Employee Protections Under the Federal Transit Act – What Transit Employers Need to Know
This is the fourth post in a five-part weekly series reviewing the legal landscape for transit employers considering automation. Please click here to see the prior post in this series.
As part of our series on labor law issues for the transit employer considering automation, we turn now to the Federal Transit Act.
In order to acquire, improve or operate a mass transit system, perhaps as part of an effort to automate, a transit authority may seek a construction grant or loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Authority (FTA) under the Federal Transit Act. The Act requires, as a precondition to receiving a grant or loan, that an applicant enter into a “protective arrangement” with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that provides for the preservation of certain employment rights and benefits of mass transit workers.
Protective arrangements must provide for the preservation of rights and benefits under existing collective bargaining agreements. They also require the continuation of collective bargaining rights, the protection of individual employees against a worsening of their positions in relation to their employment, assurances of employment to employees of acquired transit systems, priority of reemployment, and paid training or retraining programs. Before the FTA releases funds to an applicant, the Secretary of Labor must determine that the protective arrangements are fair and equitable and certify that they are in place. There are no provisions for waivers or exemptions from these requirements.
If the transit authority’s employees are represented by a labor union, the transit authority and the union may already be signatory to the National (Model) Agreement. If not, the employer proposes a protective arrangement to the DOL which, in turn, refers it to the funding recipients and the union for negotiation. The DOL has developed a “Nonunion Protective Arrangement” for use with nonunion employers.
Existing Protective Arrangements – the National (Model) Agreement
The National (Model) Agreement requires an employer to give the union at least 60 days written notice of each proposed change that may result in the dismissal or displacement of employees, or rearrangement of the working forces covered by the agreement, as a result of the project. Either party may request immediate negotiations. If no agreement is reached within 20 days, either party may submit the matter to arbitration and a final decision must be rendered within 60 days. Other significant obligations under the Model Agreement include payment of a monthly displacement allowance for a period of up to six years to employees who are placed in a worse position with respect to compensation as a result of the project. Any employee whose place of employment changes and who is required to move his or her residence is entitled to moving and traveling expenses and to his or her actual wage loss. Employees laid off or deprived of employment as a result of the project are entitled to a monthly “dismissal allowance” and dismissed employees are entitled to priority of placement incomparable, vacant positions for up to six years, including training if necessary for the employee to become qualified for the position.
New Protective Arrangements
If there is no previously-certified arrangement, the DOL proposes the terms and conditions found in its “Unified Protective Arrangement.” There is a procedure for either party to submit objections to the recommended terms, but the parties are expected to engage in good faith efforts to reach mutually acceptable protective arrangements through negotiation within certain timeframes. The DOL will impose a protective arrangement when no agreement can be reached.
If neither the grant applicant’s employees nor employees of any other transit provider in the service area are represented by a union, the DOL certifies the protections contained in a “Nonunion Protective Arrangement” developed by the DOL.
The protections found in the Unified Protective Arrangement and the Nonunion Protective Arrangement track those found in the Model Agreement.
An employer’s obligations under a protective arrangement are so extensive and of such duration that they should be considered when an employer evaluates whether to seek funding for automation through a construction grant or loan under the Federal Transit Act.
Our series on labor law issues for the transit employer considering automation continues next week with a discussion of notice requirements under other laws and agreements.
For a more in-depth analysis and overview of the labor law issues discussed in this series, please refer to our white paper, Labor Law Issues in Deciding to Automate Mass Transit Operations.
Profiting from Crypto: Here’s a tool that’s actually useful
Introduction to Profit Farmers
It’s no hidden secret that Bitcoin has been on a record-breaking bull-run ever since PayPal announced they’d offer their users the ability to use Bitcoin and other altcoins for transactions.
This has led to numerous altcoins rising in value too, riding in the slipstream of Bitcoin’s big rush.
With all these crazy gains being reported, many of us are left wondering;
“How can I best capitalize on crypto’s opportunities without rushing in and making mistakes?”
Well, that’s precisely the question I’ll attempt to answer today.
