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Features In the News

Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart LLP

Articles on workplace-related issues from newspapers and Internet news sources around the country.

December 19, 2014

Jersey City nursing home workers protest 'unfair treatment,' 'contract violations'

Source: Matthew Speiser, NJ

Bryn Lloyd-Bollard, communications coordinator for 1199 SEIU - the largest health care worker union in the country - said Alaris has been in "blatant violation" of its union contract with the workers for more than a year.
"The company has been paying workers below the minimum rates as specified in the union contract and participating in other union busting tactics like removing certain workers from the union," Lloyd-Bollard.

December 18, 2014

America U.S. Announces Protections For Transgender Workers

Source: Krishnadev Calamur, NPR

"This important shift will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status," he said in a statement. "This will help to foster fair and consistent treatment for all claimants. And it reaffirms the Justice Department's commitment to protecting the civil rights of all Americans."

Paid Maternity Leave Is Good for Business

Source: Derek Thompson, Wall Street Journal

Having experienced how valuable paid maternity leave is to me, my family and my career, I never thought of it as a privilege. But the sad truth is that paid maternity leave is rare in America, and the U.S. lags behind the rest of the world in providing for the needs of pregnant women and new mothers.

December 17, 2014

Lockheed Settles $1.3 Billion 401k Suit as Trial Loomed

Source: Tim Bross and Andrew Harris, Bloomberg Buisnessweek

Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) agreed to settle a $1.3 billion lawsuit over claims the defense contractor shortchanged the 120,000 workers and retirees who participate in its pension plans as a trial was set to begin this week.
Workers accused the company of subjecting them to excessive fees and leaving those investing in its stock fund with returns that were worse than if they had bought shares on the open market. The settlement was disclosed today by U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan in East St. Louis, Illinois, and still requires his approval.

December 16, 2014

UPDATE 2-Unions, retirees sue to block Chicago pension changes

Source: Karen Pierog, Reuters

The lawsuit contends that the law, enacted in June, violates the Illinois Constitution by reducing pension benefits for workers and retirees in Chicago's Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund. The suit was filed in Cook County Circuit Court by the Chicago Teachers Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 and others.
The lawsuit asks the court to declare the law void and illegal because pensions will be reduced in violation of a constitutional provision prohibiting the diminishment or impairment of public employee retirement benefits.

Walmart Must Pay $188 Million to Settle Claims of Cut Rest Breaks

Source: Victor Luckerson, Time

Walmart has been ordered to pay $188 million over claims by employees that the company regularly cut their breaks for meals and rest. The payment would be a settlement for a class-action lawsuit that went all the way to the Pennsylvania Supereme Court. The ruling would hurt Walmart's earnings, the company said, by reducing its profits from continuing operations by 6 cents per share. Wal-Mart said it may appeal the decision.

December 15, 2014

$4 Million: That's How Much These Dim Sum Restaurant Workers Won in Back Pay

Source: Michelle Chen, The Nation

Approximately 280 workers, many of them monolingual Chinese immigrants, are savoring a sweet labor victory with a landmark $4 million settlement, which also includes new rules for labor standards and benefits. The settlement is remarkable for its size, but also the recipe behind it: a coalition of legal advocates and community organizers who were committed to upscaling the working conditions in an increasingly unequal city.

The Mysterious Rise of the Non-Working Man

Source: Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

In 1974, the radio broadcaster Studs Terkel published a book of profiles to have "people talk about what they do all day and how they feel about what they do." The title of the book was, simply, Working.
That was appropriate. Working was what people did all day, particularly if they were men in their 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s. In the 1970s, as in previous decades, about 95 percent of men between the age of 25 and 54 were either working or actively looking for their next job. Only 5.5 percent of them were what economists consider "inactive"-out of the labor force.

Why Workers Undervalue Traditional Pension Plans

Source: Dan Kadlec, Time

Despite many drawbacks, the 401(k) plan is our most prized employee benefit other than healthcare, new research shows. More than half of workers value this savings plan even above a traditional pension that guarantees income for life.

Patrick shifts position on worker unionization

Source: Michael Levenson and Stephanie Ebbert, The Boston Globe

Documents obtained by the Globe show that Patrick's legal team in March opposed an effort by the National Association of Government Employees to represent about 3,000 state employees hired since July 2011. Patrick's team argued that the positions that NAGE wanted to include had not been part of the union in its 30-year history and that the transfer would deny workers the right to determine their own representation.
Now, Patrick is arguing that extending union protection to another 500 workers is warranted.

The Devalued American Worker

Source: Jim Tankersley, Washington Post

Green once held a middle-class job. Now, to make enough money to send his children to college, he works the equivalent of two full-time jobs: one maintaining highways for the state of North Carolina and one ushering fans and collecting trash for a variety of sports teams around Winston-Salem.
The American economy has stopped delivering the broadly shared prosperity that the nation grew accustomed to after World War II. The explanation for why that is begins with the millions of middle-class jobs that vanished over the past 25 years, and with what happened to the men and women who once held those jobs.

December 14, 2014

A Growing Economic Recovery Bypasses Low-Wage Workers and Their Tables

Source: Rachel L. Swarns, The New York Times

Perhaps you've heard the good news from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which recently reported strong gains in hiring and a sharp jump in hourly wages. Or maybe you've read that associates at big law firms in New York are taking home hefty bonuses of $15,000 to $100,000 this year. All of it has overshadowed the continuing struggles of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers during this holiday season.

December 13, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court ruling on home care workers still reverberating in Washington

Source: Brad Shannon, The Olympian

In Washington state, the court ruling appears to apply to the more than 40,000 home care workers in SEIU 775; 8,000 child-care operators represented by SEIU 925; roughly 1,000 medical-language interpreters represented by the Washington Federation of State Employees; and hundreds of adult family home providers represented by the Residential Care Council of Family Homes. In each case, care providers are paid by the state, and the unions negotiate with the state for wage rates or reimbursement rates.

December 12, 2014

This One Sentence Captures the Huge Challenges Facing the Unemployed

Source: Danny Vinik, New Republic

But more important is what Walsh's firing says about the state of the economy: Workers have no leverage over their employers. Even though the recovery has made substantial progress this year, there are still many more unemployed workers than jobs available. When that's the case, workers don't have leverage to demand higher wages and better working conditions-or a day off to care for one's dying mother. If they make such demands, employers can find a replacement worker from the unemployed. That seems to be what happened with Frank Walsh.

Faces of minimum wage: Chasing the American dream in fits, starts

Source: Maudlyne Ihejirika , Chicago Sun-Times

Guzman's take-home pay: $900 to $1,100 monthly. That's with a 31-hour week at McDonald's and four days work at a factory he gets from a temporary placement firm.
"McDonald's doesn't pay me enough - $8.25, or $8.75 is a kind of a hopeless minimum wage," he says. "In order to make enough to survive, on my days off I go to a temporary agency. I wait there until they call me to see if there's any work opportunity."

December 11, 2014

Report Says Future Of Low Paid Workers Is Bleak

Source: Bill Hudson, CBS Minnesota

Despite the recent success in raising Minnesota's minimum wage, a new report paints a bleak outlook for the state's lowest paid workers. The worker rights groups, Working America and Take Action Minnesota, say a lot more is still needed to lift 622,000 Minnesotans out of poverty.

Striking S.F. airport restaurant workers: Bring your own food

Source: Henry K. Lee, SFGate

Travelers at San Francisco International Airport, already grappling with delayed or cancelled flights because of Thursday's big storm, may also want to bring their own food because of a 48-hour strike by restaurant workers.
About 1,000 workers, who have been working without a contract for more than a year, will be on strike through Friday. Restaurants throughout the airport are affected, according to the union, Unite Here Local 2.

State board considers wage boost for tipped workers

Source: Steve Barnes, Timesunion

Hospitality-industry representatives and advocates for tipped employees testified before the state Wage Board on Tuesday as it considers whether to continue to allow restaurant waistaff and bartenders to be paid below the minimum wage. The state minimum wage is due to increase from $8 an hour to $8.75 on Dec. 31. The wage for restaurant and hospitality workers who earn tips would remain between $4.90 and $5.65, depending on classification, with the hourly difference between that and full minimum wage to be paid by employers if tips don't cover it.

Wal-Mart managers illegally threatened, intimidated Calif. workers, NLRB judge rules (Video)

Source: David A. Arnott, Dallas Business Journal

The New York Times explained that the workers are not unionized, but are supported by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, and over the past three years they have staged various protests against the retailer, recently attempting to demonstrate on Black Friday and calling for $15-per-hour wages. Among the specifics in the ruling, the Times said, the judge found six employees at a Richmond, California, store were illegally punished for participating in a 2012 one-day strike, that managers had tried to intimidate workers by threatening to close a store if too many workers joined a union, and that Wal-Mart's (NYSE: WMT) dress code "unduly restricted associates' right to wear union insignia."

December 10, 2014

US retail workers need a new bill of rights

Source: Amy B. Dean, AlJazeera America

These conditions have led retail workers to conclude that they need a new form of protection: a bill of rights. In San Francisco, labor activists are demanding just that, and the idea is gaining traction. In a historic victory for low-wage employees, on Nov. 25, the city's Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the nation's first Retail Workers Bill of Rights. While San Francisco already had a law requiring the minimum wage to be pegged to inflation, the Retail Workers Bill of Rights will provide much-needed stability and flexibility for 40,000 workers at many of the city's retail establishments.

December 9, 2014

Court: No pay for Amazon warehouse security checks

Source: Sam Hananel, AP

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that warehouse workers who fill orders for retail giant Amazon don't have to be paid for time spent waiting to pass through security checks at the end of their shifts.
The unanimous decision is a victory for the growing number of retailers and other companies that routinely screen workers to prevent employee theft. The justices said federal law does not require companies to pay employees for the extra time because it is unrelated to their primary job duties.

U.S. top court rejects worker pay for security-screening time

Source: Lawrence Hurley, Reuters

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a victory to employers over worker compensation, ruling that companies do not have to pay employees for the time they spend undergoing security checks at the end of their shifts in a case involving an Amazon.com Inc warehousing contractor.

Workers at Amazon Warehouses Won't Get Paid for Waiting in Security Lines

Source: Josh Eidelson , Bloomberg Buisnessweek

Companies that make their workers go through security screenings before they can go home don't have to pay them for the time they spend waiting in line to be checked, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday morning. All nine justices sided with an Amazon.com (AMZN) contractor, Integrity Staffing Solutions, on the grounds that a lawsuit by warehouse workers should have been dismissed.

U.S. economy added 321,000 jobs in November; unemployment rate holds at 5.8%

Source: Chico Harlan, Washington Post

On Friday, the government announced that the U.S. economy added 321,000 jobs in November, the best figure in nearly three years, keeping the country on track for the strongest annual job growth since the late 1990s. That performance, coming even as other advanced economies slump, has lifted hopes among economists and U.S. officials that a slow, six-year recovery is beginning to yield substantial benefits for ordinary workers.

December 8, 2014

My Whole Foods nightmare: How a full-time job there left me in poverty

Source: Nick Rahaim, Salon

After years of organizing in secret, building bonds over beer and supporting co-workers when issues have arisen with management, team members at a Whole Foods Market in San Francisco disrupted the normal workday and demanded a $5 an hour pay increase last month. More than 20 employees beckoned store management to the floor and presented a petition signed by more than 50 of the store's workers calling for more paid time off, better health and retirement benefits as well as steady, consistent schedules.

U.S. Supreme Court Considers Pregnancy Discrimination Act at Oral Argument

Source: Tyler Anderson, The National Law Review

On December 3, 2014, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Young v. United Parcel Service, 707 F.3d 437 (4th Cir. 2013), a long-anticipated and widely discussed case addressing the scope of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act ("PDA") as it relates to light-duty accommodations in the workplace. This case is relevant to employers for two reasons. First, if the petitioner's argument wins over the Court, employers across the country would be mandated to make independent accommodations for pregnant employees, regardless of the employer's current policy. Second, if the petitioner's argument loses under the PDA, the door is still open for a Title VII disparate impact claim, which, if successful, would require employers to amend their light-duty and paid leave policies nationwide.

December 7, 2014

The Workers Who Grow Our Food In Mexico Often Live In Deplorable Conditions

Source: Carman Tse, Laist

Although the produce from Mexico undergoes some of the strictest safety regulations in order to ensure they can be sold Stateside, a recent investigative report has found that means of production behind that food still has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to workers rights and living conditions.

December 5, 2014

Black poverty is state violence, too: Why struggles for criminal justice and living wage are uniting

Source: Sarah Jaffe, Salon

For the second time in a week, the swelling protests against police brutality and an unequal criminal justice system coincided with planned labor strikes at low-wage employers yesterday, and for the second time, protesters joined forces, combining the struggle for a living wage with the struggle for the right to live free of police violence.

Wage Watch: Study finds 'alarming' wage violations by employers in two states

Source: Claire Zillman, Fortune

After examining workforce data of both states from October 2010 through September 2011, the DOL discovered that 3.5% of wage and salary workers in California and 6.5% of such employees in New York are paid less than the minimum wage. Those figures increase to 10.9% and 19.5%, respectively, when only workers in low-wage jobs are considered.

Zillow hit with age discrimination lawsuit over behavior at California offices: Sales staffer asked whether 'too old to close'

Source: Blair Hanley Frank, GeekWire

According to the complaint, Jennifer Young, a 41-year-old employee on Zillow's sales team, had a sales manager who would ask her if she was "too old to close" and told her to "try and keep up with us." According to the complaint, Young was a victim of a "pervasive culture of retaliation and harassment at Zillow that placed a premium on sales and a shortfall on human decency and basic employment rights."

Fast-Food Strikes Hit Record Numbers, Span 190 Cities

Source: Josh Eidelson , Bloomberg Buisnessweek

Rather than organizing store-by-store to try to win unionization elections (which, even if successful, could just trigger fast-food corporations to dump the franchisees), or trying to shut down substantial numbers of stores with strikes, the fast-food effort uses one-day walkouts, usually involving just a minority of the workforce, that anchor broader campaigns of media, political, and legal pressure. The idea is to compel the top national fast-food corporations to agree to hike pay and make it easier for workers to unionize. Versions of that strategy have spread to other industries, because the same challenges are afflicting organizing efforts there as well.

Is a radical 'no email' policy moral failing?

Source: David R. Wheeler, CNN

Germans work on average 35 hours per week by law. Yet, Germany hasn't lost any edge as an industrial powerhouse. In fact, Germany has remained Europe's biggest economy, even helping to keep the continent afloat during the global recession. (Though lately, growth has been modest for Germany as anxiety looms over Europe' drag economy.)

December 4, 2014

A Burger Joint Pays $15 An Hour. And, Yes, It's Making Money

Source: Allison Aubrey, NPR

When Moo Cluck Moo opened its first location almost two years ago, the starting pay for all workers was $12 an hour. The idea, according to co-founder Brian Parker, was to train everyone to multitask.
No one is just flipping burgers. All of the workers are expected to be jacks-of-all-trades: They bake buns from scratch daily, they house-make aioli and prepare made-to-order grass-fed burgers and free-range chicken sandwiches.

It's not just fast food: The Fight for $15 is for everyone now

Source: Lydia DePillis, Washington Post

"The fact of the matter is, it's not just fast food where you're being treated a certain way," Killebrew says. "It's retail, it's security, it's hospitals, it's everywhere, where you're not making the money you need to make to maintain." The $15 an hour campaign, which began with a few hundred workers at walking off their shifts at a handful of restaurants in New York two years ago, has metastasized. Home health-care aides joined protests in September. Federal contract workers took up the cry last month.

December 3, 2014

Pregnancy discrimination claim faces high-court hurdle

Source: Richard Wolf, USA Today

The Supreme Court struggled Wednesday to find a clear reason why pregnant women deserve accommodations at work.
Faced with Peggy Young's lawsuit against United Parcel Service for refusing to give her light duty during her pregnancy, conservative justices said she was seeking a form of "most favored nation" status used in trade agreements - treatment equal to the best-treated workers.
Liberal justices saw it differently, arguing that Young was "least favored" by UPS because very few workers with sicknesses, injuries or disabilities were denied the accommodations she sought.

Capitalism is officially broken: Even doggy day care workers have non-competes now

Source: Matt O'Brien, Washington Post

It's so absurd it almost seems like a Woody Allen-esque meditation on the limits of capitalism. But here it is: Camp Bow Wow, a dog-sitting chain, makes its workers sign non-compete agreements that bar them from plying any of the "trade secrets" they learn walking dogs at any other animal day care centers for up to two years, according to the Huffington Post. The company declined to discuss the matter with HuffPo.

Arbitration Clauses Trap Consumers with Fine Print

Source: Jeff Sovern, American Banker

As we expected, few respondents realized that they were giving up their rights. But even we were surprised by how many people suffered from serious misconceptions. For example, four times as many respondents believed that they could bring a class action under the contract as those who recognized that they could not.

Airport Workers At 10 Airports To Join With $15 Hour Fast Food Strikers December 4

Source: John Goglia, Forbes

Airport workers at 10 major airports – including JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Seattle – have written to the CEOs of the six major US Airlines – Delta, American, JetBlue, United, Southwest and Alaska – stating that "as airport workers we have pledged to stand together with people who work in home care and fast food to fight for $15 an hour wages.

December 1, 2014

It Is Time for a Retail Workers' Bill of Rights

Source: John Nichols, The Nation

Instead of simply celebrating the firms that did treat their workers well or condemning the firms that did not, it is time to turn up the volume on demands for workplace standards-and to recognize them as essential complements to demands for living-wage pay. "Erratic, constantly changing schedules aren't just a nightmare for workers, they're bad for business," says national Jobs With Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta, who argues that there is a crying need to "adopt 21st-century policies that keep up with the changing nature of today's workplace."

Women Who Work

Source: The Editorial Board, New York Times

If Peggy Young, who was a driver for United Parcel Service, had had an accident that limited her ability to lift heavy packages, or even lost her license because of driving while intoxicated, U.P.S. would have allowed her to go on "light duty" or assigned her another type of work. But Ms. Young got pregnant. When her doctors told her not to lift packages over 20 pounds to avoid jeopardizing the pregnancy, U.P.S. refused to accommodate her and effectively compelled her to go on unpaid medical leave.

November 30, 2014

Former UPS driver at center of pregnancy discrimination case before Supreme Court

Source: Brigid Schulte, Washington Post

All Peggy Young wanted, she says, was to drive.
But when her bosses at UPS told her to take unpaid leave until she was no longer pregnant, Young sued, saying the company violated the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 and failed to treat a pregnant Young the way it treated other employees. She lost twice in courts in Maryland, which agreed with UPS that Young did not prove the company discriminated against her because of her pregnancy. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in her appeal of the closely watched case.

November 28, 2014

Black Friday protests held against Wal-Mart in Salem, Danvers

Source: Dustin Luca , The Salem News

Members of the Massachusetts Jobs with Justice and Massachusetts Interfaith Worker Justice coalitions came together at about 50 Wal-Mart locations around the state to demand higher wages and better working conditions for employees that they say don't have adequate rights on the job.

November 26, 2014

Five Ways to Measure Black Friday Strikes at Wal-Mart

Source: Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg Buisnessweek

Will striking workers capture media attention¡ The well-worn images of Black Friday-door-busting lines, overloaded shopping carts, fights over discounted items-don't yet include striking retail workers. OUR Walmart clearly wants to change that. Like other union-backed "corporate campaigns" waged against name-brand companies, the Walmart effort is in large part a media project. So far unable (mostly) to disrupt the flow of Walmart products, organizers now want to disrupt the giant retailer's image by publicizing everything from carbon emissions and alleged bribery to the understocked store shelves.

