struggling conglomerate is “one of the rare big U.S. manufacturers that still allows salaried workers to accrue traditional pension payments,” but the $91.7 billion it owes to more than 600,000 retirees in post-employment benefits is underfunded by almost one-third. The changes announced this week, which won’t impact retirees, are expected to trim $8 billion from that deficit; the company plans to offer pension buyouts to an additional 100,000 former workers.
Fashion: Rent the Runway’s software nightmare
Rent the Runway resumed its normal business this week, after logistics problems forced it to suspend service for 11 days, said Phil Wahba in Fortune.com. The popular fashion-rental service, which was valued at $1 billion in March, began experiencing “unexpected problems” with a software update designed to speed the turnaround time for clothing out of its warehouse in New Jersey. Social media feeds quickly “filled with customer complaints about delays and long customer service wait times.” The company offered full refunds “as well as compensation of $200 in cash to customers who never received their orders.”