There’s a crypto trading tool called ProfitFarmers that claims it can help you make more profitable trades without all the stress, staring into charts, and the years of experience otherwise needed.
Their website boasts no commissions or fees on your trades, complete honesty on how their tool functions and a 100% money-back guarantee in the event their tool doesn’t offer you profitable opportunities.
In light of that, you’d be wise to set aside the next 5 short minutes to look into ProfitFarmers with me!
What is ProfitFarmers?
Put simply, ProfitFarmers is a subscription-based service that produces trading signals, which are complete instructions for trading a given coin pairing from entry to exit.
ProfitFarmers is integrated with Binance through an API, so all your trades and profits actualize within your own account on Binance. This also makes it possible for PF to place trade orders on your behalf, saving you time, hassle and preventing accidental errors!
PF’s integration with Binance means you only need to click on a signal from their dashboard, enter how much you wish to trade with, and let ProfitFarmers’ software handle the rest!
ProfitFarmers will perform your trade from entry to exit based on the information programmed within the trading signal.
This also includes a stop-loss function where ProfitFarmers will place an order to sell your coins if the price takes a turn in the wrong direction. Perfect for anyone looking to make their risk management less of a headache to keep ‘on good terms’ with!
With absolutely no commissions or fees on your trades, ProfitFarmers is one of the few platforms where you can make trades knowing 100% of the profits you make are 100% yours to keep.
Better yet, thanks to their 100% money-back guarantee, you can join ProfitFarmers with the assurance that you WILL be presented with a fair amount of trading signals that offer a profitable opportunity each month.
Tools for more experienced traders:
Besides from the main features described above, ProfitFarmers entails a host of tools designed for the more experienced and active traders to make use of. These tools are the Price Action Scanner, RSI Scanner, and a manual trading terminal linked directly to the Binance Exchange.
Maximize your profitability with the manual trading terminal by using some basic chart analysis to achieve close-to-perfect entry and exit points on your trades!
On a bi-weekly and monthly basis, Matthew Tansley (ProfitFarmers founder) creates a video breaking down their trading signal’s performance for everyone to digest.
These breakdowns are particularly beneficial for members, as the videos give valuable insights on what signals, strategies, and coin pairings are trending with the highest profitable performance.
For 6 months their Signal win rate has NOT been below 70%! That’s really impressive…
ProfitFarmers’ signal results & performance breakdowns dating months back are publicly accessible for everyone to go through on their website.
For the month of November, ProfitFarmers produced 256 trading signals, of which 81% hit target 1 (of 4 targets, where the higher the target hit, the higher the % peak gains offered).
Perhaps even more enticing is the fact that 61% of November’s signals hit targets 2,3 or 4, offering even higher money-making opportunities.
Here is the “Average Profit % Per Target” breakdown for the month of November:
Would you like to instantly increase your chances of making more profitable trades today?
If you don’t want to spend years learning and hours stressing & staring into price charts all day, then I’d say ProfitFarmers is your best bet moving forward.
This platform offers tech-savvy answers to some of the biggest questions and pain-points involved with trading crypto. Save yourself the time and hassle by utilizing a tool that has been proven to do a majority of the ‘heavy lifting’ in trading for you.
With trade signals boasting a 78% all-time historical win rate and ProfitFarmers 100% money-back guarantee if that number ever falls below 60%, you can try ProfitFarmers with more peace of mind than any other tool I’ve seen on the market.
To start using ProfitFarmers or learn more about what they do, visit their website here!
Let me know about your experience with ProfitFarmers in the comments below.
How Top U.S universities are privately increasing their Bitcoin holdings
Over the years, the acquisition of Bitcoin amongst investment companies has become a common practice, but the industry looks to be expanding as universities are now securing their spot in the Bitcoin market. According to Coindesk, sources aware of this activity have disclosed that leading U.S institutions have quietly been increasing their Bitcoin assets over the past year.