What If Your Boss Suddenly Told You to Come to Work on Thanksgiving¡

Source: Josh Harkinson, Mother Jones

According to a recent study by Susan Lambert, a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, nearly half of young part-time retail employees receive their work schedules less than a week in advance. This is partly a symptom of retailers' increasing reliance on computerized "on call" scheduling systems that track weather predictions and real-time sales data to schedule work shifts-maximizing efficiency but wreaking havoc on workers' ability to manage their personal schedules.

Not All Staples Employees Get Thanksgiving Off in Massachusetts

Source: Adam Vaccaro, Boston

Here's a little twist on Massachusetts Blue Laws. While they'll keep all of Staples's in-state stores closed on Thanksgiving, there's one major Bay State location they don't apply to: the Framingham corporate headquarters.
Across most of the rest of the country, Staples is opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night (because nothing says "Merry Christmas" like office supplies!), which means some employees at the chain's "home office" will have to work, too.

November 25, 2014

Why Living-Wage Laws Are Not Enough-and Minimum-Wage Laws Aren't Either

Source: Jonathan Lange, The Nation

Those who believe, as I do, that workers deserve a living wage and decent benefits, can't ignore the fact that twenty years of mobilizing around higher minimum wages and legislated living-wage standards have not closed the wage gap. That gap has continued to grow. And the rate of growth has accelerated. It's not a gap that will be filled by legislated solutions. It can and will only be filled by organized workers willing to fight for better wages and benefits in their own workplaces.

San Francisco is about to pass America's first-ever chain-store worker's bill of rights

Source: Rob Wile, Fusion

The bill says any national chains' store in city limits would have to give priority to existing par-time employees when offering additional available hours before hiring new part-time employees to fill them. Current practices allow big box chains to avoid hiring full-time employees to avoid cost increases, and California in particular has one of the highest involuntarily part-time employment rates in the country.

San Francisco passes first-in-nation limits on worker schedules

Source: Marianne LeVine, Politico

San Francisco is now the country's first jurisdiction to limit how chain stores can alter their employees' schedules.
Other states and cities are considering similar statutory restraints. Work scheduling rules are therefore poised to follow localized minimum wage increases and paid leave mandates as the newest instance of state and local government stepping in to fill the void left by the decades-long decline of private-sector labor unions.

When Raising the Minimum Wage Isn't Enough

Source: Alana Semuels, The Atlantic

Kulsic only gets 33 to 35 hours a week, and struggles to pay for heat, food, and transportation. He typically rides a bike the three miles to work, but his bike broke, so these days, he walks or takes the bus. He's asked for more hours-or more consistent hours, at least-but his employer, whose name he asked me not to use, doesn't want to give any worker more than 35 hours because then they'll be classified as full-time, he said.

Administration Warns Employers: Don't Dump Sick Workers From Plans

Source: Jay Hancock, NPR

As employers try to minimize expenses under the health law, the Obama administration has warned them against paying high-cost workers to leave the company medical plan and buy coverage elsewhere.

Such a move would unlawfully discriminate against employees based on their health status, three federal agencies said in a bulletin issued in early November.

November 24, 2014

Doggy Day Care Chain Makes Pet Sitters Sign Noncompetes To Protect 'Trade Secrets'

Source: Dave Jamieson, HuffingtonPost

Camp Bow Wow is a doggy day care franchise. The company has more than 100 North American locations where pets board overnight, and it also offers in-home pet-sitting services. Camp Bow Wow workers look after dogs. But before they can do that, they apparently have to sign strict noncompete contracts similar to the ones used by Jimmy John's.

Why Wal-Mart Workers Keep Using One-Day Strikes

Source: Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg Buisnessweek

One-day strikes don't shut down the workplace like iconic strikes of yore did (and some workers, like Chicago teachers, still can). But if done right, they can accomplish some of what those walkouts did: Embarrass companies, estrange them from their customers, and engage fellow workers and the broader public by disrupting business as usual and creating a public spectacle. Instead of halting production, they anchor broader campaigns of political, media, legal, and consumer pressure aimed at getting management to budge.

Wage theft too often going unpunished

Source: Albor Ruiz, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

For four years, Lino, 53, worked 13 hours a day, six days a week stocking shelves at Rosemary's Farm, a small grocery store in Flushing. His weekly salary was $350, that is, about $4.65 an hour. In October 2008 he was fired after protesting to his boss about his meager - and illegal - salary and filed a complaint at the Department of Labor. Six years have passed, and Lino is still waiting for justice.

November 23, 2014

Billion-dollar California salad company exploits undocumented migrants, say workers and Teamsters

Source: Rory Carroll, The Guardian

A half-dozen current and former workers interviewed by the Guardian alleged the company took advantage of undocumented migrants from Mexico and central America to keep workers on "temporary" status year after year, leaving them vulnerable to low pay, dangerous conditions, intimidation and summary firings.

November 22, 2014

In the run-up to Black Friday, Walmart and strikers wage a war of words

Source: Lydia DePillis, The Washington Post

In advance of coordinated strikes at Wal-Marts across the country on the day after Thanksgiving, a labor union-backed group is accusing the world's biggest retailer of driving its associates into starvation - and Wal-Mart is fighting back harder than ever, saying it's just providing low-cost groceries to the masses.

November 21, 2014

Why wage growth disparity tells the story of America's half-formed economic recovery

Source: Chico Harlan, The Washington Post

With unemployment down to 5.8 percent, the country's half-formed recovery is often described with a convenient shorthand: We have jobs but little wage growth. But stagnancy is just an average, and for many Americans, the years since the financial crisis have pushed them farther from the line, according to a detailed analysis of government labor statistics by The Washington Post.

Wal-Mart workers plan Black Friday protests for higher pay

Source: Shan Li, Los Angeles Times

Wal-Mart workers and their supporters plan to launch protests at stores across the country on Black Friday to push for higher wages and better working conditions for employees.
Organizers say rallies and marches will occur at 1,600 Wal-Mart locations on the day after Thanksgiving in what they say will be the largest protests ever against the nation's biggest retailer.

November 20, 2014

Southwest pilots union seeks mediation in contract talks

Source: Andrea Ahles, Star Telegram

The Southwest Airlines pilots union filed for federal mediators to intervene in its contract talks with the Dallas-based carrier Thursday.

The two sides have been negotiating a new contract for more than two years, and the union says they remain far apart on several issues

November 19, 2014

Atlantic City casino workers protest Trump Taj Mahal shutdown on boardwalk

Source: J.P. Sullivan, New Jersey

The facility is slated to close on Dec. 12 after going into bankruptcy earlier this year. Billionaire Carl Icahn has expressed interest in reopening the casino, but only if the facility can secure state and local tax breaks and concessions from the union.

Hartford Teachers Union Speaks Out Over 'Unrealistic' Goals

Source: Vanessa de la Torre, Hartford Courant

Federation President Andrea Johnson asked Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez to remove the "unrealistic" targets expected for students in the current school year, calling them "outrageous new demands." Teachers should be able to develop the goals for their students, she said.

Kmart Workers Are Latest to Push Back on Thanksgiving Hours

Source: Lauren Coleman-Lochner, Bloomberg Buisnessweek

Almost 5,000 people have signed a petition calling for Kmart to ensure that its workers have enough time off on Thanksgiving, part of a backlash against retailers that are open during the holiday.
"We understand that it is retail, and employees understand that they have to work hours on holidays," the campaign's organizer, Jillian Fisher, said on the website coworker.org. "However, Kmart's unnecessary hours are forcing its employees to miss out on important time with their families."

State Supreme Court will decide whether "right to work" covers state workers

Source: Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio

Four unions representing 35,000 state civil service workers filed the challenge. They say the right-to-work law does not apply to them because of the Michigan Constitution and the independent authority it gives the civil service system.

November 18, 2014

Mediator unable to revive negotiations in FairPoint strike

Source: http://www.pressherald.com/2014/11/18/talks-between-fairpoint-unions-fail/, Portland Press Herald

A federal mediator's attempt to spark renewed talks between FairPoint Communications and its striking workers fizzled Tuesday.
That failure means the next outside attempt at resolving the monthlong strike probably will come from the National Labor Relations Board, which is considering a complaint filed by the unions.

New data reveals it's not just high-tech companies using H-1B guest workers

Source: Matthew Yglesias, Vox

It's no surprise to see that California is the number one home state of companies looking to bring in foreign tech workers. But California's number one user of H-1B workers last year wasn't one of Silicon Valley's famous consumer facing tech giants. It's HCL America, not exactly a household name, which refers to itself as "a leading IT consulting and outsourcing software development company."

Fairpoint, Striking Workers Return to Table

Source: Associated Press, MPBNnews

FairPoint and the unions are at odds over a company-imposed contract that froze the old pension plan and requires workers to contribute to health care costs for the first time. Other provisions allow the company to hire contractors and eliminate retiree health care benefits for current workers.

November 17, 2014

Supreme Court to hear right-to-work arguments in Jan.

Source: Justin A. Hinkley, LansingStateJournal

The Michigan Supreme Court will in January hear oral arguments on whether the state's controversial right-to-work law applies to state employees and on another case related to state employee pensions.

Workers' rights expand under proposed S.F. ordinances

Source: Marisa Lagos and Jill Tucker, SFGate

San Francisco restaurant and retail workers could soon have more predictable schedules, more opportunity for full-time work and more rights in general after the Board of Supervisors' budget committee sent two proposed ordinances to the full board over the objections of the business community.

UPMC ordered to reinstate workers who tried to unionize employees

Source: Karen Kane, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

UPMC says it plans to appeal a legal finding that the health care giant violated federal labor law when it fired four employees who were involved in unionizing activities.
That finding, contained in a 120-page National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge's opinion, orders UPMC to put the employees back on the payroll within two weeks.

November 15, 2014

Southern California is hotbed for wage theft in garment industry

Source: Tiffany Hsu and Chris Kirkham, LA Times

Company time cards showed more than a dozen employees all clocked in within two minutes of one another - a telltale sign of payroll falsification, according to investigators with the U.S. Department of Labor. This spring, an investigation found that 15 employees were owed more than $33,000 for unpaid work.

November 14, 2014

Lawmakers are starting to talk about making New Mexico a right-to-work state

Source: Niraj Chokshi, Washington Post

Republicans control the New Mexico state legislature for the first time in 60 years, and lawmakers there are beginning to suggest they may use their new majority to restrict union power.

November 13, 2014

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti steps in to stop labor disruption, help curb congestion at Long Beach, Los Angeles ports

Source: Karen Robes Meeks, Los Angeles Daily News

Facing a potential labor disruption that would have further congested the nation's two busiest seaports, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday announced a truce between port truck drivers and one of the three trucking companies involved in the dispute.

No, 2016 Won't Be the Year of the $20 Minimum Wage

Source: Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg Buisnessweek

In the midterm elections, four red states-Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota-passed minimum wage increases. Those votes mean that, starting next year, a majority of states will have minimum wages higher than the federal rate. The last time that happened, in 2007, Democrats newly in control of Congress used their power to pass the first national increase in a decade, from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour. It's extremely unlikely the Republicans who took back the Senate in the midterm elections will do the same. "Waiting for Congress to act is frustrating and, at this point, pointless," says Ed Flanagan, a former Alaska labor commissioner who spent a year campaigning for his state's new increase, from $7.75 to $9.75.

November 12, 2014

Coal Mines Keep Operating Despite Injuries, Violations And Millions In Fines

Source: Howard Berkes, NPR

Citations and the fines that go with them are key components of the federal law designed to protect miners. They are supposed to make violations expensive - costing hundreds of thousands of dollars for the most serious offenses - and create an incentive for mine owners to keep workers safe.
Yet on that December day in 2010, as Blankenship lay pinned and in pain, Aracoma Alma owed $200,000 in overdue mine safety fines, federal records show. The penalty system that is designed to discourage unsafe practices failed Blankenship, and his story is not unique.

Hearing on increase in minimum wage for tipped workers Thursday

Source: TheBuffaloNews

Gov. Cuomo's Department of Labor Wage Board pulls into the Mahoney State Office Building from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday for the latest in a series of statewide public hearings to discuss an increase in the minimum wage for tipped workers.

VW to Allow Labor Groups to Represent Workers at Chattanooga Plant

Source: STEVEN GREENHOUSE, The New York Times

Volkswagen announced a new policy on Wednesday that was likely to allow several labor groups, including the United Automobile Workers, to represent employees at the company's Chattanooga, Tenn., plant.
The U.A.W. applauded the move because it would mean partial recognition of the union and regular discussions between management and the U.A.W., and perhaps other labor groups as well. For years, the union has been straining to get a foothold in any of the foreign-owned auto plants in the South.

A ton of people didn't vote because they couldn't get time off from work

Source: Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

You've heard the news by now that turnout in the 2014 midterms was the lowest in any election since 1942, when voters were busy with, you know, other stuff. In short, only 36 percent of the voting-age population bothered to cast a ballot last week. A large proportion of them simply aren't registered to vote at all. But past numbers suggest upwards of 20 percent of Americans adults were registered to vote, but couldn't be bothered to - what's their excuse¡

This Is How the Big Mac Is About to Change

Source: Martha C. White, Time

People made dire predictions about the fate of your favorite drive-thru indulgences. Last year, an article in Bloomberg Businessweek predicted that the price of a Big Mac would go up by a dollar if the minimum wage was raised to $15 an hour. (None of the state-level new minimum wage laws call for increasing it that much, but $15 is the number union-backed labor groups have been campaigning for.)

November 11, 2014

Corporate America's oily trick: How big business uses "yellow-dog contracts" to crush basic rights

Source: David Seligman and Nick Clark, Salon

This month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it is suing a regional restaurant group that owns a number of fast-food franchises, including Applebee's, Panera Bread and Chevy's, because the group requires all of its employees and applicants to sign a "forced arbitration" clause as a condition of employment – that is, if these employees want to work in the group's restaurants, they must sign away their right to hold their employer accountable in court for violating state or federal employment laws.

November 10, 2014

West Coast Dock Workers Strike Could Cost $2 Billion A Day

Source: Erik Anderson, KPBS

The 13,600 International Longshore and Warehouse Union members have been working under terms of an expired contract since May. The nation's retailers and manufacturers predict a strike could cost the U.S. economy $2 billion a day.

Supreme Court Weighs Case Over Cuts to Retirees' Health Benefits

Source: ADAM LIPTAK, New York Times

The case, M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, concerned a union contract at a chemical plant in Apple Grove, W.Va. Like many other collective bargaining agreements, it did not directly say whether health benefits for retirees would vest.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, ruled for the retirees, relying on its own 1983 decision, one that put a thumb on the scale in favor of vesting. The 1983 decision, known as Yard-Man, was disavowed by lawyers on both sides of Monday's argument, and it did not seem popular with the justices, either.

November 9, 2014

The Rise of Invisible Unemployment

Source: Derek Thompson, The Atlantic

It's a problem best summed up by Matthew O'Brien in the Washington Post. As the labor market approaches full employment, there should be more pressure on wages to rise. In the graph below, that would look like a trend-line pointing up and to the left. Instead, as you can see in a half-a-second glance, the trend-line is a blob and it's certainly not pointing up. The unemployment rate has fallen below 6 percent, and earnings growth is flat.

Tipping point on tipping

Source: Lois Kazakoff, SFGate

My Chronicle colleague Paolo Lucchesi tapped a cultural nerve last month when he reported that five Bay Area restaurants would drop tipping in favor of a service charge. Is this the beginning of the end of a deeply ingrained American custom (and tax dodge) or a rational attempt to keep restaurant prices within reach and meet new minimum wage laws.

November 8, 2014

Hundreds of striking workers rally against FairPoint

Source: Sarah Delage, WCSH6

FairPoint workers from two unions have been on strike for more than three weeks now. They say the company offered them a bad contract with hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts that puts their jobs in jeopardy.
"I have lived in Maine my whole life, my children I'm raising in Cumberland, and the message here today is we need to keep good jobs in the state of Maine," Serina DeWolfe said. "It's that simple. No outsourcing, no subcontracting."

November 7, 2014

US economy fueling strong hiring if not pay gains

Source: CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, Boston

In the same week that voters signaled discontent with the U.S. economy, the government issued a report that showed employers have added at least 200,000 jobs for nine straight months - the longest such stretch since 1995.
The U.S. job market is hardly without its own weaknesses. Americans' average hourly pay rose only slightly last month, a negative note in an otherwise solid report. Stagnant wages have been a chronic weakness in the job market since the recession ended.

U.S. economy adds 214,000 in October; unemployment rate sinks to 5.8 percent

Source: Chico Harlan, Washington Post

The unemployment rate also ticked down to 5.8 percent, the lowest level in six years, even as more workers entered the job market.
The latest encouraging numbers keep the nation on pace for its best labor market year since 1999 and stand in noted contrast to a wave of discontent that helped Republicans sweep a round of midterm elections this week. Though wage growth has been sluggish in recent years, Americans - helped by falling oil prices - are seeing their purchasing power rise.

November 6, 2014

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare

Source: Matt Taibbi , Rolling Stone

Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing.

Your Guide to Changing Paid Sick Leave Laws

Source: Karen E. Klein, Bloomberg Buisnessweek

So far, the new laws are in effect in just a handful of cities, starting with San Francisco in 2007, and the state of Connecticut. Earlier this year, New York City became the largest jurisdiction to implement mandatory sick leave, affecting more than 1 million people who previously had to forgo pay to stay home sick. An estimated 6.5 million workers will get the benefit of at least three paid sick days annually when California's mandate goes into effect in July 2015.

November 5, 2014

Google to offer FoundationOne cancer tests to employees

Source: Janelle Nanos, BetaBoston

Google will begin covering the cost of administering its FoundationOne and FoundationOne Heme tests to "all employees and their families navigating cancer treatments." The company's tests identify genetic mutations found in either cancerous solid tumors or cells affected by blood-related cancers like leukemia or lymphoma, and then identifies targeted drug therapies.

San Francisco votes in $15 minimum wage

Source: Ben Rooney, CNN

Under the new law, wages will rise to $11.05 on Jan.1, then $12.25 in May before increasing every year until they reach $15 in 2018. After that, increases will be tied to inflation in the Bay Area.
San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee applauded the result and said voters "sent a message loudly and clearly" that "we can take on the growing gap between rich and poor."

Low-wage workers applaud sick-time victory

Source: Katie Johnston, The Boston Globe

With the passage of the earned sick time ballot measure on Tuesday, these workers will no longer have to choose between taking care of themselves - or their children - and paying the bills. Nearly 1 million workers in the state who don't get sick time - including part-time and temporary employees - will start accruing an hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, starting July 1.

State's only approved initiative concerns teachers

Source: Associated Press, The Gazette

Proposition 104 will change the way teachers and school districts negotiate.
The measure won with nearly 70 percent of the vote, the only one of four ballot measures to be approved by voters.
It directs Colorado to join a handful of states in requiring school boards to allow the public to see negotiations on collective bargaining agreements, or union contracts.

November 4, 2014

Oregon Canvassers Workers Push for Unionization at Union-Funded Workplace

Source: Shane Burley, In These Times

The workers are from Fieldworks, one of the largest political canvassing businesses in Portland, Oregon, and the nation as a whole. Their complaints are familiar those made by campaign workers in a slew of organizing in recent months: a lack of transparency when it comes to direction, minimal say in workplace decisions, reports of wage theft and labor law non-compliance, a lack of a living wage.

Why Do Workers Feel So Unhappy¡

Source: Bourree Lam, The Atlantic

Research on worker happiness has linked it to 12 percent more productivity, and businesses with happy employees beat their peers by 3.8 percent in the stock market. A Gallup report tallies up the cost of unhappy, disengaged employees to the U.S. economy at $350 billion annually due to lost productivity.

