Sixteen year’s after the Gaelic Players Association was created, the women’s GPA will be formally launched today.The representative body for female inter-county players will be aligned to the men’s GPA, which has also helped to get them up-and-running.The Women’s GPA will seek to defend and protect the rights of our ladies footballers and Camogie stars and this morning’s launch is expected to be attended by several Irish sports stars.
WASHINGTON (AP) — More than 1.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a historically high pace that shows that many employers are still laying people off in the face of a resurgent coronavirus.The persistently elevated level of layoffs are occurring as a spike in virus cases has forced six states to reverse their move to reopen businesses. Those six — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Texas — make up one-third of the U.S. economy. Fifteen other states have suspended their re-openings. Collectively, the pullback has stalled a tentative recovery in the job market and is likely triggering additional layoffs.Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that the number of applications for unemployment aid fell from 1.4 million in the previous week. The figure has now topped 1 million for 16 straight weeks. Before the pandemic, the record high for weekly unemployment applications was fewer than 700,000.The total number of people who are receiving jobless benefits dropped 700,000 to 18 million. That suggests that some companies are continuing to rehire workers.An additional 1 million people sought benefits last week under a separate program for self-employed and gig workers that has made them eligible for aid for the first time. These figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal variations, so the government doesn’t include them in the official count.Americans are seeking unemployment aid against the backdrop of a disturbing surge in confirmed viral cases, with increases reported in 38 states. Case counts have especially accelerated in four states that now account for more than half of reported new U.S. cases: Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.The intensifying outbreaks and more stringent government restrictions have slowed economic activity in much of the country and may be weighing on hiring. The government’s jobs report for June showed a solid gain of 4.8 million jobs and an unemployment rate that fell to 11.1% from 13.3%.Yet even so, the economy has regained only about one-third of the jobs that vanished in March and April. And the June jobs report reflected surveys of Americans that were conducted in the middle of that month — before the pandemic flared up again.More recent data are worrisome. Spending on credit and debit cards issued by Bank of America fell in the week that ended June 27 compared with the previous week. Auto and existing-home sales have slowed.Restaurant visits have also leveled off nationally, including in states that haven’t begun to close down again, according to data from OpenTable, the reservations website.“This suggests that renewed fears about the virus, rather than government restrictions, are driving the pullback in activity,” said Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, a forecasting firm.Data from Kronos, which produces work-scheduling software for small businesses, reinforces evidence that the recovery of the job market is faltering.In the week that ended July 4, layoffs among Kronos’ clients actually rose and hirings declined. Companies are now laying off an average of nearly three workers for every new hire, the company’s data shows.And in the retail industry, the number of shifts worked changed little last week after steady increases in previous weeks. David Gilbertson, a vice president at Kronos, said this suggests that consumer demand in many cases hasn’t picked up enough to justify more employees.“Everything that’s going to be open is open,” Gilbertson said. “Now, we just need more people to come in and start spending money before things can pick up again.”Several companies have warned in recent days that more layoffs are coming. Levi’s, the iconic jeans maker, said it will cut 700 corporate jobs. United Airlines has warned 36,000 of its employees — nearly half its workforce — that they could lose their jobs in October. (Airlines aren’t allowed to cut jobs until then as a condition of accepting billions of dollars in government rescue aid.)The renewed threat of job losses is arising just as a federal program that provides $600 a week in unemployment benefits, on top of whatever jobless aid each state provides, is to expire at the end of this month. Congressional leaders have said they will take up some form of a new rescue package when lawmakers return later this month from a two-week recess.Administration officials have expressed support for additional stimulus. But Senate Republicans have opposed extending the $600 a week in unemployment benefits, mainly on the ground that it discourages laid-off people from returning to work. House Democrats have pushed to extend the $600 a week through January.
By John BurtonRUMSON – A veteran borough police officer has brought suit against his department and the borough, charging he’s been the victim of retaliation for being a whistleblower.Sgt. Peter Koenig has been with the department for more than 20 years, and been a sergeant for the past 11; and on June 20 he filed a civil complaint in state Superior Court, in Freehold, alleging he “has suffered emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment, bodily injury, coupled with physical manifestation of emotional distress, loss of income and benefits, and other severe financial losses,” as well as regularly facing “a hostile work environment,” in response to his calling attention to what he said was improper behavior from his fellow officers, according to court documents. Jacobs this week said, “The borough was right in the decision-making process,” maintaining “The decisions they made were done for legitimate deployment purposes.”Jacobs said he has reviewed the allegations of the complaint, the facts and the law “and I’m highly confident when all is said and done the borough will be found not liable for any of the allegations contained therein.”Rumson Police Chief Scott Paterson, on advise of legal counsel, declined to comment.Koenig is seeking “punitive and compensatory damages on all lost benefits, wages and rights,” including “economic and non-economic damages for emotional distress,” in addition to interest and attorney’s fees, according to the officer’s complaint. Koenig, who is also a borough resident, according to the complaint, on or about May 31, 2015, “observed events at the Rumson Police Department that he reasonably and objectively believed were in violation of law, may have been criminal acts or unethical, were violation of the public policy of the State of New Jersey, and placed the health and safety of members of the public in danger.”The complaint doesn’t offer any details related to the allegations. Attempts to contact Koenig and his attorney, Richard Flaum, were unsuccessful. In his response brief to the complaint filed on Sept. 9, attorney Mitchell B. Jacobs, who is defending the department and borough against the suit, noted Koenig had contacted the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office about his allegations.Charles Webster, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, said this week his office found no evidence to warrant a criminal investigation and referred the matter back to the Rumson Department for its own internal investigation.Jacobs, in his court filings, denied the allegations and countered “Plaintiff’s claims are frivolous and without any reasonable basis in law or fact.” Jacobs’ response went on to state the department “had in place well-publicized and enforced anti-harassment policies, effective formal and informal complaint structures and complaint procedures, training and/or monitoring and preventative mechanisms.” The suit further alleged, in response to Koenig’s whistleblowing, the sergeant was subjected to retaliation from his superiors, suffering from “repeated harassment,” being denied promotions, removed from some long-standing assignments and experiencing what his attorney maintained were “unwarranted investigations and disciplinary actions,” among other alleged discriminatory actions.These charged actions, Flaum said, are violations of the state’s Law Against Discrimination, its Civil Rights Act and the Conscientious Employee Protection Act, as well as violating his client’s freedom of speech Constitutional rights.“Plaintiff Koenig considered the actions of his employer to be severe or pervasive enough to make a reasonable person think twice before reporting any additional workplace issues based upon his fear of retaliation,” stated the complaint.