These are not just any institutions; In fact, these are some of the universities with the highest endowment funds in the United States. Harvard (over $40 billion), Yale (over $30 billion), and Brown ($4.7 billion) are three out of the eight ivy league colleges in the country that are said to be a part of the list. The highly reputable Michigan University ($12.5 billion) is also said to be following in the footsteps of the Ivies. Apparently, Coinbase has been the middleman facilitating the transactions. It was revealed that these institutions have been buying directly from the Coinbase exchange.
The spokesperson who asked to be anonymous told Coindesk that there are a sizeable number of institutions currently pouring funds into crypto assets. “There are quite a few. A lot of endowments are allocating a little bit to crypto at the moment.”
But the interest in cryptocurrencies began in 2019 and Coinbase is being speculated to have held the funds for the institutions for as long as 18 months, according to the source, who notes that said institutions are likely cashing in on a decent return on investment and could possibly make their Bitcoin acquisitions public this year. The source is quoted saying;
“It could be since mid-2019. Most have been in at least a year. I would think they will probably discuss it publicly at some point this year. I suspect they would be sitting on some pretty nice chunks of return.”
Another source who is a part of the crypto hedge fund industry asserted that public pension plans are soon to begin allocations in the coming months.
“We are seeing defined benefit pension plans getting close to making allocations. We are seeing public pension plans getting close to making allocations,”
Ari Paul, the cofounder of BlockTower Capital chimed in saying; “If I had heard that three years ago, I would have said it was wrong,”.
“But a lot of institutions are now comfortable with Bitcoin. They understand it and can just buy it directly, as long as it’s from a regulated entity like Coinbase, Fidelity or Anchorage.”
DeFi Trading Platform dYdX Raises $10m in Latest Seed Round
Venture capital coin is flowing into DeFi like never before as another trading platform hits its target for fundraising. The non-custodial Ethereum-based exchange dYdX has announced that it has raised a $10 million Series B round led by Three Arrows Capital and DeFiance Capital.
New investors include Wintermute, Hashed, GSR, SCP, Scalar Capital, Spartan Group, and RockTree Capital. The announcement added that it had continued support from a16z, Polychain Capital, and Kindred Ventures among others.
— dYdX (@dydxprotocol) January 26, 2021
Millions Pouring into DeFi
dYdX is geared towards more experienced derivatives traders rather than DeFi degens token swapping on Uniswap. Its infrastructure combines non-custodial, on-chain settlement with an off-chain low-latency matching engine with order books to deliver an institutional-grade, liquid, and low slippage trading experience.
Its user base and trade volumes have grown significantly in 2020 as bigger players tend to get more out of DeFi operations than the smaller traders getting stung on gas fees. It added that cumulative trade volume across perpetuals, margin, and spot trading increased 40 times, reaching $2.5 billion in 2020, up from $63 million in 2019.
In February 2021, dYdX will launch Layer 2 solution with StarkWare using zk-Rollups for perpetual contracts.
The announcement added that the funding will be used to decentralize more parts of the stack and hand over more control to users in addition to adding new assets and features to its perpetual contracts. dYdX will also be strategically investing in international growth markets such as Asia, with a focus on China.
The Decentralization Debate
There has also been much debate about whether projects can really call themselves ‘decentralized’ if they’re backed by venture capitalists that will be entitled to a share of any tokens or rewards. In reality, they’re just like corporations with shareholders and the whales will control governance votes and the future direction of the protocol.
Last week, Uniswap founder Hayden Adams responded to a thread started by Synthetix founder Kain Warwick on exactly this subject;
🔥 This thread is great
I might have seemed anti token/ICO in the past but really I think projects should prove themselves before raising huge amounts of $
“VC bad” is lazy virtue signaling
I’m only bullish on projects that prove themselves by building new and useful stuff https://t.co/FVwSddhPrb
— Hayden Adams 🦄 (@haydenzadams) January 20, 2021
DeFi analyst Chris Blec, who has been highly critical of any form of crypto centralization, aptly commented that VC involvement inevitably leads to decisions that are good for founders and strategic investors, but bad for users.
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