November 3, 2014

In States Voting on Minimum Wage, Even Critics Sound Like Supporters

Source: Steve Greenhouse, New York Times

"These groups have noticed that minimum-wage increases can easily pass - they have seen this in the past few years," said John G. Matsusaka, executive director of the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California. "They can't get it through the legislatures in these red states, so they do it this way."

November 2, 2014

More employees are in workplace retirement plans

Source: Diane Stafford, TheDetroitNews

Among all Americans, Census data indicates that slightly more than half - 51.3 percent - worked last year for an employer or union that sponsored retirement plans. The 40.8 percent participation rate shows that three out of four wage and salary workers chose to participate in their employment-based retirement plan.

October 31, 2014

"Working full-time and yet still needing public benefits": Leading expert urges McDonald's to come to the table

Source: Elias Isquith, Salon

We've had a [fast-food workers] campaign that's been going for almost two years. The central demands of the campaign are for an increase in wages, up to $15 an hour, and for a union…Part of the reason, in my view, that the campaign has gotten so much attention is that it's raising issues that are pretty central to our economy and our society: wages, jobs, the future of the labor movement; all in some ways going to a broader theme of equality.

Meet The Working Mother Taking Her Pregnancy Discrimination Case To The Supreme Court

Source: Dave Jamieson, HuffingtonPost

Based on the doctor's note, UPS placed Young on unpaid leave, an all too common experience for women nationwide. Although UPS often put workers with other conditions on light duty, it told Young that such accommodations wouldn't apply to an "off-the-job" condition such as her pregnancy. Not only would she lose her income, she would have to suddenly switch to her husband's health insurance plan, changing the hospitals at which she could potentially give birth.

October 30, 2014

Has the National Labor Relations Board opened 'Pandora's Box'¡

Source: Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC

The NLRB's decision was a victory for the Fight For 15 movement of striking fast food workers and the labor groups that back them. By potentially making corporations like McDonald's legally liable for the workplace conditions at its franchised locations, the NLRB has made it possible for the labor movement to exert direct legal pressure on them. In Caldeira's words, "the floodgates have opened because of the general counsel's opinion."

San Francisco to raise minimum wage to $11.05 per hour

Source: Daniel Wallis , Reuters

"Our residents deserve to be able to live where they work and support their families," Kim said in a joint statement with Lee. California, which is one of 21 states with a higher minimum wage than the federal level of $7.25 per hour, recently hiked its statewide hourly minimum rate to $9, from $8 previously. The statewide rate is scheduled to climb to $10 in 2016.

Election Day Could Bring Raises To 680,000 Low-Wage Workers

Source: Ben Casselman, FiveThirtyEightPolitics

Beyond politics, however, Tuesday's votes carry real-world implications for hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers. If all five initiatives pass, and if the Illinois legislature acts in accordance with voters' wishes, about 680,000 workers would get a raise, according to data from the Current Population Survey.

Robert J. Samuelson: Wages stay stagnate as workers fear switching or losing jobs

Source: Robert J. Samuelson, Deseret News

Workers are so insecure that they're afraid to abandon their present jobs for something better; therefore, companies don't have to pay higher wages to retain them. Not surprisingly, labor compensation - wages and fringe benefits - has barely kept pace with inflation at about 2 percent annually since mid-2009.

Chipotle workers say they work extra hours for no pay

Source: Ben Rooney, ABC

The class-action lawsuits filed in Colorado and Minnesota in the last two months allege that Chipotle routinely requires its hourly employees to work "off the clock" without pay.

October 29, 2014

Warning about your right to sue: How you could be giving that up and not know it.

Source: Jonathan Walsh , ABC

Companies say that binding arbitration can make it easier and less costly for both sides to settle disputes. But, there are concerns that giving up the right to sue can deprive consumers of an important legal protection.

With Supreme Court case pending, UPS reverses policy on pregnant workers

Source: Brigid Schulte, The Washington Post

For years, as the Young case has wound its way through federal district and circuit courts, UPS has maintained that, under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, it is legal to only give light duty or other work accommodations to employees injured on the job. And though pregnant workers may temporarily be sidelined from physically demanding jobs with pregnancy-related back trouble, gestational diabetes, carpal tunnel syndrome and other physical ailments, those injuries didn't happen on the job. So no light duty.

October 28, 2014

Suit seeks minimum wage for student athletes

Source: Sara Ganim, WBalTV

"Work-study participants who sell programs or usher at athletic events are paid, on average, $9.03 an hour," states the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Indiana. "But student athletes whose performance creates such student jobs in the athletic department are paid nothing."

Jimmy John's workers fight for a union

Source: Rachel Cohen, City Paper

On Aug. 9, with support from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a radical union founded in 1905 that gained a reputation for organizing across class, race, gender, and occupational lines, Baltimore Jimmy John's workers presented their list of demands to management, which included one paid sick day per month, a transparent disciplinary system for both workers and managers, and wage parity with their landlord, the Hilton, that has unionized employees making between $10.75-$13 per hour. Wages at Jimmy John's hover around $7.25.

October 27, 2014

What's a 'Living Wage' in Wisconsin¡

Source: Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg Buisnessweek

At issue is unusual language in Wisconsin's century-old minimum wage statute. Rather than just establishing a wage floor, a 1913 law also states that the wage should be "a living wage," and it allows Wisconsinites to bring complaints to the state Department of Workforce Development if they believe it falls short. The executive branch then has the authority to appoint a wage council to address the issue, or even to raise the wage floor itself, subject to legislative review.

Is your boss making you sick¡

Source: Rebecca Shannonhouse, Washington Post

"The evidence is clear that the leadership qualities of 'bad' bosses over time exert a heavy toll on employees' health," says Jonathan D. Quick, an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a co-author of the book "Preventive Stress Management in Organizations." "The evidence is also clear that despite the rationalizations some leaders may use to defend their stress-inducing, unsupportive style, such behavior by leaders does not contribute to improved individual performance or organizational productivity."

October 24, 2014

"Hot goods'" hot mess: Minimum wage crackdown sparks backlash

Source: Bridget Huber, Fairwarning

At issue is the little-known "hot goods" provision of federal wage law. It allows the government to halt shipments of goods produced in violation of employment standards. The weapon has been used mainly to combat minimum wage and overtime pay abuses by garment makers but, under President Obama, federal officials have invoked the hot goods provision against farm owners somewhat more often than earlier administrations.

October 23, 2014

California cracks down on wage theft by employers

Source: Marc Lifsher, LA Times

Wage theft is a major part of California's so-called underground economy. The widespread phenomenon, experts say, involves cash payments for goods, services and labor that deprives the state and local governments of an estimated $7 billion a year in tax revenue, according to 2011 legislative research report.

How Fedex is trying to save the business model that saved it millions

Source: Lydia DePillis, The Washington Post

It may seem bizarre in a free-market economy that two people with nearly identical positions would receive starkly different pay and benefits. But it's actually not such a mystery: Brumfield doesn't actually work for FedEx. Brumfield, like 26 other drivers, works for Ride On Trucking, an independent business that contracts with FedEx to deliver packages. He has to comply with all the provisions Ride On Trucking agrees to with FedEx - such as passing a background check and delivering packages within a certain time window - but the company doesn't offer the same wages or benefits that he thinks that FedEx pays its own drivers, who work for its overnight Express division.

Henderson subcontractor ordered to pay back wages

Source: Jennifer Robinson, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

The U.S. Department of Labor said Wednesday that it ordered Proimtu Mmi-Nv LLC to pay $1.91 million in unpaid wages and fringe benefits owed from June 2013 through April. The department said the company violated prevailing-wage laws for the majority of its employees working at Crescent Dunes, a 110-megawatt solar-power plant under construction near Tonopah that is backed by a $737 million federal loan guarantee.

One-Third of Top Websites Restrict Customers' Right to Sue

Source: Jeremy B. Merrill, The New York Times

These legal provisions, known as forced arbitration clauses and class-action ban clauses, have long been included in complex offline contracts like car leases. But their presence online - in documents people rarely see, let alone read - offers a new twist, with consequences for consumers that are still being sorted out by the courts. As more of everyday life moves online, companies are effectively creating rules that experts and activists say tilt the playing field away from the consumer.

Union files charges claiming unfair labor practices in Lebanon lockout

Source: Chelsey Levingston, Dayton Daily News

The auto parts supplier and United Auto Workers have so far failed to agree on a new labor agreement that determines wages, benefits and seniority. Employees have picketed in front of the manufacturing plant on Kingsview Drive around-the-clock in shifts since June.

October 22, 2014

Jimmy John's under fire for worker contracts

Source: Ben Rooney , CNN

The Huffington Post first reported last week that the sandwich chain requires hourly workers to sign non compete agreements that would prohibit them from working at any other restaurant that sells sandwiches or has a location within three miles of a Jimmy John's for a period of two years.

Workers paid $1.21 an hour to install Fremont tech company's computers

Source: George Avalos, San Jose Mercury News

The incident is a reminder that even amid a labor market that has boomed in recent years in Silicon Valley and other parts of the Bay Area, income inequality and payments of relatively low wages can still be a problem for workers in the region. The workers were paid in Indian rupees.

Can a Firm's Partners Also Be Its Employees¡

Source: Josh Eidelson, Bloomberg Buisnessweek

The accountants lobby is making a rather counterintuitive argument: Partners by definition aren't "employees," so the EEOC shouldn't concern itself with whether firms require them to retire. Partners at accounting firms "control their own work and own and control a portion of their firms," AICPA President Barry Melancon wrote, and so they don't qualify for the same anti-discrimination protections. The letter also argues that retirement rules "allow for the predictable progression of lesser tenured, and often more diverse, individuals into the partnership." In other words, protecting old white guys from forced retirement will leave the ranks of partners less diverse.

October 21, 2014

Maryland Live! employees want minimum wage for training course

Source: Legal Newsline Staff, Washington Examiner

Employees are suing PPE Casino Resorts Maryland LLC for failing to pay them minimum wage during a 12-week training course that they say was disguised as a school and not a work-training program.

October 20, 2014

Schools open after tentative agreement in strike

Source: Associated Press, Times Union

Schools are open in South Burlington, Vermont, after a mediator says teachers and the school board have reached a tentative agreement following a four-day strike.

October 17, 2014

Minnesota adds 7,200 jobs, adding to employment rally

Source: Adam Belz, Duluth News Tribune

Combined with an upward revision to an already robust August report, the state's gain of 7,200 positions in September brings net job growth to 23,000 this year, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Can Uber Fire Drivers for Tweeting About Uber¡

Source: Josh Eidelson, Business Week

"The Ortiz fracas threatened to bring Uber more bad press, but the fact remains that Uber drivers-like many truck drivers and taxi drivers-don't have much else by way of recourse. Because they are independent contractors, not employees, they aren't covered by the 1935 National Labor Relations Act. (Sometimes, as in a case this month at FedEx Ground (FDX), the National Labor Relations Board has sided with workers who say that under law they're actually employees, and not contractors as their companies had claimed.) While independent contractors-from fashion models in New York to Uber drivers in California-have banded together to try to improve their working conditions, they're doing it without the legal protections designed to shield other U.S. workers."

Where the minimum wage stands in each state and how it could change on Nov. 4

Source: Niraj Chokshi, Washington Post

"Even without voter approval or further legislative action, the minimum wage is set to change in at least a dozen states and D.C. over the next few years. Four states will see their minimum wages rise to at least $9 an hour early next year, joining Washington, Oregon and California. By early 2016, two states - Massachusetts and California - will breach a $10-minimum-wage mark. By early 2017, Massachusetts will have an $11 minimum wage."

Does the wage gap hurt women's retirement¡ Maybe

Source: Linsy Hunsaker, Deseret News

"Even though women set aside more of their income, men still end up with more. The report showed an average of $121,201 in male accounts and $78,007 in female accounts. The median account balances of both men and women had a disparity of almost $10,000."

October 16, 2014

FedEx Ground Says Its Drivers Aren't Employees. The Courts Will Decide

Source: Josh Eidelson , Bloomberg Buisnessweek

FedEx Ground didn't pay overtime or contribute to Scalercio's Social Security benefits. That's because since acquiring RPS and introducing its ground service, the FedEx unit has treated drivers as independent contractors, not employees. "The saying around the building was, 'It's their sandbox. We only get to play in it,' " says Scalercio, who no longer drives for FedEx Ground but is one of hundreds of current and former drivers suing the FedEx subsidiary, seeking back pay for overtime worked and for paycheck deductions. (The parent company is not a defendant.)Scalercio earned about $90,000 a year from FedEx, he says, but 40 percent to 60 percent of that was lost to deductions and truck expenses.

You know there's something wrong with the economy when sandwich-makers have non-compete clauses

Source: Matt O'Brien, Washington Post

"This, to use a technical term, is nuts. Non-compete clauses, after all, are usually reserved for top executives who really could take sensitive information-and not how to put together a sub-to a rival. Or at least they used to be."

New York attorney general to sue Papa John's franchisee for shorting wages

Source: Dareh Gregorian, New York Daily News

"Eric Schneiderman will file the $2 million suit Thursday against franchisee New Majority Holdings, which operates five pizzerias in Manhattan, for shorting more than 400 workers out money earned, leaving some earing as little as $5 an hour."

Minimum wage fight moves from Capitol Hill to state and local ballots

Source: Joseph Lawler , Washington Examiner

Five states and two major cities will have minimum wage increases on the ballot on Nov. 4, adding to the 10 states and several big cities that already have raised the wage floor this year.

October 15, 2014

Hubway should extend do-good efforts to its workers

Source: Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe

"But not feeling so good about their Hubway experience are its very own workers. A simmering cauldron of grumbles and grievances led to 30 out of 39 Hubway employees signing authorization cards last week to join the Transport Workers Union Local 100 in New York City. The workers complain of unpredictable and disruptive last-minute scheduling, being told they're not needed after being called in, too many repairs for too few mechanics, unsafe rental vans when the company vans are out of service, and $15 wages that often seem low given the precision, organization, and safety required in some of the company's jobs."

America's fastest-growing profession is joining a very public fight for higher wages

Source: Lydia DePillis, The Washington Post

"Knowing what a difference higher pay can make, Reece has joined a new movement launching this week to raise wages and improve workplace protections for home health-care aides nationwide. Backed by the Service Employees International Union, the effort seeks to replicate the "Fight for 15," a push earlier this year to raise the income of fast-food workers through high-profile strikes."

October 14, 2014

Should home care workers who are not members of the union have to pay any dues¡ Supreme Court said no

Source: Adam Belz , Star Tribune

"It was a 5-4 decision, and it has big implications for Minnesota, where home care workers voted to organize in August. About 27,000 will be part of the bargaining unit, but far fewer than that will be members of the union, so whether the union can collect money from nonmembers is an important determiner in how powerful it will be."

October 7, 2014

Bloomingfoods' Workers, Member-Owners, Rally In Support Of Worker Rights

Source: Associated Press, WBIW

Workers and member-owners from Bloomington's largest grocery cooperative, Bloomingfoods, will rally and march today, in support of Bloomingfoods workers' right to choose a union voice at work through a free and fair process.
They will then march to the co-op board of directors' meeting, where workers' and co-op member-owners will ask the Bloomingfoods' board to respect their workers' choices.

October 6, 2014

Hubway Workers Seeking Union Representation

Source: Adam Vaccaro, Boston.com

Hubway workers are looking to join the same New York-based union, citing the familiarity it already has developed with Alta and bike sharing in general, but would be independently represented.

October 3, 2014

US Labor Department Signs Agreement With Alabama Labor Department To Reduce Misclassification Of Employees

Source: Associated Press, Insurance News

Officials of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division and the Alabama Department of Labor today signed a memorandum of understanding to protect the rights of employees by preventing their misclassification as something other than employees, such as independent contractors.

Supreme Court to consider workers' rights to sue 401(k) plans

Source: Bloomberg News, Investment News

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider giving 401(k) participants more power to sue their plans over investments that impose excessive fees, accepting an appeal tied to a wave of suits against employers.

Justices Weighing Wages for After-Work Screenings

Source: Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times

After his 12-hour shifts at an Amazon warehouse in Las Vegas, Jesse Busk says, he and 200 other workers typically waited in line for 25 minutes to undergo a security check to see whether they had stolen any goods.

October 2, 2014

Even as some minimum wages increase, Maryland activists call for more sooner

Source: Jenna Johnson, The Washington Post

As a group of Montgomery County politicians gathered Wednesday in Silver Spring to celebrate a minimum-wage increase for many local workers, advocates for the working poor and labor representatives quickly reminded them that their victory is not complete.

Labor commissioner files racial discrimination complaint against Daimler

Source: Bob Heye, KATU Portland News

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon's labor commissioner says he's decided to file a discrimination complaint against Daimler Trucks North America because an initial investigation shows it's likely five workers at the company's Swan Island plant were subjected to racial harassment.

Port Chester restaurant boss arrested for labor abuses

Source: Ernie Garcia, The Journal News

If convicted, Parto faces a maximum jail term of one year and fines of $5,000 for each count, plus restitution to five employees, who include cooks, cleaners and cashiers.

The employees sometimes worked more than 70 hours a week between 2010 and 2014, according to Schneiderman's office.

October 1, 2014

Field worker sexual harassment bill becomes law

Source: Rhys Heyden, Santa Maria Sun

On Sept. 28, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 1087 into law. The bill seeks to curb what some people say is an epidemic of sexual harassment and violence among the state's field workers.

US issues final minimum wage rule for contractors

Source: Associated Press, The Washington Post

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez issued a final rule on Wednesday raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors to $10.10 an hour.

September 30, 2014

Colorado high court considers pot firing case

Source: Associated Press, The Washington Post

Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic medical marijuana patient who was fired by the Dish Network after failing a drug test more than four years ago, says he still can't find steady work because employers are wary of his off-duty smoking.

Workers laid off at Osram Sylvania in Central Falls may receive help, including wage subsidy, from state

Source: Alisha A. Pina, The Providence Journal

More than 70 laid-off Osram Sylvania workers are getting transitional help from the state Department of Labor and Training that could lead to a job search allowance and a wage subsidy to cover the difference between a new and old salary.

September 29, 2014

New law makes companies liable for contracted labor

Source: Allen Young, The Sacramento Business Journal

Employers that outsource labor to staffing agencies can now be held responsible for certain worker violations by that agency, under a law approved over the weekend by Gov. Jerry Brown. Those violations include worker's compensation coverage and health and safety laws.

September 28, 2014

Hyatt should take page from Derek Jeter's playbook

Source: Kevin Cullen, Boston Globe

Here's the other thing I'll remember about Jeter: When he came to Boston for a series, he would walk around the visitor's clubhouse at Fenway and hand out $100 bills to the workers. To everybody. Including the kids who worked the clubhouse. That's just how he rolled.

September 26, 2014

Labor Rights for Home Care Workers

Source: The Editorial Board, The New York Times

A new rule that will give home care workers basic labor protections is supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. But several states are pushing for delay, saying they need more time to work through how the rule will affect their Medicaid programs, which pay many home care bills.

The states have had enough time. The Obama administration, however, appears to be seriously considering a delay of the rule, which should have been put in place long ago.

September 25, 2014

Undocumented workers reporting more wage theft cases to Clearwater police

Source: Laura C. Morel, Tampa Bay Times

Within the past three months, the Clearwater Police Department has received nearly a dozen reports of undocumented workers accusing their employers of withholding wages ranging from $400 to $1,200.

US Says Transgender Workers Illegally Fired

Source: Associated Press, ABC News

A Michigan funeral home and a Florida eye clinic illegally fired employees because they're transgender, a federal agency alleged Thursday in two lawsuits.

September 23, 2014

OSHA Will Put Workplace Safety Data Online as 'Nudge' to Employers

Source: Josh Eidelson, Business Week

Starting in January, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will require employers to notify the government within 24 hours every time someone loses an eye, suffers an amputation, or gets admitted to the hospital with an injury sustained at work. The agency estimates that tens of thousands of injuries go unreported. "Workplace injuries and fatalities are absolutely preventable," Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in early September. "These new requirements will help OSHA focus its resources and hold employers accountable for preventing them."

September 22, 2014

DSW Will Pay $900,000 Former Workers To Settle Age Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: Mary Beth Quirk, The Consumerist

Shoe retailer DSW is on the line for $900,000 after agreeing to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by former employees, who said the company fired older workers just because of their ages. And if other employees refused to fire workers based on their age, the plaintiffs claimed DWS retaliated against them as well.

Workers sue Orange Park Medical Center

Source: Scott Johnson, News 4 Jacksonville

In lawsuits filed in federal court Friday and Monday against OPMC and its parent company, HCA South Atlantic, a doctor, a registered nurse and a a nurse practitioner allege the untimely deaths of patients, widespread medical malpractice, race-based discrimination and even false imprisonment.

Sick leave measure divides workers, businesses

Source: Akilah Johnson, Boston Globe

"Earned sick time is going to be on the ballot this coming November, Question No. 4. For every 30 hours a worker works, they earn an hour of sick time," DiMauro began, as his vote
canvassing partner, Maria Fortes, looked on. "That would be . . . important, right¡" he asked.

September 21, 2014

A Capstone in a Career Spent Fighting for the Rights of Domestic Workers

Source: Rachel L. Swarns, The New York Times

Just after midnight on Wednesday, the news finally broke: Ms. Poo had won a 2014 MacArthur "genius" grant. The fellowships, presented by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, come with a stipend of $625,000 and are among the nation's most prestigious prizes for artists, scholars and professionals.

Within minutes, the calls, texts, emails and tweets started pouring in. "It was wonderful and overwhelming," said Ms. Poo, 40, who got her start as a volunteer working with immigrant women on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

UAW Workers in Indiana Approve Lear Corp. Contract

Source: Associated Press, ABC News

Workers at a Lear Corp. plant in northwestern Indiana that makes automotive seats approved an agreement Sunday that will end a two-tiered pay system that left some workers earning much less than others.

Idaho's minimum wage only half of livable wage

Source: Associated Press, Idaho Statesman

Single people in Idaho earn half of what is considered a livable wage, while households with children tend to face even more economical challenges, according to a new study.

September 17, 2014

American Airlines customer-service agents OK union

Source: David Koenig, USA Today

Customer-service agents at American Airlines voted overwhelmingly for union representation, reversing a narrow defeat for organized labor less than two years ago.

EXCLUSIVE: Dozens of Kennedy Airport workers strike as struggle to unionize escalates

Source: Barry Paddock & Rich Schapiro, New York Daily News

The striking baggage handlers, skycaps and wheelchair attendants - all employees of Alstate Maintenance - claim their employer has engaged in unfair labor practices by harassing and threatening workers, spying on them and banning them from wearing pro-union caps and buttons.

The workers also claim that Alstate managers have threatened to punish them because of their support for SEIU Local 32BJ and offered to reward those who cut ties with the union.

September 16, 2014

Low-wage Phila. airport workers plan Wednesday rally

Source: Linda Loyd, Philly.com

Low-wage workers at Philadelphia International Airport, who are employed by airline and airport subcontractors, will rally Wednesday morning to demand that their employers, Prospect Airport Services and PrimeFlight Aviation Services, pay them the $10.88 an hour wage approved by Philadelphia voters in May as well as the right to form a labor union without interference.

Without contract for months, nursing home workers strike in Jersey City, Union City

Source: Patrick McGovern, The Jersey Journal

Front line workers at the nursing homes, including certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses have been without a contract for more than five months. According to Bryn Lloyd-Bollard, spokesperson for 1199 SEIU, Alaris has committed unfair labor practices during negotiations for a new contract.

September 15, 2014

US Labor Board Orders CNN to Rehire Fired Workers

Source: Tom Raum, ABC News

The National Labor Relations Board ruled against the CNN cable television network on Monday in an 11-year-old labor dispute, ordering the network to rehire or compensate about 300 former workers.

Workers strike Lear plant in Hammond, Indiana

Source: Charles D. Wilson, Detroit Free Press

Hundreds of workers protesting what some are calling fast-food-like wages walked off the job Saturday at a Lear Corp. plant in northwest Indiana that makes automotive seats, beginning a strike that could affect a major Ford assembly plant in Chicago.

September 14, 2014

Workzone: Whistle-blower obstacles growing

Source: Deborah M. Todd, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As a managing director and chief enterprise officer for Countrywide Financial Corp. in 2005, Michael Winston raised the company profile for leadership development, implemented programs designed to hone executive skills and organize succession plans. His efforts were rewarded with two promotions in his first 15 months on the job.

By the end of 2006, after Mr. Winston reported to the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration that employees were getting sick from a potential contamination inside of the Countrywide building and after he told ratings agencies that the company went through a six-month period without an acting CEO, Mr. Winston's experience took a drastic downturn.

September 11, 2014

Lawmakers to High Court: Protect Pregnant Workers

Source: Hope Yen, ABC News

In a friend-of-the-court brief, the Democratic lawmakers - 99 from the House, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and 24 senators - said UPS delivery driver Peggy Young of Lorton, Virginia, was unfairly treated by her employer when it asked her to take unpaid maternity leave rather than provide a less strenuous position as her doctors advised.

Metro Transit workers reject wage freeze

Source: Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times

ing County Metro Transit workers have overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer that would have frozen wages for 2014 and 2015, followed by an inflation-indexed raise in 2016.

Rail union rejects deal that allowed one-man crews

Source: AP, The Washington Post

A railroad union has rejected a deal with BNSF that would have allowed one-person crews on as much as 60 percent of its tracks.

September 10, 2014

California to mandate paid sick leave under new law

Source: Sharon Bernstein, Reuters

California businesses will have to provide paid sick leave to most employees under a bill signed on Wednesday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, the latest move to aid low-income workers in the most populous U.S. state.

September 9, 2014

Police and fire unions sue City of Indianapolis over alleged contract violations

Source: Liz Gelardi, Fox Local News

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 9, 2014) – The men and women who protect and serve the Circle City are caught up in a battle over health insurance. The city's police and fire unions filed lawsuits against the city over changes to health insurance plans. Lawyers for the unions accuse city officials of violating union contracts.

David Letterman Sued By Former Intern For Violating Labor Laws, Class Action Lawsuit Seeks Backpay

Source: Barbara Herman, The International Business Times

Among the top 10 reasons to work for David Letterman, it seems getting paid isn't one of them.

So says Mallory Musallam, a former unpaid intern at "The Late Show With David Letterman," who has filed a class-action suit against CBS and Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, according to the Los Angeles Times. According to Deadline, she's also suing on behalf of everyone who has ever been an intern on the show. The suit alleges that the production violated minimum-wage and overtime laws.

Lawsuit: Company fired man for not handing over medical records

Source: Julie Wernau, The Chicago Tribune

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit on behalf of a Minneapolis man who says his employer asked him to disclose all of his private medical information as part of his office job and then fired him when he refused to hand it over.

When Employees Knock Their Bosses on Social Media

Source: Adriana Gardella, The New York Times

With the rise of social media, many business owners have sought to control what their employees post on the various social networks. But as the owners of Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille in Watertown, Conn., learned during recent litigation, employers may have less authority than they think.

September 7, 2014

Some Retail Workers Find Better Deals With Unions

Source: Rachel L. Swarns, The New York Times

By now, the hardships endured by retail workers at clothing stores across New York City are achingly familiar: the frantic scramble to get assigned enough hours to earn a living on painfully low wages; the ever-changing, on-call schedules that upend child care arrangements, college schedules and desperate efforts to find second jobs.

September 6, 2014

TGI Fridays served with class-action lawsuit

Source: AP, Business Management Daily

The suit, filed in federal court in New York, alleges the restaurant requires tipped employees to arrive early and stay at work after the restaurant closes without properly compensating them. Additionally, it alleges the restaurant uses its centralized timekeeping system to shave time off employees' time cards.

Just 13, and Working Risky 12-Hour Shifts in the Tobacco Fields

Source: Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times

On many mornings, as tobacco plants tower around her, Saray Cambray Alvarez pulls a black plastic garbage bag over her 13-year-old body to protect her skin from leaves dripping with nicotine-tinged dew.

Los Angeles loses discrimination cases but workers escape discipline

Source: Mike Reicher, Los Angeles Daily News

Perez, according to one employee, said "I hate all white people" as he described a conflict with a past boss.

Everyone turned to the only white gardener in the room, James Duffy.

September 5, 2014

'Retail Workers Bill of Rights' gains traction in S.F.

Source: Marisa Lagos, San Francisco Gate

The proposed "Retail Workers Bill of Rights" for hourly employees in San Francisco aims to provide benefits similar to those enjoyed by staff at the Zazie restaurant in Cole Valley.

No class-action suit for Darden restaurant staff, U.S. judge rules

Source: Barbara Liston, Reuters

A U.S. judge has ruled that food servers and bartenders employed by Darden Restaurants Inc, which owns chains including Olive Garden, the Capital Grille and LongHorn Steakhouse, cannot sue the company as a group for alleged wage violations.

September 4, 2014

Wal-Mart workers say self-defense got them fired

Source: Lindsay Whitehurst, USA Today

A group of fired Wal-Mart workers is fighting a store policy they say leaves them powerless to defend themselves even if their lives are at risk.

Right-to-work law: Now in the hands of Indiana Supreme Court

Source: Barb Berggoetz, Indy Star

The battle over Indiana's controversial right-to-work law is now in the hands of five Indiana Supreme Court justices who heard arguments Thursday to try to convince them to uphold it or to declare it unconstitutional.

Why You Should Always Tip Your Waitress

Source: Lucia Graves, The National Journal

A new analysis finds eliminating the "tipped minimum wage" would reduce poverty rates and narrow the wage gap.

Judge: Michigan teachers can exit union anytime

Source: David Eggert, The Washington Post

Michigan's largest teachers' union should allow members to resign at any time and stop enforcing an annual one-month opt-out window, a state labor judge ruled, relying on the state's right-to-work law that took effect last year.

UPDATE 4-U.S. fast-food workers protest over pay, hundreds arrested

Source: Barbara Goldberg & Lisa Baertlein, Reuters

U.S. fast-food workers staged protests in some 150 cities on Thursday in a fight for higher pay, and organizers said more than 450 were arrested from Manhattan's Times Square to Los Angeles.

September 3, 2014

Federal Appeals Court Certifies Class Action Against Allstate Insurance Company in Wage Case That Could Exceed $200 Million Dollars

Source: CNN

In a stunning defeat for Allstate Insurance Company, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 16 page ruling that a class action lawsuit involving 800 Allstate employees in California who alleged that Allstate had a practice or unofficial policy of requiring its claim adjusters to work unpaid off-the-clock overtime in violation of California law may move forward.

Minimum wage hike would face exemptions

Source: Sebastian Kitchen, The Courier-Journal

As they debate a proposed increase in the local minimum wage, Louisville Metro Council members will likely approve exemptions as they work toward boosting minimum wage for most workers to $10.10 an hour.

Three things labor needs to do to thrive

Source: Coco Soodek & Phil Fahim, Crain's Chicago Business

Look, we need labor unions. You and I do better in every way when unions are strong. Take a look at this chart. When union membership goes down, your income shrinks. Why? Because unions push back.

Market Basket Shows Power Of Organized Labor Without Unions

Source: Curt Nickisch, WBUR

"This company never needed, or ever will need, a union," said operations supervisor Joe Schmidt outside Market Basket headquarters in Tewksbury. "We're far stronger than that."

September 2, 2014

Obama calls for a higher minimum wage

Source: Aljazera America

President Barack Obama renewed his push for Congress to raise the minimum wage on Monday in a buoyant accounting of the economy's "revving" performance, delivered on behalf of Democrats opening their fall campaigns for the midterm congressional elections.

L.A. mayor proposes $13.25 minimum wage

Source: William M. Welch, USA Today

Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed Monday that the city gradually raise the minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017, up from the current $9 an hour.

August 31, 2014

More Workers Are Claiming 'Wage Theft'

Source: Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times

The lawsuit is part of a flood of recent cases - brought in California and across the nation - that accuse employers of violating minimum wage and overtime laws, erasing work hours and wrongfully taking employees' tips. Worker advocates call these practices "wage theft," insisting it has become far too prevalent.

July 31, 2014

NLRB dismisses unions' complaints regarding Convention Center

Source: Jane M. Von Bergen, Philly.com

Saying it had no jurisdiction to handle the case, the National Labor Relations Board dismissed two complaints filed by members of Teamsters Local 107 against their union leaders, accusing them of failing to protect their work at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Wisconsin Court Upholds Law Curbing Unions' Rights

Source: Mark Peters and Caroline Porter, The Wall Street Journal

Wisconsin's highest court upheld a law ending most collective-bargaining rights for government employees in the state, a blow for public-sector unions that have been stymied in their efforts to reverse the controversial measure championed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Fast-food chains go to war with labor board

Source: Benjamin Goad, The Hill

The NLRB's finding that McDonald's has joint employer status, along with its franchisees, over the chain's thousands of workers could expose the company to claims from workers who say their labor rights have been violated.

July 30, 2014

Met Opera Employees Facing Unemployment Rally Together

Source: Mallika Rao, The New York Times

In a letter sent to the Met's unionized workers last week, Gelb proposed the first salary cut in decades, a 16 percent reduction in total pay across the board. Employees were also informed that if a lockout takes place on August 1, they will be dropped from the Met's health care policy.

Obama Expected To Sign Executive Order On Federal Contractor Workplace Conditions

Source: Sam Stein, The Huffington Post

President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order Thursday requiring companies seeking federal contracts to disclose any labor violations and giving federal agencies new guidance on how to consider those violations when awarding contracts, a White House official said.

McDonald's could be liable for labor practices

Source: Associated Press, Politico

The National Labor Relations Board said Tuesday that the world's biggest hamburger chain could be named as a joint employer in several complaints regarding worker rights at franchise-owned restaurants.

July 29, 2014

Unpaid Interns Get Covered: New York State Protects Them From Discrimination And Harassment

Source: Michael Stevens and Karen S. Vladeck, Mondaq News Alert

On July 22, 2014, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill (A08201) into law preventing employers from discriminating against unpaid interns on the bases of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, religion, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or status as a victim of domestic violence.

Higher Minimum Wage, Faster Job Creation

Source: Teresa Tritch, The New York Times

Bolstering what we already know, new evidence shows that job creation is faster in states that have raised their minimum wages.

Federal contractors strike, call on Obama to do more

Source: Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC.com

Organizers say that more than 200 workers are expected to walk off the job at 9 a.m., including workers at the Ronald Reagan Building, the Pentagon, the Air and Space Museum, and the National Zoo. These workers, who will be joined in a solidarity rally by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and an interfaith group of clergy members, are demanding that President Obama take executive action to improve working conditions at companies that hold contracts with the federal government.

July 28, 2014

Labor board orders L.A. Council to rescind pension cuts for workers

Source: David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times

The Employee Relations Board voted unanimously Monday to order the City Council to rescind a 2012 law scaling back pension benefits for new employees of the Coalition of L.A. City Unions, on the grounds that the changes were not properly negotiated.

Business groups alarmed by rise of 'micro-unions' in workplace

Source: Tim Devaney, The Hill

Business groups are sounding the alarm over decisions from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that they say would make it easier for small groups of people to create "micro-unions" in the workplace.

EEOC sues employer for demanding health care details for worker absences

Source: Judy Greenwald, BusinessInsurance.com

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against a Pennsylvania construction equipment supplier, charging that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by improperly demanding disability-related information from its workers and subjecting them to progressive disciplinary measures if they refused to comply.

July 27, 2014

Fast-Food Workers Intensify Fight for $15 an Hour

Source: Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times

The two-day convention, with 150 tables spread across the expo center's floor, highlighted the campaign's growth since November 2012, when 200 workers went on a one-day strike at 60 fast-food restaurants in New York.

July 25, 2014

In an improving economy, is age discrimination getting better or worse?

Source: Jena McGregor , The Washington Post

The answer, as you might expect, is that it's complicated. While numbers point to a downward trend, and there is some evidence of a warming toward older workers, ageism remains a real issue that's among the hardest complaints by workers to prove.

July 24, 2014

Gov. Cuomo convenes wage board for tipped workers

Source: Glenn Blain, The New York Daily News

Ohio settles lawsuit over workers' comp overcharging

Source: Mark Williams, The Columbus Dispatch

The state agreed to create a $420 million fund to pay claims to employers -- many of them small businesses -- that had sued over the premiums. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation and a group called Pay Us Back Ohio BWC announced the agreement.

Minimum-wage workers are getting left behind

Source: Alain Sherter, CBS Money Watch

Today marks the five-year anniversary since the federal minimum was last raised, from $6.55 an hour. Since 2009, earners making that amount have lost nearly 6 percent of their buying power, according to the Pew Research Center.

July 23, 2014

California Nurses Union Braces For Contract Battle

Source: April Dembosky, NPR

The California Nurses Association is rousing its troops for battle. The powerful union will begin bargaining Thursday with Kaiser Permanente on a new four-year contract for nurses at its northern California hospitals.

Met Opera Prepares to Lock Out Workers

Source: Michael Cooper, The New York Times

The labor strife at the Metropolitan Opera took on a new urgency Wednesday when its general manager, Peter Gelb, sent the company's orchestra, chorus, stagehands and other workers letters warning them to prepare for a lockout if no contract deal is reached by next week.

Macy's Workers Win Labor Ruling

Source: Melanie Trottman, The Wall Street Journal

A group of 41 cosmetics and fragrances workers at a Macy's Inc. store in Massachusetts is large enough to attempt to unionize, the National Labor Relations Board decided in a ruling that could advance organized labor's quest to unionize subsets of workers in varied industries.

July 22, 2014

Apple Facing Another Class-Action Suit by Employees

Source: Jeff Elder, The Wall Street Journal

Apple Inc. is now facing another class-action lawsuit from its workers, as 20,000 hourly wage employees claim the computer company didn't give them lunch breaks, rest breaks or final paychecks in accordance with California law.

Labor Department official calls for more Pa. judges to handle miner's appeals

Source: Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh needs three more administrative law judges to reduce backlog and to handle appeals being re-filed by miners and their widows, Deputy Labor Secretary Chris Lu testified this morning.

60 percent of incoming college football players support unions, says survey

Source: Kevin Trahan, SB Nation

According to an ESPN.com survey of 300 top football recruits, 60 percent of the 2015 recruiting class is in favor of unionization for college athletes, and more than 86 percent are in favor of athletes receiving some sort of stipend.

Here's What Happened When One County Invested Millions In An Employee Wellness Program

Source: Christine Vestal, The Huffington Post

In its first five years (2007 to 2011), the county's "Healthy Incentives" program invested $15 million and saved $46 million in health care spending with sustained participation by more than 90 percent of its employees. Two years ago, $61 million in surplus health care funds were returned to county coffers because cost growth was lower than actuaries had projected. Seattle, the state's largest city, is the county seat.

July 21, 2014

Detroit due to report results from pension vote

Source: Ed White, WXYZ Detroit (AP)

The city of Detroit promised to report the results of voting on pension cuts Monday but declined to disclose the numbers during a morning bankruptcy hearing.

Why more companies want pensions off their books

Source: Michael Fletcher, The Washington Post

With many traditional company pension plans frozen -- meaning employees are accruing no new benefits and plans are accepting no new members -- some advocacy groups worry that "de-risking" will end up being yet another blow to retirement security.

Obama bars federal contractors from LGBT discrimination

Source: Jeremy Diamond, CNN

President Barack Obama signed an executive order Monday banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

July 20, 2014

Market Basket fires 8 employees amid protests

Source: Erin Ailworth and Dan Adams, Boston Globe

At least eight Market Basket employees were fired Sunday, including organizers of a protest that has targeted the grocery chain in recent days by workers pressing for the return of ousted president Arthur T. Demoulas.

July 17, 2014

Market Basket workers plan protest despite threat by company

Source: Erin Ailworth, Bostonglobe.com

The new chief executives of the Market Basket grocery empire are threatening to fire any employee who walks off the job in support of the company's recently ousted president, Arthur T. Demoulas.

Strike by NY Commuter Rail Workers Averted

Source: Frank Eltman and Rachelle Blidner, ABC News (AP)

he deal announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who personally got involved in the final hours of the negotiations, gives Long Island Rail Road workers a 17 percent pay raise over six and a half years but requires them to contribute to their health care costs for the first time.

Hobby Lobby's harvest: A religious exemption for LGBT discrimination?

Source: Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

The big issue at the moment is a pending executive order from the White House barring discrimination by federal contractors against LGBT (that is, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people.

July 16, 2014

Are Workplace Wellness Programs Legal?

Source: Dan Munro, Forbes.com

On the one hand, workplace wellness programs are openly endorsed by the Affordable Care Act. On the other, how they're constructed and implemented is critical in determining any potential benefit or legal risk.

Political consequences of NLRB v. Noel Canning

Source: Kali Borkoski, SCOTUS Blog

Going forward, the Court ruled, any recesses shorter than ten days will normally be insufficient to trigger the president's recess appointment power.

Tipped Workers Are Significantly Better off in States Where They Are Paid the Regular Minimum Wage

Source: David Cooper, Economic Policy Institute

As explained in "Twenty-three Years and Still Waiting for Change: Why It's Time to Give Tipped Workers the Regular Minimum Wage", this separate, lower minimum wage for tipped workers leads to dramatically different economic conditions for tipped versus nontipped workers.

July 15, 2014

Hobby Lobby: A new tool for crushing workplace unionization?

Source: Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC.com

By declaring that "closely held" corporations may hold religious beliefs, the court may have provided businesses with a new tool for crushing workplace unionization drives. In addition to declaring themselves exempt from contraception mandates and non-discrimination laws, religious employers may soon be able to argue for an exemption from collective bargaining laws.

Former Anheuser-Busch Workers Win Enhanced Pension Benefits After Subsidiary Sale

Source: Matt Dunning, BusinessInsurance.com

In a unanimous decision handed down on Thursday, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said pension plan administrators for Anheuser-Busch Companies applied an "arbitrary and capricious" standard in denying a group of former employees' claims for enhanced benefits.

EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Bias

Source: Kevin P. McGowan, Bloomberg BNA

The new guidance says the PDA, a 1978 amendment to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, requires employers to offer light duty to pregnant employees if they make light duty available to nonpregnant employees similar in their ability or inability to work.

July 11, 2014

President Obama Taps Former NLRB Re-Recess Appointee for Board Again

Source: Doug Hass, The Wall Street Journal

The White House said President Obama intends to nominate Ms. Block, who he had installed on the board with two others early in 2012 using recess appointments.

July 10, 2014

Is it time to get rid of the tipped minimum wage?

Source: Aimee Picchi, CBS Money Watch

While tips are supposed to push their wages up to the regular minimum wage for other workers -- $7.25 an hour -- tipped workers are more likely to live in poverty and rely on government aid, according to a new study from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

House Lawsuit Over Obamacare to Focus on Employer Mandate Delay

Source: Michael A. Memoli, Los Angeles Times

A draft resolution posted Thursday afternoon singles out the Obama administration's decision to delay enforcement of a requirement that employers provide health benefits for their employees or face a fine. Enforcement of the so-called employer mandate was put off twice, once from 2014 to 2015, and then again to phase it in by 2016.

July 8, 2014

Mind the Gap: How One Employer Tackled Pay Equity

Source: Sara Murray, The Wall Street Journal

Now, as many U.S. companies gird for a new federal requirement to report pay data by gender, McGill University's gender-equity program, which it developed over 13 years at a cost of at least 20 million Canadian dollars (US$19 million), offers a glimpse at what pay engineering looks like.

May 21, 2014

110 arrested outside McDonald's HQ

Source: Patrick M. Sheridan, Steve Mills & Jennifer Goelz , CNN Money

Police arrested 110 protesters Wednesday outside McDonald's corporate campus.

Waveland Approves Anti-Discrimination Measure Supporting LGBT Community

Source: Donna Ladd , Jackson Free Press

Tonight, Waveland, Mississippi unanimously passed an anti-discrimination resolution recognizing the dignity and worth of all city residents - including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).

How feel-good companies are navigating the minimum-wage fray

Source: Heesun Wee, CNBC

The national debate over whether to raise minimum wages has stirred interest in where American companies stand on the issue. That curiosity perhaps is most intensely targeted at feel-good companies, which pride themselves on progressive practices.

May 20, 2014

Exclusive: Virgin America flight attendants seek unionization vote

Source: Alwyn Scott, Chicago Tribune (Reuters)

Flight attendants at Virgin America airlines are seeking a vote on whether to unionize, according to an official at the Transport Workers Union (TWU), in a move that could pave the way for organized labor's latest victory in the airline industry.

Chris Christie slashes pay to pension funds

Source: Maggie Haberman, Politico

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday he'd slash two massive payments to the state's pension system -- a short-term maneuver that won't alleviate the Garden State's overall fiscal picture.

Workers Try a New Tactic in Minimum-Wage Fight

Source: Eric Morath, The Wall Street Journal

Stymied in Washington on their minimum-wage push, low-wage workers are now pressing for U.S. companies to raise wages voluntarily.

May 19, 2014

L.A. city panel delivers victory to municipal labor unions

Source: David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times

A Los Angeles City Hall panel on Monday delivered a significant victory to municipal labor unions, breathing new life into a legal challenge to pension benefit reductions being counted on to save billions of dollars over the next 30 years.

Gov. Snyder wants the state House to consider minimum wage legislation soon

Source: Steve Carmody, Michigan Public Radio

Governor Snyder hopes the state House will turn its attention soon to a proposal to increase the state's minimum wage.

Union In North Carolina Welcomes College Athletes

Source: The Associated Press, NPR (AP)

A North Carolina union for public workers will allow scholarship student-athletes at public universities to join as state employees.

Boeing decision puts focus on cameras in workplace

Source: Amanda Becker, Reuters

A fight between Boeing Co and a U.S. labor regulator over cameras in the workplace could clarify how the government will adapt analog-era labor laws to the digital age, when workers have smart phones with cameras.

May 18, 2014

DCPS reaches tentative agreement with principals union

Source: Emma Brown, The Washington Post

D.C. Public Schools has reached a tentative collective-bargaining agreement with the Council of School Officers, the union that represents principals, assistant principals, business managers, master educators and other non-teachers who work in schools.

Citi Bike workers gear up to join transit workers union

Source: Pete Donohue, New York Daily News

Citi Bike might not be an option during the next bus and subway strike. TWU Local 100 -- the transit workers union that tends to walk off the job every 20 years or so -- is organizing Citi Bike workers into a chapter.

The Republican War on Workers' Rights

Source: Corey Robin, The New York Times

Midterm elections are like fancy software: Experts love them, end-users couldn't care less. But if the 2010 elections are any indication, we might not want to doze off as we head into the summer months before November.

May 17, 2014

How corporations get away with rampant wage theft

Source: Myron Levin, Stuart Silverstein and Lilly Fowler, Salon

For workers stuck on the bottom rung, living on poverty wages is hard enough. But many also are victims of wage theft, a catch-all term for payroll abuses that cheat workers of income they are supposedly guaranteed by law.

UAW, VW deny election agreement was illegal

Source: Mike Pare, Chattanooga Times Free Press

The United Auto Workers is seeking dismissal of a suit that claimed Volkswagen gave the union access to names and facilities at the Chattanooga plant in exchange for the UAW holding down costs if it won the organizing vote at the factory.

May 16, 2014

Alcoa, USW Reach New Labor Deal

Source: John W. Miller, The Wall Street Journal

Despite tough times for aluminum makers, Alcoa Inc. AA +0.98% agreed to a generous five-year pact that gives workers in the U.S. annual raises and preserves health and pension benefits to avoid any labor-related disruptions in deliveries to key auto customers.

Police unions push for medical coverage of PTSD

Source: CBS News

Police unions across the U.S. are pushing for officers to be able to collect workers' compensation benefits if they suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, whether they got it from the general stress of police work or from responding to a deadly shooting rampage.

Madigan $10 an hour minimum wage referendum advances

Source: Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune

House lawmakers today advanced a proposal backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan that would put an advisory referendum on the November ballot asking voters whether the state's minimum wage should be increased to $10 an hour.

May 15, 2014

Fast food workers strike for higher wages

Source: Bruce Horovitz, Yamiche Alcindor,Calum MacLeod and Kim Hjelmgaard, USA Today

Hundreds of fast food workers walked off their jobs in dozens of U.S. cities on Thursday -- reportedly forcing at least a few locations to temporarily close or re-staff while mostly managers filled-in -- as sympathetic protesters in several dozen countries joined in a united call for wages of $15 an hour and the right to form a union.

Vermont's minimum wage to be highest in the U.S.

Source: Aimee Picchi, CBS MoneyWatch

Vermont is on track to have the highest minimum wage of any state, after its lawmakers passed a bill to boost the baseline hourly rate to $10.50 an hour.

U.S. fast-food workers plan to walk off jobs to protest low pay

Source: Mary Wisniewski, Reuters

U.S. fast food workers seeking higher wages are planning a strike on Thursday that could affect thousands of restaurants across the country the workers say make huge profits from paying them workers a pittance.

May 14, 2014

Workers reach $21-million settlement against Wal-Mart, warehouses

Source: Ricardo Lopez, Los Angeles Times

Workers at a Riverside County warehouse and distribution complex for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. agreed to settle a long-running battle over wage issues by accepting $21 million in unpaid wages, interest and penalties.

Rubio: Open Congress' retirement to all workers

Source: The Boston Globe (AP)

Younger workers would face higher retirement ages and wealthier Americans would see their Social Security paychecks trail their less affluent neighbors' under a plan proposed Tuesday by Senator Marco Rubio.

In liberal cities, minimum wage puts businesses in a bind

Source: Allison Linn, CNBC

They have backed efforts to address climate change, held countless fundraisers for local causes and been staunch supporters of progressive political candidates including President Barack Obama--but one thing they can't fully get behind is the push for a swift and sharp increase in the minimum wage.

May 13, 2014

Teachers angry with new contract that will delay full raises until 2020

Source: Stephen Rex Brown & Ben Chapman, New York Daily News

Not only is the back-raise plan in Mayor de Blasio's new teachers contract unpopular with financial watchdogs -- city educators hate it, too.

Supporters of raising minimum wage say they have enough signatures

Source: Jake Neher, Michigan Radio

Leaders of the petition drive to raise Michigan's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour say a Republican attempt to derail their effort is nothing but a "dirty trick."

Why Primary Care Physicians Need a Minimum Wage

Source: Daniela Drake, The Daily Beast

While we entertain the idea of increasing the minimum wage, let's not forget doctors who also need a pay bump. Yes, doctors--primary care physicians (PCPs) who are receiving only a tiny fraction of all that money you're now forced to fork over for health insurance.

Illinois unions ask judge to delay new pension law

Source: Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune

A coalition of labor unions on Monday asked a court in Springfield to prevent a new state law aimed at curbing Illinois' public employee pension debt from taking effect next month until questions about its constitutionality have been resolved.

May 12, 2014

Old, Fired at IBM: Trendsetter Offers Workers Arbitration

Source: Alex Barinka, Bloomberg Businessweek

For at least a decade, International Business Machines Corp. gave fired employees information detailing a severance package that asked them to waive age-discrimination claims and also included a page listing the job titles and ages of workers being let go.

Locked-out union workers protest at Convention Center

Source: Aubrey Whelan, Philadelphia Inquirer

Police outnumber union members who are protesting against being shut out of work at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Former Mayor David Dinkins: I'm joining the airport workers' fair pay crusade

Source: David Dinkins, New York Daily News

As our country struggles with spiraling income inequality, thousands of New York City workers who toil at poverty wages may have found their way forward.

The Minimum Wage Loophole That's Screwing Over Waiters and Waitresses

Source: Dana Liebelson, Mother Jones

As Republicans stonewall President Obama's initiative to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour by 2016, some state lawmakers have taken the matter into their own hands, passing legislation that increases the salaries for America's most vulnerable workers.

May 11, 2014

Rahm Emanuel Faces New Test With Chicago Pension Crisis

Source: Mark Peters, The Wall Street Journal

Jumping from city-hall meetings to public-school classrooms in his black SUV, Rahm Emanuel worked to buff his image as the hard-driving mayor of the nation's third-largest city in the CNN TV series "Chicagoland."

Teachers unions threaten Common Core implementation

Source: The Washington Post

Tea Party opposition to the new education standards in the Common Core is getting a lot of attention. Far more threatening is the less-noticed pushback from teachers' unions.

On Income Inequality: A French Economist Vs. An American Capitalist

Source: Marilyn Geewax, NPR

Picture a cozy café. At a small table, an economics professor from Paris is chatting with a wealthy businessman from New York. As they sip coffee, they discuss economic history, and often nod and agree.

May 10, 2014

ALEC fires back, but proves its 'pro-business' state index is bogus

Source: Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

Plainly stung by the chorus of ridicule that has greeted their latest attempt to paint anti-union policies and tax cuts for the rich as pathways to economic nirvana, the folks at the American Legislative Exchange Council have struck back with a "response to the critics."

US Senate panel cancels testimony from UNC whistle blower Willingham

Source: Anne Blythe, News & Observer

Mary Willingham, the former learning specialist who blew the whistle on the academic fraud scandal at UNC-Chapel Hill, was told on Friday that she would not be testifying before a U.S. Senate committee looking into the welfare of NCAA athletes.

May 9, 2014

Congress Tackles Unions in College Football

Source: Jonquilyn Hill, NBC News

The debate over student athlete unionization moved from the football field to the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, and it largely followed a familiar playbook: Republican vs. Democrat.

Once A Walmart Boycotter, Obama Now On Cozier Terms With Retailer

Source: Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post

There was a time when President Barack Obama refused to shop at Walmart. Evidently, he's evolved.

First pay hike in seven years for some state workers

Source: Jimmie E. Gates, The Clarion-Ledger

State custodian employee Shirley Barnes didn't know she would be getting a $1,000-a-year pay raise in July

May 8, 2014

CEO of Largest Fast Food Company Backs Minimum Wage Hike!

Source: John Prager , Americans Against the Tea Party

n a Wednesday interview with CNBC, Deluca took drastic action to save face in the wake of the negative attention that Subway has been receiving.

State minimum wage hike supporters rally at Penn Square

Source: Dan Nephin, Lancaster Online

Cheryl Holland-Jones, executive director of the Crispus Attucks Community Center, urged lawmakers to increase the minimum wage during a rally at Penn Square in Lancaster at noon today.

Fed Chair Yellen: Minimum wage hike to have negative impact on jobs

Source: CNBC with Reuters, CNBC

In testimony before a Senate committee on Thursday, Fed Chair Yellen said a minimum wage increase would likely have some negative effects on jobs, though it's not clear how large.

May 7, 2014

Sanders Compares Efforts To Raise Minimum Wage to Pre-MLK Civil Rights Movement

Source: Eric Scheiner, CNS News

At a rally of fast food workers in North Carolina, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) compared the efforts of those who want to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour to the civil rights activists who paved the way for Martin Luther King Jr.

County Board Pushes to Raise Minimum Wage

Source: The Ann Arbor Chronicle

At their May 7, 2014 meeting, Washtenaw County commissioners passed a resolution calling for an increase in Michigan's minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, over dissent from Alicia Ping (R-District 3).

Fast-Food Workers Threaten Global Wage Protests Next Week

Source: NBC News

Fast-food workers plan strikes in 150 cities across the United States and protests in 33 other countries on May 15 to demand higher pay and better working conditions, organizers said in New York on Wednesday.

May 6, 2014

Rangel Touts Union Support After Retail Workers Back Espaillat

Source: Ross Barkan, New York Observer

In the wake of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union's endorsement of his top rival this week, Congressman Charlie Rangel is touting the support of three public sector unions, including one that backed him already.

A tale of two health care unions, two different actions

Source: Victoria Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle

The state's largest health care workers' union -- SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West - dropped its bid Tuesday to pass two state ballot measures opposed by the hospital industry as part of an agreement it reached with the California Hospital Association.

Obama to ease rules for foreign high-skilled workers

Source: Alan Gomez, USA Today

The Obama administration wants to let nearly 100,000 spouses of foreigners working in high-tech fields to work here as well in a move critics say is harmful to nearly 10 million jobless Americans.

CTU chief Lewis is campaigning all right -- against the mayor

Source: Mark Brown, Chicago Sun Times

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has ruled herself out of a 2015 mayoral campaign against Rahm Emanuel so often that nobody even bothered to ask her again Monday after a big City Club speech in which she threatened to "send him into early retirement."

May 5, 2014

Companies ramp up fight against $10.10 wage

Source: Jennifer Liberto, CNN Money

Businesses are pulling out all the stops to fight a federal minimum wage increase to $10.10 from $7.25 an hour.

UM Medical Center workers get federal labor protection

Source: Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun

Five thousand workers at the University of Maryland Medical Center now have labor protections under the National Labor Relations Board thanks to a bill signed by Gov. Martin O'Malley Monday.

Old workers return, new hires arrive, as U.S. construction jobs grow

Source: Tim Reid, Reuters

When the U.S. economy crashed in 2008, following the implosion of the housing market, Dave Klein's southern California construction company almost folded.

Using the Cloud to Track Migrant Workers and Pregnant Goats

Source: Dina Bass, Bloomberg

Employers of Mexican immigrants in the U.S. can have a tough time following the rules. They need to track each employee's immigration forms, workers' compensation, labor disputes, health-care options and more.

Federal hearing scheduled on locked out Kellogg's workers

Source: WMC TV

The now seven-month long lockout of Memphis Kellogg's workers takes center stage during a federal hearing on Monday.

May 4, 2014

Gov. Cuomo 'saves' MTA-Transport Workers Union contract deal

Source: Pete Donohue, New York Daily News

Like the "White Knight from Mount Kisco," Cuomo helped get the new contract with retroactive raises and improved benefits negotiated for bus and subway workers.

What Do Yale Grad Students Want? A Union

Source: Diane Orson, NPR

Hundreds of graduate assistants at Yale University say they want to be allowed to decide whether to unionize. Grad students at two nearby universities recently won union recognition after two very different types of organizing campaigns.

Bonuses for federal workers cut in half, figures show

Source: Shannon Mullen, USA Today (Asbury Park Press)

Bonus pay for 1.3 million federal workers fell off a proverbial fiscal cliff last year, dropping nearly 50% as a result of draconian budget cuts tied to a partial government shutdown and recent caps on employee awards.

May 3, 2014

Unions are back with city-by-city wage campaign

Source: Danny Westneat, The Seattle Times

Not long after finishing a news conference on a deal to bring a $15 minimum wage to Seattle, David Rolf, president of the local home health-care workers' union, SEIU 775, got a heady phone call.

School chief race tests reach of unions, reformers

Source: Lisa Leff, San Francisco Chronicle (AP)

Tom Torlakson, the veteran lawmaker seeking a second term as California's elected superintendent of schools, and Marshall Tuck, a former charter school executive hoping to unseat him, are both Democrats.

How the $15 wage deal came together in Seattle

Source: Lynn Thompson, The Seattle Times

With his Income Inequality Committee failing to reach a decision at its final scheduled meeting April 23, and business and labor representatives still at odds over core issues on a deal for a $15 minimum wage, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray gathered the business members of the committee the following day.

May 2, 2014

A Teachers' Contract for New York

Source: The New York Times

There was no snarling at City Hall when Mayor Bill de Blasio and the teachers' union announced a very significant labor agreement on Thursday.

House committee to examine ruling on Northwestern union proposal

Source: Steve Berkowitz, USA Today

Congressional interest in the current state of college athletics will take another step forward Thursday when a House committee conducts a hearing to examine the recent decision by a regional chairman of the National Labor Relations Board to allow college football players at Northwestern University to unionize.

Why Is This Farm Using Guest Workers as Strike Breakers?

Source: David Bacon, The Nation

In 2001 Rosario Ventura came to the United States from Mexico and went to work in Washington State, picking blueberries for Sakuma Farms.

May 1, 2014

Thousands of workers mark May Day

Source: Kim Hjelmgaard, Detroit Free Press (USA Today)

May Day, known also as International Workers' Day, is being celebrated across the world, with demonstrations and protests taking place in many countries.

Subway leads fast food industry in underpaying workers

Source: Annalyn Kurtz, CNN Money

McDonald's gets a lot of bad press for its low pay. But there's an even bigger offender when it comes to fast food companies underpaying their employees: Subway.

Adjuncts at 2 More Colleges Vote to Unionize

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Adjunct professors at Howard University and the Maryland Institute College of Art are the latest Washington-area non-tenure-track instructors to vote to form unions affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, they announced Wednesday.

Senate Republicans Block Bill To Raise Federal Minimum Wage

Source: Ailsa Chang, NPR

One of the Democrats top election themes this year was stopped cold in the Senate on Wednesday. Republicans successfully blocked Democrats from even taking up a bill to raise the minimum wage.

April 30, 2014

Report: Kentucky pension reforms benefit workers

Source: Mike Wynn, The Courier-Journal

An analysis by a Washington D.C.-based think tank says that a majority of government workers will fare as well -- or better -- under Kentucky's recent pension reforms.

Minimum wage debate pits small business owners against small business owners

Source: J.D. Harrison, The Washington Post

Small business owners are vehemently opposed to raising the minimum wage. Meanwhile, in other news, small business owners overwhelmingly favor raising the minimum wage.

UAW can still unionize VW Tennessee plant after failed drive -experts

Source: Bernie Woodall, Reuters

The United Auto Workers still has several options to unionize Volkswagen AG's Tennessee car plant, labor law experts said on Wednesday, after it failed to win enough support and last week dropped its challenge to the election results.

Dems seek to rally base over GOP's block of minimum wage bill

Source: Tom Cohen and Ted Barrett, CNN

An election-year showdown over a Democratic priority -- raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour -- saw Senate Republicans block the measure on Wednesday, unleashing a torrent of criticism from President Barack Obama and his party.

April 29, 2014

Editorial: Seattle needs to ease up on the rush to a $15 minimum wage

Source: The Seattle Times

With talk of a jump to a $15 minimum wage, Seattle is barreling headlong into a serious gamble with its local economy.

When unions use non-member dues to finance political activities

Source: Steven Malanga, Washington Examiner

A lawsuit making its way through federal court in California highlights just how much unions use their right to collect "agency fees" from nonmembers to fund political activities.

Maine GOP senator likely 'no' vote on minimum wage

Source: Alan Fram, Bloomberg

A long-shot Senate Democratic effort to raise the federal minimum wage seemed all but doomed Tuesday when a moderate Republican lawmaker viewed as a potential supporter said she expects to oppose the measure.

Minimum Wage Hike Hurts 'Minorities and Youth' Job Chances, Says Rand Paul

Source: Phillip M. Bailey, Louisville NPR

Kentucky Jobs With Justice leader Bonafacio Aleman was at the minimum wage rally in Lexington. He told WFPL Paul's statements reflect the senator is out of touch with average workers.

April 28, 2014

NFL Cheerleaders: We're not even making minimum wage

Source: Gregory Wallance, CNN Money

Cheerleading isn't as glamorous as one might think. Several current and former cheerleaders are suing their NFL employers over pay.

Harry Reid slates minimum wage vote

Source: Burgess Everett, Politico

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday set up a long-shot Wednesday vote on a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

Frostbite, falling freight, and forklifts on fire: America's worst Wal-Mart warehouse, revealed

Source: Josh Eidelson, Salon

Workers at an Indiana Wal-Mart warehouse allege they were subjected to safety risks including falling freight, forklifts on fire, and frostbite - and then illegally fired for organizing in response.

Survey details struggles of Syracuse's low-wage workers

Source: Kevin Tampone, Syracuse.com

Low-wage workers in the Syracuse area struggle with conditions that can cause health problems and make it hard to climb the economic ladder, according to a new survey.

How A Public Corruption Scandal Became A Fight Over Free Speech

Source: Nina Totenberg, NPR

In one area -- the first amendment rights of public employees -- the conservative majority has been far less protective of the right to speak out. Now the court is revisiting the issue, and the result could have far-reaching consequences for public corruption investigations.

April 27, 2014

State workers fret over pension changes

Source: Tonya Alanez, Sun Sentinel

A major push to change retirement benefits for state employees continues to hang in the legislative balance with just a week to go in the annual session. House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, has repeatedly stated it's one of his priorities this year.

Mass. jobs report urges tougher safety rules

Source: Dan Adams, Boston Globe

A new report by labor and workplace safety advocates says that 48 Massachusetts workers died on the job in 2013 and calls for increased regulation.

Democrats See Doomed Minimum-Wage Plan as Election Boost

Source: Siobhan Hughes, Wall Street Journal

The Senate is expected this week to take up a long-stalled push to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, a measure that is likely to be defeated but one that Democrats see as a winner on the campaign trail.

April 26, 2014

Ford Motor Company Charged with Disability Discrimination for Refusing Employee's Request to Telecommute

Source: Disability.gov

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has charged Ford Motor Company of Detroit, MI with disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Obama pushes again for minimum wage increase

Source: The Associated Press, The State

President Barack Obama is again encouraging Congress to pass a bill raising the minimum raise to $10.10 an hour.

Union Effort at Northwestern May Not Mean Much for Public Colleges

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

When a National Labor Relations Board regional director ruled last month that Northwestern's scholarship football players could unionize, it was a landmark for college sports -- even though the decision was limited to one private university.

April 25, 2014

Today in Small Business: Seattle's Minimum Wage Plan Falters

Source: Gene Marks, The New York Times

There are many things affecting everyone involved with small business.

Northwestern Union Vote on Hold

Source: Allie Grasgreen, Inside Higher Ed

The National Labor Relations Board said Thursday that it will stay the decision by a regional NLRB director who said scholarship football players are employees and should be allowed to unionize.

Wall Street's Pension Gamble

Source: David Sirota, In These Times

In the national debate over what to do about public pension shortfalls, here's something you may not know: The texts of the agreements signed between those pension funds and financial firms are almost always secret.

April 24, 2014

Right-to-work bill divides Missourians as it moves through legislature

Source: Casey Bischel, Missourian

In almost any other country, an individual's right to work means a guaranteed job, often furnished by the government. In the 24 U.S. states that have right to work laws, the phrase means something else entirely: A person employed by a company that has a union does not have to join it or pay any form of dues.

Climate Change Unites Unions and Enviros

Source: Kevin Sullivan, Eugene Weekly

Labor unions have for years been pitted against conservationists in a jobs-versus-the-environment conflict. But now, a greater threat to the planet has paired members of the rival movements in a fight against a greater evil: global climate change.

Contingent Faculty at Seattle U. Can Vote on Union, NLRB Official Rules

Source: Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education

A regional official of the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that contingent faculty members at Seattle University are eligible to vote on forming a union.

April 23, 2014

Kaiser Workers Strike To Protest Cost-Cutting, Suicides

Source: NBC Bay Area

Mental health clinicians from Kaiser's Oakland Medical Center launched a one-day strike Wednesday to address understaffing and cost-cutting in Kaiser's mental health services, which they say have resulted in several suicides among patients.

Port Authority board approves raises for all 12K airport workers -- 3 months after Daily News exposes abysmal wages

Source: Rich Shapiro, New York Daily News

Three months after the Daily News launched a campaign to improve conditions for the struggling airport workers, Port Authority board members unanimously voted Wednesday to raise the wages of all contract employees at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports.

Proposal would spike minimum wage

Source: David Garrick, UT San Diego

Ballot measure would increase San Diego's lowest pay rate to $13.09 over three years.

Cooper grows impatient for immigration reform

Source: Paul C. Barton, The Tennessean

Rep. Jim Cooper wants Congress to get off the dime when it comes to immigration reform.

April 22, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About The Northwestern Football Case And If College Athletes Will Get Paid

Source: Jacob Fischler, BuzzFeed

Last month, a regional National Labor Relations Board ruled that football players at Northwestern University have the right to unionize

SF teachers want hefty raise

Source: Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco teachers want a raise, a big one. The teachers union fired off the first volley in what is shaping up to be contentious contract talks, asking for a 21 percent pay raise over three years.

Minimum wage and pot are now expected to be on Alaska's November ballot

Source: Niraj Chokshi, The Washington Post

Alaska's November ballot is expected to be a little more crowded. A trio of initiatives, including ones to regulate marijuana like alcohol and hike the minimum wage, are expected to be pushed from August to November.

April 21, 2014

The Terrible Fear of Paying the Poor Too Much

Source: Leo W. Gerard, Huffington Post

Republicans in America suffer a crippling anxiety. It's the terrible fear of corporations paying poor workers too much.

Wage Theft Across the Board

Source: The New York Times

When labor advocates and law enforcement officials talk about wage theft, they are usually referring to situations in which low-wage service-sector employees are forced to work off the clock, paid subminimum wages, cheated out of overtime pay or denied their tips.

NLRB election hearing reveals right wing's true colors

Source: John Logan, The Hill

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held two days of hearings to allow public comment on its new election rules, which are designed to eliminate the worst cases of deliberate and unjustified pre-election delay.

UAW's Volkswagen case heads to NLRB hearing as politicians object

Source: Paresh Dave, Los Angeles Times

A contentious effort to unionize a foreign brand's automobile factory is scheduled to reach a courtroom Monday, and the case appears far from resolution.

April 20, 2014

For Many Americans, 'Temp' Work Becomes Permanent Way of Life

Source: Martha C. White, NBC News

For Americans who can't find jobs, the booming demand for temp workers has been a path out of unemployment, but now many fear it's a dead-end route.

NCAA faces change, legal challenges in months ahead

Source: Steve Almasy, CNN

When training camps for big-time college football teams open in August, behemoth linemen and other players will get their first taste of new rules regarding how much food Division I schools can provide their athletes

Voters in states and cities are considering proposals to raise the minimum wage

Source: Pamela M. Prah, The Washington Post

A wave of efforts to raise the minimum wage at the state and local level will run through November, when voters in several states could consider ballot measures to raise hourly rates higher than the current $7.25 federal rate.

April 19, 2014

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in NYC and Across the Country

Source: Derek T. Smith, Derek T. Smith Law Group, PLLC

Many people don't typically think of the workplace as a potential arena for sexual assault, but workplace abuse, harassment and even rape are more common than you might think.

Transport company to pay $27,000 to settle pregnancy discrimination, retaliation suit

Source: J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

A Delaware trucking company that operates a terminal in Spartanburg, South Carolina, will pay $27,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination and retaliation lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced on April 17.

April 18, 2014

The decline of labor unions and the rise of the minimum wage

Source: Jake Rosenfeld, The Seattle Times

In February, a bitterly divided local Machinists union at Boeing narrowly voted to accept the company's contract extension to build new 777X airplanes.

Wal-Mart warehouse workers say they worked with no heat

Source: Alejandra Cancino, Chicago Tribune

Workers at an Indiana warehouse owned by Wal-Mart on Thursday filed unfair labor charges with the National Labor Relations Board against the staffing agency that employs them and the company that operates the warehouse.

Boycotts and Bargaining

Source: Allie Grasgreen, Inside Higher Ed

The college sports establishment is being assaulted on multiple and fragile fronts, with legal battles over safety and concussions, scholarship caps and the right of athletes to profit off their image, and now, the Northwestern University football unionization.

Big business gets creative in minimum wage fight

Source: Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC

The minimum wage movement is following the classic American playbook for how you raise labor standards across the country: Constant grassroots pressure, resulting in one local achievement after another, with all of those small gains eventually coalescing into a national wave.

April 17, 2014

Florida High Court Rules Pregnancy Protected by Gender Law (1)

Source: Christie Smythe and Christine Sexton, Bloomberg

Florida's law protecting women against workplace discrimination also covers those who are pregnant, the state's supreme court said in overturning a trial court ruling.

Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against Potter Concrete

Source: eNews Park Forest

The Justice Department reached an agreement today with Potter Concrete, a company based in Dallas, resolving claims that the company engaged in a pattern or practice of document abuse in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Effort to protect farmworkers from sexual assault gaining momentum

Source: Sheila Bapat, Al Jazeera America

"The Fair Food Program is a transformative, model program. This is a big victory for farmworkers. We congratulate them," said Erica Smiley, campaigns director for Jobs With Justice. "Now, if Walmart would do the same for the more than 1 million workers it employs in the U.S. and the many more millions around the world, we'd be in good shape."

April 16, 2014

About 400 Chicago concrete truck drivers go on strike

Source: Alejandra Cancino, Chicago Tribune

About 400 concrete truck drivers walked off their jobs on Tuesday and Wednesday after rejecting a proposed labor contract with the Northern Illinois Ready Mix and Materials Association.

Some exempted from minimum wage, increased or not

Source: Alan Fram, Philadelphia Inquirer (AP)

Some low-paid workers won't benefit even if a long-shot Democratic proposal to raise the federal minimum wage becomes law.

Union: Northwestern's position in student labor case 'castle built on sand'

Source: Alejandra Cancino, Chicago Tribune

The union seeking to represent football players at Northwestern University called the school's position in the case "a castle built on sand" in a document filed with the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday.

Minimum Wage, Maximum Outrage

Source: Charles Blow, The New York Times

No one should ever endure the kind of economic humiliation that comes with working a full-time job and making a less-than-living wage. There is dignity in all work, but that dignity grows dim when the checks are cashed and the coins are counted and still the bills rise higher than the wages.

April 15, 2014

5 Things Northwestern Is Telling Other Football Schools About Unions

Source: Melanie Trottman, The Wall Street Journal

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro has been fielding questions from colleagues from around the country in recent weeks. They want to know more about the National Labor Relations Board's decision that Northwestern's scholarship football players are school employees who can unionize.

Judge in R.I. pension case keeps 'gag order' in place

Source: Katherine Gregg, Providence Journal

The proposed settlement in Rhode Island's big, nationally watched pension case blew up last week, but Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft Carter's "gag order" is still in place, and it is still barring access to state spending records.

US Airways unions say 'critical issues' unresolved in merger

Source: Linda Loyd, Philadelphia Inquirer

Labor unions at US Airways will meet with CEO Doug Parker and senior management April 29 to discuss concerns and "critical issues" that they say remain unresolved since the merger of US Airways and American Airlines in December.

April 14, 2014

Graduate students of the world, unite!

Source: Malcolm Harris, Al Jazeera America

At the beginning of April, one of the most important labor unions in U.S. higher education staged an unexpected two-day strike. It wasn't the American Association of University Professors -- the left-leaning professors' union -- or a chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, representing service workers; it was United Auto Workers Local 2865.

SEIU thinks big for S.F. city workers' next contract

Source: Phillip Matier And Andrew Ross, San Francisco Chronicle

From fighting Google buses to protesting Ellis Act evictions, San Francisco's 9,475-member Service Employees International Union local has been leading the campaign for a more livable city.

NY pay raise for 100K direct care workers

Source: Associated Press, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

New York's new budget will increase pay 2 percent for about 100,000 caretakers of the disabled and others next year, their first raise in several years for many.

April 13, 2014

Low-wage workers pay the price of nickel-and-diming by employers

Source: Michael Hiltzik , Los Angeles Times

The continuing push for higher minimum wages across the country has much to recommend it, but the campaign shouldn't keep us from recognizing a truly insidious practice that impoverishes low-wage workers all the more.

L.A. teachers union president ready to step aside for challenger

Source: Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles teachers' union president Warren Fletcher said he will no longer actively campaign for reelection, clearing the path for challenger Alex Caputo-Pearl to become the next leader of United Teachers Los Angeles.

Odd-Hour Workers Face Loss of Employer Health Plans

Source: Lauren Weber, The Wall Street Journal

Susan Caspersen was in a hospital in Akron, Ohio, last November recovering from an emergency appendectomy when she got some unwelcome news: as of Jan. 1, 2014, she would no longer be eligible for the health-insurance plan offered by her employer, food-service giant Sodexo USA.

April 12, 2014

Business lobby proposes minimum wage 'compromise'

Source: Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC

The fast food workers movement may have gotten its start in New York City, but Seattle is where it seems closest to realizing one of its key objectives.

Kain Colter's unionization effort is fueled by compassion, common sense

Source: Mike Wise, The Washington Post

I sat two feet away from the most dangerous man in college sports earlier this month. His name is Kain Colter.

Culinary union workers strike rally nears full-on strike

Source: Jacqui Heinrich, KTNV

Culinary union members picketed downtown Saturday over the labor dispute holding up contract negotiations with ten casino properties.

April 11, 2014

Strike ends with no deal between Hopkins and workers

Source: Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun

Service workers fighting for higher wages remained at loggerheads with Johns Hopkins Hospital on Friday as they ended a three-day strike over higher wages -- and said they could walk off the job again.

Hey, Rahm Emanuel: Quit blaming public employees for your budget crisis!

Source: David Sirota, Salon

In America, there is regular ol' corruption, and then there is Chicago Corruption, with a capital "C." America's third largest city is so notoriously corrupt, all you have to do is say "Chicago politics" and many people instantly start making jokes about payoffs and reciting lines from "The Untouchables."

SF labor unions asking for pay raises amid hostile cost-of-living environment

Source: Joshua Sabatini, San Francisco Examiner

Pointing to a soaring cost of living throughout the Bay Area, San Francisco's largest city employee union has emerged as an outspoken critic of the Twitter tax break and commuter tech shuttles while more quietly making demands for pay increases and other job benefits in labor contract negotiations.

Pension bills now coming together

Source: Brandon Larrabee, Tallahassee Democrat

Changes to retirement plans covering hundreds of thousands of public employees started coming together Thursday on both sides of the Capitol, raising the prospects of success on long-stymied issues.

Challenges may emerge to UAW subpoenas; April 21 hearing could be delayed

Source: Mike Pare and Andy Sher, Chattanooga Times Free Press

An attorney for a Chattanooga anti-union group said Thursday he expects challenges to emerge to some of the two dozen United Auto Workers' subpoenas issued this week in its appeal of the Volkswagen plant's union election.

April 10, 2014

GOP blocks Senate bill curbing gender pay gap

Source: Associated Press, The Times West Virginian

Republicans blocked a Senate bill Wednesday aimed at narrowing the pay gap between men and women, an election-year ritual that Democrats hope will help spur women to back them in this fall's congressional elections.

Minimum wage hikes and real net wages

Source: Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

Past experience has confirmed the nonmonetary impact of a minimum-wage hike on workers, not only in reduced fringe benefits but in increased work demands and decreased job training.

Public Service Union seeks 30 percent wage increase in 2014

Source: Kaieteur News

hile the Public Service Ministry has mentioned discussions between the Government and the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) for a "proper formula for workers' wages," the GPSU is calling for 30 percent increase in wages and salaries for 2014.

April 9, 2014

Workers say too often employers hire them for one job, but have them do another, survey finds

Source: Olivera Perkins, Plain Dealer

Switcheroo. Sleight of hand. Bait-and-switch. These words, most often associated with con games, are increasing being used by workers to describe employers they say lured them with false promises and job descriptions that fell flat.

GM Auto Workers Vote to Allow Strike in Kentucky

Source: Bruce Schreiner, ABC News (AP)

Workers at the General Motors plant in Kentucky that assembles Corvettes voted Tuesday to authorize a strike over lingering safety concerns, but a local union leader said he hopes the differences can be resolved without a walkout.

Hopkins workers strike over wages, working conditions

Source: Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun

Every two weeks, Johns Hopkins Hospital housekeeping worker Yolanda Kelly says she overdrafts her bank account just to pay her bills on time.

Union Efforts on Behalf of Adjuncts Meet Resistance Within Faculties' Ranks

Source: Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education

As part-time instructors at colleges seek to improve their working conditions through unionization, they often find that the people standing in the way of their efforts are not administrators but fellow faculty members, several union organizers and labor experts observed at a conference held here this week.

April 8, 2014

So-Called Right to Work Is Still Wrong for Workers

Source: James P. Hoffa, Huffington Post

The annual state legislative folly that spurs pro-corporate lawmakers to introduce legislation to hack away at workplace rights and wages for millions of middle-class families is well underway. And it is failing -- again.

Detroit city workers, pensioners could face cut in retirement savings, too

Source: Susan Tompor and Matt Helms, Detroit Free Press

Detroit's workers and retirees who put money in to the General Retirement System are being told they're likely to face cuts to their savings, too, as well as their pension checks, as part of the bankruptcy process, according to sources familiar with the plan.

Jobless Benefits Stalled Even With U.S. Senate Passage

Source: Kathleen Hunter, Bloomberg

U.S. House Republicans are showing no sign that they'll move forward legislation the Senate passed restoring benefits for the long-term unemployed.

VW eyes UAW recognition at Chattanooga plant, group says

Source: Mike Pare, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Volkswagen risks labor and political blowback if, as an anti-union group claimed Monday, the carmaker ignores February's vote at the Chattanooga plant and aligns with the United Auto Workers, an industry analyst says.

April 7, 2014

In Wake Of Protests, Walmart Workers Find More Hours Within Reach

Source: Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post

In her nearly two years with Walmart, Miya'Neisha Johnson has typically worked about 20 hours a week at her Western Arkansas store, while pursuing a bachelor's degree.

Bill to change disputed measure in education-reform law dies

Source: Zahira Torres, The Denver Post

Legislation that would keep Denver Public Schools from placing longtime teachers on permanent unpaid leave died Monday, but not before the state lawmaker who authored the bill chastised district administrators for not compromising.

The Unintended Consequences of Treating College Athletes Like Employees

Source: Juliet Lapidos, The New York Times

The head of an institution with a vested interest in maintaining the current college sports business model is unhappy about recent attempts to change it. Who could have predicted such a thing?

VW considering tossing election results and accepting UAW union, group says

Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press

An anti-union group said today that Volkswagen is considering disregarding the February election results over United Auto Workers representation at the Chattanooga plant and accepting authorization cards the union claims to have collected last year.

Workers on the Edge

Source: David Bensman, The American Prospect

One of the most significant contributing causes of the widening inequality and insecurity in the American workforce is the accelerating shift to what economists call contingent employment.

April 6, 2014

NYSUT votes in first female president

Source: Lauren Stanforth, Albany Times Union

New York State United Teachers delegates Saturday night voted in their first new president in nine years, no doubt a reaction to how the union feels its organization is responding to the state's implementation of the controversial Common Core State Standards.

Obama actions test workplace ideas

Source: Jim Kuhnhenn, Philadelphia Inquirer (AP)

Lacking congressional support to raise wages or end gender pay disparities, President Barack Obama is again imposing his policies on federal contractors, in keeping with presidents' tradition of exerting their powers on a fraction of the economy they directly control.

Low wages for female workers spur group of women to write letter to Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders to seek income equality

Source: Kenneth Lovett, New York Daily News

A group of more than 125 prominent women have sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders calling on them to allow local governments to set their own minimum wage rates.

Exploited temp workers may finally get some relief

Source: Michael Grabell, Salon (ProPublica)

ProPublica California could become one of the first states in the nation to hold companies legally responsible for wage and safety violations by their subcontractors and temp agencies if a bill proposed Friday becomes law.

Not your grandpa's labor union

Source: Leon Neyfakh, The Boston Globe

Last month, when the college football players of Northwestern University tentatively won the right to unionize, the ruling by the regional National Labor Relations Board asserted that even though these young men were students at their school, they were also its employees.

April 5, 2014

Former labor secretary backs UAW, blasts state officials for interference

Source: Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich chided Tennessee political leaders Friday for trying to influence workers at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant to reject representation by the United Auto Workers union.

Maryland Senate Approves Minimum Wage Increase

Source: Associated Press, CBS Baltimore

The Maryland Senate voted Saturday to increase the state's minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8 in January, the first in a series of incremental hikes that will lead to a $10.10 wage in July 2018.

Yes He Can, on Immigration

Source: New York Times

The administration needs to find ways to turn off the deportation machinery when it gets abused. It should end programs like Secure Communities that enlist local police as immigration enforcers. When immigrants assert their civil and labor rights against abusive employers, it should protect them from deportation and retaliation.

April 4, 2014

How Tenn. politicians killed Volkswagen unionization

Source: Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC

Right-wing groups may have successfully defeated a unionization bid at Volkswagen's Chattanooga, Tenn. manufacturing plant, but it wasn't a clean victory.

All Work and No Pay

Source: Moyers & Company

In 1991, the National Restaurant Association passed around enough campaign contributions to persuade Congress to set the federal minimum wage for waiters, busboys and bartenders at only $2.13 an hour. And it has never gone up.

Senate is expected to pass unemployment bill, but a difficult path awaits in House

Source: Wesley Lowery, The Washington Post

The Senate is expected to vote Monday to pass a bipartisan bill that would restore long-term unemployment benefits that were allowed to expire in December.

Young People Understand Unions Can Solve Problems

Source: Liz Shuler, U.S. News and World Report

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board's Chicago Regional Director issued a notable finding: football players at Northwestern University are employees of the university for purposes of federal labor law.

April 3, 2014

Apartment Building Workers Approve Possible Strike Ahead of Contract Negotiations

Source: Michael Herzenberg, NY 1

More than 1,000 people marched from 73rd Street and Fifth Avenue to 83rd Street and Park Avenue. The doormen, handymen, porters and building superintendents rallied, trying to demonstrate unity less than a week ahead of an expected contract offer from the realty advisory board.

SEPTA's biggest union doesn't want to strike, but will it?

Source: Dan Geringer, Philadelphia Inquirer

When the last of SEPTA's contracts with its unionized workers expires on Sunday, the clock starts ticking on the time bomb of a crippling transit strike.

Gov. Bentley says workforce training key to Alabama's economic future

Source: Alex Walsh, The Birmingham News

Gov. Robert Bentley emphasized the importance of workforce training and education in improving economic conditions across the state during an appearance at an Alabama Associated General Contractors meeting in Irondale on Wednesday.

Odds Aren't Improving For Long-Term Unemployed Workers

Source: NPR

There is still be a huge number of people who have been out of work for six months or more. Steve Inskeep talks to David Wessel, director of the Hutchins Center at the Brookings Institution.

April 2, 2014

College athletes take labor cause to Capitol Hill

Source: Kimberly Hefling (AP), Salon

Members of a group seeking to unionize college athletes are looking for allies on Capitol Hill as they brace for an appeal of a ruling that said full scholarship athletes at Northwestern University are employees who have the right to form a union.

UAW asks to delay Volkswagen hearing, cites anti-union collusion

Source: Amanda Becker and Bernie Woodall, Reuters

The United Auto Workers (UAW) on Tuesday asked a U.S. agency to stay an April 21 hearing related to a mid-February union vote it lost at a Tennessee Volkswagen plant, citing what it called new evidence of collusion between Republican lawmakers and anti-union groups.

Coal company from Spike TV series cited by NLRB

Source: Paul Nyden, Charleston Gazette

A coal company that hosted a national television series unfairly refused to negotiate a contract with union-represented miners, the National Labor Relations Board ruled last week.

April 1, 2014

Haslam drops raises for teachers, state workers

Source: Chas Sisk, The Tennessean

Gov. Bill Haslam's plan to boost pay for teachers will be put on hold for at least a year, the governor announced Monday, as he works to close a $160 million gap in the state budget.

Communism saved the American worker

Source: Edward McClelland, Salon

Communism was, however, fantastic for the American worker. It's no coincidence that the golden age of American equality, that period from the 1940s to the 1970s when the gap between CEOs and employees hit its all-time low, was almost exactly coterminous with the Cold War.

The hypocrisy of big-time college sports

Source: Gordon Schnell and David Scupp, CNN

The debate has gone on for years. The athletes in big-time college sports bring in billions of dollars for their universities and the NCAA, but get nothing in return -- other than a scholarship that does not even cover the full cost of attending school.

March 31, 2014

Tina Fey Docked $79k For Failing To Carry Workers' Comp Insurance

Source: Mack Gelber, AOL Jobs

Actress and 30 Rock creator Tina Fey might've found herself uttering Liz Lemon's old catchphrase this past weekend, after the New York State Workers' Compensation Board slapped her with a $79,000 judgment for failing to carry workers' comp insurance.

'Right to work' vote in Missouri House could have narrow margin

Source: Marie French, St. Louis Post Dispatch

One business priority touted by Republican leadership has been slow to move out of the Missouri House this session.

Politicians, experts split over fair minimum wage

Source: Associated Press, The Washington Post

The federal minimum wage has left three-person families below the poverty level since 1980. It's also well shy of the peak of its buying power almost half a century ago.

March 30, 2014

NW union reps off to Congress

Source: Tom Farrey, ESPN

The leaders who are attempting to unionize Northwestern football players will take their case to Capitol Hill lawmakers, aiming to protect the historic victory union organizers achieved last week.

Court docs: Google hiked wages to combat "hot, young" Facebook after Sandberg refused to join hiring cartel

Source: Mark Ames , Pando Daily

According to testimony from Sandberg, recently unsealed, almost as soon as she left Google for Facebook in March 2008, her former Google colleagues began discussing ways to bring her and Facebook into the illegal wage-suppression cartel.

Transgender Woman Banned from Ladies' Room Files Discrimination Charges

Source: RJ de Guzman, Philippine News

A transgender woman filed charges of discrimination at the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office, as two security guards barred her from entering the women's bathroom at her workplace.

March 29, 2014

United Auto Workers Membership Grows Slightly

Source: Ken Sweet, ABC News (AP)

The United Auto Workers said its membership grew by nearly 9,000 people last year, the union said in a filing with Department of Labor, the fourth-straight year that the union has rebuilt its depleted ranks.

The maestro behind the Vermont Workers' Center movement

Source: Terri Hallenback, Burlington Free Press

When a House committee held a public hearing this month on raising the minimum wage, a few dozen red-shirted Vermonters filed into the chamber and urged legislators not only to raise the minimum wage, but to elevate it higher than the governor wanted and to require employers to provide paid sick leave.

Bishops and clergy of many faiths agree: Right-to-work is bad for Missouri

Source: Editorial Board, St. Louis Post Dispatch

The Cabinet of the Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis has announced its opposition to "Right to Work/Freedom to Work" efforts under consideration in the Missouri Legislature.

March 28, 2014

Charter-boosters' ugly civil rights scam: Why their rhetoric is so misleading

Source: Josh Eidelson, Salon

"If other sections of the labor movement were to take some cues from the [Chicago Teachers Union] about militant, bottom-up, democratic left-unionism, unions' extinction might become less of a certainty," journalist Micah Uetricht writes in his new book, "Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity."

Long battle looms between U.S. college, athletes seeking to unionize

Source: Amanda Becker, Reuters

A day after football players at Northwestern University tentatively won the right to unionize, they and the Illinois school dug in for a lengthy legal and political battle that could reshape the multimillion-dollar sports business that U.S. colleges have built around unpaid amateur players.

Rewriting the Rules for Overtime Pay

Source: Tyler C. Grant, Consumer Eagle

Erin Johansson, research director for Jobs With Justice, said workers in the fast food industry sometimes oversee employees for only a couple of hours a week, but are classified as supervisors.

March 27, 2014

How Cincinnati beat the tea party

Source: Amy B. Dean, Al Jazeera America

The refrain of privatization seems to play over and over. Our cities are going broke and can't afford to make retirement payments; public health nurses, city park employees, and other workers who provide important services will not get what they worked hard for all their lives; and the only way out is to put pensions into the hands of privately held corporations.

Good news for Connecticut's governor: He just got the highest state minimum wage

Source: Niraj Chokshi, The Washington Post

Connecticut's Gov. Dan Malloy can breathe a little easier: he just landed the minimum wage hike he's been pushing so hard for.

NLRB decision very well-reasoned

Source: Lester Munson, ABC News (ESPN)

The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago, Peter Sung Ohr, ruled Wednesday that Northwestern University football players are university employees and entitled to an election that will determine whether they can form a union.

Northwestern ruling sends clear message: NCAA, it's time to negotiate

Source: Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated

Donald Remy was disappointed Wednesday. This has become somewhat of a theme for the NCAA's chief legal counsel. In fact, if the fictional Soggy Bottom Boys are stumped for their next hit, they should consider writing "Man of Constant Disappointment" and dedicate it to Remy.

March 26, 2014

How many hours must minimum-wage earners work to afford rent?

Source: Jolie Lee, USA Today

Minimum-wage employees must work on average 2.6 full-time jobs to afford a decent two-bedroom apartment in the USA without paying more than 30% of their income, according to a report released Monday from the National Low Income Housing Coalition based on federal data.

White House: Minimum Wage Hike Will Help Close The Gender Wage Gap

Source: Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post

Hoping to give Democrats' minimum wage legislation a boost in Congress, the White House released a report on Wednesday making the case that raising the wage floor would benefit women in particular and help close the gender wage gap.

NLRB's N'western ruling to be issued

Source: Lester Munson and Tom Farrey, ESPN

The regional director of the Chicago district of the National Labor Relations Board, Peter Sung Ohr, will decide whether scholarship football players at Northwestern University qualify as employees who can form a union and bargain for benefits.

March 25, 2014

America's Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted

Source: Rebecca J. Rosen, The Atlantic

The article explains how our burnt out lifestyles are not necessarily our fault, but our culture's.

SRC seeks to eliminate seniority, impose other changes on teachers

Source: Solomon Leach, Philadelphia Daily News

Locked in a stalemate with the teachers union, the Philadelphia School District took a more forceful approach yesterday, asking the state Supreme Court to reaffirm its right to impose work rules, including the elimination of teacher seniority.

Grad Students Driving the Growing Debt Burden

Source: Josh Mitchell, The Wall Street Journal

The surge in student-loan debt in recent years has been driven disproportionately by borrowing for graduate school amid a weak economy and an open spigot of government credit, according to a report that raises questions about the broader debate about how to resolve Americans' growing burden.

Will Northwestern University football unionize?

Source: Sara Ganim, CNN

Northwestern University's president emeritus said that if the players on its football team are successful at forming a union, he could see the prestigious private institution giving up Division I football.

March 24, 2014

Wage increase sought for workers who also earn tips

Source: Andrew Seidman, Philadelphia Inquirer

An Assembly panel advanced legislation Monday that would increase the minimum wage for New Jersey workers who make most of their money in tips, despite objections from restaurant and beverage industry officials who feared a blow to businesses.

Five reasons the NLRB must overturn tainted VW election

Source: John Logan, The Hill

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will soon decide on whether to overturn the union election at Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tennessee because outside interference undermined workers' choice.

Detroit prepares for historic debt deal vote

Source: Robert Snell, The Detroit News

Detroit will finalize this week an unprecedented plan to solicit votes from about 32,000 municipal retirees and beneficiaries on a blueprint for restructuring the city's debt.

Laid-off Tucson workers win injunction in union fight

Source: Patrick McNamara, Arizona Daily Star

A group of workers who claim they were laid off from their jobs in retaliation for attempting to join a labor union scored a victory in federal court against their former employer.

March 23, 2014

UC, union reach deal - strike averted at hospitals

Source: David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle

A planned, five-day strike this week at University of California hospitals was averted Sunday after school officials and the union representing patient care technical workers reached a tentative agreement

Kasich won't revisit crackdown on state workers' bargaining ability

Source: Eric Bradner, Politico

Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he won't push again for a controversial anti-union measure if he wins a second term this fall.

Negative workers' rights still fuzzy after ruling

Source: Steve Twedt, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

A recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board gives employers a little more guidance about when it is OK to fire workers for displaying negative attitudes without violating their rights to organize.

March 22, 2014

NCAA's true March Madness: not paying the players

Source: Ellis Henican, Newsday

From 64 to 16 to 4 to 1: You can tear up your NCAA brackets right now. We already know who's winning this year. The top-tier college coaches with their seven-figure salaries.

Teamsters score a win against "sharecropping on wheels." But will the trucking industry really change?

Source: Lydia DePillis, The Washington Post

Along with auto technicians, fast food workers, and baggage handlers, another profession has been hit by the separation of labor from employer: Port truckers, who haul containers from cargo ships on short trips around the terminal.

NY Dream Act backers want bill included in state budget

Source: Robert Brodsky, Newsday

Victoria Daza, an organizer with Long Island Jobs for Justice, said the best way to ensure passage of the Dream Act is to put it in the budget.

March 21, 2014

NLRB seeks to enforce UPMC subpoena

Source: Kris B. Mamula, Pittsburgh Business Times

The National Labor Relations Board on Thursday went to federal court to force UPMC to comply with a document request regarding the corporate relationship between UPMC Presbyterian and Shadyside hospitals.

Hearing on UAW vote at Tennessee VW plant vote April 21

Source: Amanda Becker, Reuters

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union will make its case on April 21 that the results of a February election it lost at a Chattanooga, Tennessee Volkswagen plant should be thrown out.

Breaking: Truckers who haul for Costco and Forever 21 land victory against corporate crime

Source: Josh Eidelson, Salon

Truck drivers who haul goods from the Port of Los Angeles to companies including Costco and Forever 21 - part of a growing army of workers who aren't considered "employees" under U.S. law - plan Friday to announce a legal settlement they hope will help spur unionization.

March 20, 2014

MLS referees reach collective bargaining agreement

Source: Steven Goff, The Washington Post

Good news and bad news on the MLS front late Wednesday: The good news is the referees' labor dispute is over. The bad news is the league's participation in the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League is also over.

Candidates jump on issue of state collecting union dues

Source: Dan Boyd, Albuquerque Journal

Gov. Susana Martinez's battle with labor unions over the state's practice of collecting union payments from worker paychecks is shaping up as a hot campaign issue.

Casino union seeks to protect Revel workers if gambling hall is sold

Source: The Associated Press

The main union representing Atlantic City casino workers is turning up the heat on the non-union Revel Casino Hotel.

Md. Senate chair seeks pay raise for workers who care for developmentally disabled

Source: John Wagner, The Washington Post

The chairman of a key Maryland Senate Committee said Wednesday that he does not plan to act on a bill to raise the minimum wage until a related issue is resolved involving the way the state reimburses workers who care for the developmentally disabled.

State Rep Reintroduces Bill That Would Prohibit A SEPTA Worker Strike

Source: Tony Romeo, CBS Philadelphia

With another contract deadline having passed, a local lawmaker is once again introducing legislation that would prohibit SEPTA workers from going on strike.

March 19, 2014

Exclusive: Target's cheesy anti-union propaganda gets a modern makeover

Source: Josh Eidelson, Salon

Target's anti-union video for employees -- which previously drew ridicule for strained and earnest delivery, kitschy and melodramatic graphics, and sub-par production values -- appears to have gotten a makeover.

Governor wants state to stop collecting union dues

Source: James Monteleone, Albuquerque Journal

Gov. Susana Martinez's administration wants to stop allowing union dues to be withdrawn automatically from state employee paychecks, money that she says is turned around for political attacks.

Chattanooga VW workers seek injunction in UAW case

Source: Mike Pare, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Lawyers for three Chattanooga Volkswagen workers who have sued the carmaker in federal court have asked for a preliminary injunction to prevent VW from providing organizing assistance to the United Auto Workers in the event of a revote.

March 18, 2014

First round of ballots due April 3 on proposed R.I. pension settlement

Source: Katherine Gregg, Providence Journal

An April 3 deadline has been set for thousands of past and present public employees to return ballots on the proposed settlement of the legal fight over the General Assembly's repeated attempts to rein in exploding pension costs.

Ralph Nader: Give workers a raise

Source: Ralph Nader, USA Today

The long-standing effort to raise the federal minimum wage is approaching showdown time. Opinion polls show consistent support for a raise across the political spectrum.

How New York could crack down on fast food's corporate crime wave

Source: Josh Eidelson, Salon

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James will announce a four-part proposal to tackle alleged rampant wage theft in the fast food industry.

March 17, 2014

"Code words for race": What's really behind GOP's poverty and welfare obsession

Source: Josh Eidelson, Salon

Salon called up University of Southern California political scientist Ange-Marie Hancock to discuss a politician's assertions that there is no respect for work because of our culture.

Jefferson Cowie On Economic Inequality, Organized Labor And The Working Class

Source: Mary Edwards, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson Cowie, professor in Cornell University's School of Labor and Industrial Relations, reports that membership in labor unions peaked in the mid 50s when 35 percent of the work force belonged to a union. That percentage has decreased until levelling off at the current 6 percent membership. There are a number of reasons for the decline including political factors, economic factors, cultural issues and organizational problems with organized labor.

Jeffrey Kessler files against NCAA

Source: Tom Farrey, ESPN

High-profile sports labor attorney Jeffrey Kessler filed an antitrust claim Monday in a New Jersey federal court on behalf of a group of college basketball and football players, arguing the association has unlawfully capped player compensation at the value of an athletic scholarship.

NLRB Asks Fifth Circuit to Rehear Horton; Panel Split Over Board View on Class Waivers

Source: Lawrence E. Dube, Bloomberg BNA

The National Labor Relations Board filed a petition March 13 asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to rehear and reverse a 2-1 panel decision rejecting the NLRB's position that class and collective action waivers in an employer's mandatory arbitration policy interfere with employee rights under federal labor law.

March 16, 2014

Compromise on minimum wage hike discussed

Source: Mark Walker, UT San Diego

City Council President Todd Gloria suggesting Friday that one possible avenue to reach an accord making sure a raise in the current minimum of $8 an hour isn't too steep, is implemented gradually and is coupled with reasonable regulatory relief for businesses and developers.

Low-Wage Workers Finding It's Easier to Fall Into Poverty, and Harder to Get Out

Source: Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times

Wages are so low that working individuals still must seek assistant from whoever they can.

Sawant Proposes Three-Year Minimum Wage Phase-In for Small Businesses, Starting at $11/Hour in 2015

Source: Christopher Frizzelle , the Stranger

Big businesses would have to pay $15 an hour right away. "The mayor said he is concerned about very small businesses.

Secunda, Bauries, and Nahmod Amicus Brief in Lane v. Franks

Source: Workplace Prof, Workplace Prof Blog

A public employee was subpoenaed to testify in a fraud prosecution and fired from his job for telling the truth.

March 15, 2014

McDonald's workers file lawsuit for 'stolen' wages

Source: Schuyler Velasco, The Christian Science Monitor

McDonald's workers have filed class-action lawsuits in three states alleging franchisees stole wages from workers by forcing employees to work off the clock and refusing to pay overtime.

Industry Behind Anti-Wage-Hike Letter

Source: Eric Lipton, The New York Times

The National Restaurant Association did not disclose upfront its role in helping draft and circulate a statement signed by more than 500 prominent economists, including four winners of the Nobel Prize, urging the federal government to reject the proposal by the Obama administration to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, interviews with signers of the letter showed.

Obama makes the case for strengthening overtime protections in weekly address

Source: Laura Clawson, Daily Kos

President Obama used his weekly address to make the case for expanding overtime eligibility, as he proposed earlier in the week.

March 14, 2014

Explanation of how worker safety and health will improve under electronic tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses is lacking

Source: J.J. Keller & Associates

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) submitted its comments concerning OSHA's Proposed Rule to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses.

Does the use of social media in today's workplace raise discrimination concerns?

Source: J.J. Keller & Associates

The use of social media has become pervasive in today's workplace and, as a result, is having an impact on the enforcement of federal laws, a panel of experts told the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at a meeting held on March 12 at EEOC Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The meeting was convened to gather information about the growing use of social media and how it impacts the laws that the EEOC enforces

LGBT Employment Discrimination and the EEOC

Source: The Labor and Employment Relations Association

Justin Mulaire, a trial attorney in the EEOC Chicago office, will discuss recent developments in the EEOC's handling of cases against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as a form of discrimination.

SSISS: Anti-harassment laws get passed, Govt to groom a pool of social service leaders

Source: Jonathan Lim and Martino Tan, Mothership.sg

Law Minister K Shanmugam says the standards of acceptable behaviour should be the same in the physical world and in the online sphere.

Anti-harassment laws to fight 'social scourge' in Singapore

Source: Kuala Lumpur Post

Proposed anti-harassment laws were passed yesterday with unanimous support from Members of Parliament (MPs), many of whom recounted stories of people they know getting harassed and public servants suffering abuse at work.

Report: women in media experience intimidation, abuse

Source: Theresa Gordon, Antigua Observer Newspaper

A new global report highlighting the dangers many women face while working in the media, has caught the attention of the Antigua & Barbuda Media Congress (ABMC).

March 13, 2014

First-of-its-kind corporate-wide settlement agreement in corrections industry addresses hazards associated with workplace violence

Source: J.J. Keller & Associates

A correctional, detention, and community re-entry services company, based in Boca Raton, Fla., has entered into a corporate-wide settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor that requires the company to implement comprehensive procedures and policies to better safeguard its workers against the hazards of workplace violence.

Obama Orders Rule Changes to Expand Overtime Pay

Source: David S. Joachim, The New York Times

President Obama ordered the Labor Department on Thursday to revise federal rules on overtime pay to make millions more workers eligible for extra pay when they work more than 40 hours a week.

Japanese Automakers Raise Wages

Source: Zacks Equity Research, Zacks Investment Research

Japanese automakers have decided to increase the base pay of workers, following the Prime Minister's efforts to convince employers of the same.

Teachers union warns of suburbs exodus if salaries don't rise

Source: Aaron Short, New York Post

City teachers are going to flee in droves for higher-paying jobs in the suburbs if the city doesn't boost salaries in upcoming contract negotiations.

USDA proposal threatens health of vulnerable poultry workers

Source: Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, The Hill

Women and men in Mississippi have been suffering debilitating injuries working in the state's poultry processing plants, which sometimes results in their job termination.

March 12, 2014

Tentative deal struck with public employees' union

Source: The Associated Press, Anchorage Daily News

The state says it has reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with the Public Safety Employees Association.

UAW slams decision giving anti-union workers voice in VW dispute

Source: Amanda Becker, Reuters

The United Auto Workers on Wednesday sharply criticized and vowed to appeal a U.S. agency's decision to let anti-UAW Volkswagen workers defend the results of an election that the union lost last month at a Tennessee VW plant.

Low-wage jobs unexpectedly a way of life for many

Source: Josh Boak, The Associated Press

For years, many Americans followed a simple career path: Land an entry-level job. Accept a modest wage. Gain skills. Leave eventually for a better-paying job. However, since the Great Recession began in late 2007, many of the next-tier jobs no longer exist.

March 11, 2014

Maine Gov. LePage Resists Workplace Safety Data Plan

Source: Insurance Journal

A proposal from the federal government to make more specific workplace safety data available online could violate individuals' privacy and embarrass employers and workers, Maine officials said

Leading by example helps improve workplace safety: study

Source: Safety and Health Magazine

The type of leadership used in the workplace may have an effect on injuries and safety climate, suggests a new study from Colorado State University.

Third grade students at Trinity School select child labor as their spring service learning project

Source: Cindy Tipton, InMenlo

Children chose to study child labor to answer the question, "What are problems you are aware of in the world?"

Judge's decision is latest twist in Army sex case

Source: Emery P. Dalesio and Michael Biesecker - The Associated Press, Army Times

An army general struggles to make a deal with the mlitary for sexually assaulting soldiers.

Gender equality merits special consideration

Source: The Guardian Reporter , IPPmedia

Many governments have adopted active labour market policies to tackle discrimination against women and a growing number of employers' and workers' organizations are implementing initiatives on equal opportunity and treatment.

Why casino workers hate Obamacare

Source: Tami Luhb, CNN Money

Casino workers are preparing to strike against several Las Vegas establishments, but their real target is President Obama.

March 10, 2014

Massachusetts Paid Sick Time

Source: Mark Batten, Fredric Leffler, Marc Mandelman, Katharine Parker & Allan Weitzman , JDSUPRA

Rhode Island recently has followed Connecticut in mandating paid sick time, and now bills pending in Massachusetts and Vermont may spread the requirement through New England.

New Athens public safety hires to see greater pay

Source: WAFF.com Staff, WTOC

New firefighters and police officers in Athens Alabama were granted a pay increase Monday.

Retaliation Exposure Tipping Point? Supreme Court Extends SOX Whistleblower Protections to Private Company Employees

Source: Shanti Atkins & Randy Stephens , Navex Global

It has been ruled that employees of private companies engaged by public companies are covered by the whistleblower protections of Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002 ("SOX")

Nexsen Pruet Employment Law Update - March 10, 2014: Should Employers "Get Physicial"?

Source: Nexsen Pruet, PLLC, JDSUPRA

Pre-employment medical exams, while not categorically barred, could violate several federal statutes and draw unwanted attention from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or the Commission).

March 9, 2014

Among de Blasio's Priorities, Minimum Wage Waits Behind Pre-K

Source: Rachel L. Swarns, The New York Times

Mr. de Blasio's campaign to institute a New York City minimum wage has been pushed aside for a universal pre-kindergarten plan.

Latest ranking of most stressful jobs may just surprise you

Source: Lydia Meyer, News Tribune

A CareerCast.com study reports that some careers induce more anxiety than others.

Lincoln lawsuit lingers: Former vice president suing for discrimination

Source: Bob Watson, News Tribune

Former university vice president sues school for being fired for being Caucasian.

March 8, 2014

CPAC Presidential Straw Poll Picks Guy Who Thinks Whites-Only Lunch Counters Should Be Legal

Source: Ian Millhiser, Think Progress

Rand Paul claims the hard part of true freedom is that businesses should be able to discriminate between customers.

International Women's Day: Where Does the U.S. Rank in Gender Equality for Women Workers?

Source: Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO

Currently, women in the U.S. make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.

'They're Not Dead Yet': Planning The Demise Of Labor Unions At CPAC

Source: Dave Jamieson , Huffington Post

Some players in tax reform want to weaken the strength of unions in politics.

March 7, 2014

The Crowd That Doesn't Want to Raise the Minimum Wage Is Really Out of Touch

Source: Kenneth Quinnell, the AFL-CIO

Polls show more than half of small business owners support the minimum wage increase to $10.10/ hr.

California Farmworkers Often Forced To Live in Squalor, Says Report

Source: Michelle Chen, In These Times

Although fresh produce has gained in popularity, farmers cannot acquire accommodations equal to the standard of living in the United States.

Boeing will freeze pensions for 68,000 nonunion employees

Source: Dominic Gates, The Seattle Times

Boeing will freeze the traditional defined-benefit pensions of around 68,000 nonunion salaried staff, including managers and executives, all the way to the top, starting in 2016.

March 6, 2014

Occupational Health News Roundup

Source: Liz Borkowski , Science Blogs

Poultry companies want to speed up production, but employees claim it would be too much work.

OSHA Extends PSM Comment Period to March 3

Source: Occupational Health & Safety

OSHA waits for information on potential changes to its Process Safety Management standard and related standards.

Edmunds.com Sheds Light on the Future of Workplace Culture, Auto Technology 2014 SXSW

Source: Edmunds.com, Channel 25 News

Edmunds.com will be used as an example of a culture that supports and creates life-balance-oriented work policies.

March 5, 2014

Miss. House passes bills to restrict labor unions

Source: JEFF AMY, Associated Press, the Houston Chronicle

Mississippi lawmakers introduce a bill that will restrict some labor union organizing and picketing practices.

EXCLUSIVE: Unions demand all Domino Sugar site construction workers be organized

Source: Matt Chaban, New York Daily News

Unions demand equal pay and benefits for all workers on the Domino Sugar site.

California Mayors Fight Pension Powers That May Cut Costs

Source: Alison Vekshin, Bloomberg

California mayors believe union support will be withdrawn if pension cuts are put into practice.

At Newark airport, cleaning workers fear losing hard-fought pay gains

Source: Steve Strunsky/The Star-Ledger, NJ.com

Airlines choose nonunion cleaning companies to cut wages.

March 4, 2014

Unions, foes reach truce on ballot measures: Both sides withdraw ballot measures, a move the governor hopes will help him work toward tax reform

Source: Jonathan Cooper, The Register-Guard

The liberal group Our Oregon agreed to withdraw 10 proposed measures on taxes to make negotiations easier.

Miller Still Pushing for OSHA Combustible Dust Rule

Source: Occupational Health & Safety

Some hold the Obama administration responsible for impeding the protection of workers from combustible dust by not implementing necessary safety regulations.

Males refuse to accept flexible working hours after return women from maternity leave: new study

Source: Phil Jacob, the Telegraph News

Generation Y women are more concerned about maternity leave than men and women from earlier generations.

February 27, 2014

Sears Posts Loss for Quarter and Year in Tough Earnings Season for Many Retailers

Source: Elizabeth A. Harris, The New York Times

Stores such as Sears must become more member-based in order to survive in today's economy.

Tony Abbott won't budge on parental leave scheme 'I deeply believe in': Commission of audit reportedly thinks scheme too generous, but PM insists 'this policy is very good for the economy'

Source: Bridie Jabour, the guardian

Australia aims to increase maternity leave benefits for working parents.

Union exemption from harassment claims raises questions

Source: Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com

Provision protecting parties in labor disputes from prosecution for stalking, harassment, and terrorist-like threats allow union workers to harass management and business owners at all hours of the day.

February 25, 2014

2 supervisors to pay $450K in decapitation of 2 workers

Source: Fred Hosier, Osha Safety News Alert

Two former supervisors have agreed to pay $450K to the families of two workers who were decapitated in a boiler explosion.

February 21, 2014

Worker crushed to death had feared injury would happen

Source: Fred Hosier, Osha Safety News Alert

Lack of safety maintenance results in man's death.

February 20, 2014

Sports Bar Chain Agrees to Pay $6.8 Million for Violating Wage Laws

Source: Steven Greenhouse

A popular chain of sports bars based in Philadelphia has agreed to pay $6.8 million in back wages and damages for improperly taking tips from waiters and bartenders and for violating minimum wage and overtime laws.

Share the dividends of increased productivity

Source: Harold Meyerson, New York Times

The Securities and Exchange Commission expects to create tax incentives for employee wage increases.

Why Gap's wage hike matters

Source: Ned Resnikoff, msnbc news

Although minimum wage laws were not raised, many retailers are raising their wages as a new business model.

February 19, 2014

MLS referees' union claims management threatened retribution

Source: Steven Goff, Washington Post

A management representative from the Professional Referee Organization threatened retribution against MLS referees.

December 31, 2013

Florida Law on Drug Tests for Welfare Is Struck Down

Source: Frances Robles, New York Times

A federal judge on Tuesday struck down as unconstitutional a Florida law that required welfare applicants to undergo mandatory drug testing, setting the stage for a legal battle that could affect similar efforts nationwide.

Thinking Outside The (Big) Box

Source: Adam Davidson, New York Times

Workers are not merely a cost; they can be a source of profit -- a major one.

December 29, 2013

Democrats Turn to Minimum Wage as 2014 Strategy

Source: Jonathan Martin and Michael D. Shear, New York Times

Democratic Party leaders, bruised by months of attacks on the new health care program, have found an issue they believe can lift their fortunes both locally and nationally in 2014: an increase in the minimum wage.

December 23, 2013

BART, Unions Reach Tentative Agreement

Source: Mike Hall, AFL-CIO

A tentative agreement between management and the two unions representing some 2,500 workers at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) was announced.

December 15, 2013

Victims of Misclassification

Source: Marjorie Elizabeth Wood, New York Times

Millions of American workers in a wide variety of sectors, from construction and trucking to I.T. and professional services, are victims of misclassification, a tactic employers use to avoid paying taxes and providing benefits that are guaranteed to employees, such as workers' compensation, overtime pay, minimum wage and unemployment insurance.

December 12, 2013

Tea Party loses again: NYU grad students defy obstruction in precedent-setting 98 percent union vote

Source: Josh Eidelson , Salon

After right-wing antics and liberal union-busting denied them their union, NYU grad students just won it back.

US Unemployment Aid Applications Surge To 368,000

Source: Josh Boak, Talking Points Memo

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 68,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the largest increase in more than a year.

Study: Labor violations don't stop gov't contracts

Source: Associated Press, Associated Press

The federal government awards billions of dollars in contracts each year to companies that routinely violate safety, health and wage regulations, according to a report released Wednesday that calls for stricter measures to hold federal contractors accountable.

Labor group sees progress at major Apple supplier

Source: Associated Press, The Washington Post

A labor group monitoring three Chinese factories that make iPhones and other Apple products says once-oppressive working conditions have steadily improved in the last 18 months, but more must be done to reduce the amount of overtime that employees work.

Thinking For the Future

Source: David Brooks, New York Times

If you want to thrive in this computer-driven era, you probably want to be good at working with intelligent machines.

GOP Rep. Joe Barton Calls For Minimum Wage Repeal

Source: Sabrina Siddiqui, Huffington Post

President Barack Obama's call to raise the minimum wage has long been met with resistance from congressional Republicans, but Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) took things a step further by suggesting the minimum wage be done away with entirely.

Walmart Contractor Agrees To $4.7 Million Settlement Over Wage Theft Allegations

Source: Dave Jamieson, Huffington Post

A contractor that runs warehouses for Walmart has agreed to pay $4.7 million to settle allegations that it cheated workers out of wages, according to documents filed in federal court in California.

Attention Kmart Shoppers; Rebellion on Aisle 3

Source: Emily Pantoja, AU Labor Law Forum

Retail workers and the NLRB have teamed up to address unreasonable hours and working conditions.

December 11, 2013

Five Things The Budget Deal Doesn't Do

Source: Jeanne Sahadi, CNN Money

It's a very small deal. It's a bipartisan deal.
And it's a deal that -- if passed by the House and Senate -- will avert budget brinksmanship for the next year and a half and let lawmakers focus on other things for a change. But here are five things the deal doesn't do.

December 10, 2013

Supreme Court drops case on employer-union 'neutrality agreements'

Source: Robert Barnes, The Washington Post

The Supreme Court announced Tuesday that it will not decide whether a type of agreement between employers and unions that has become increasingly important to the labor movement violates the law.

December 4, 2013

The Path to Happy Employment, Contact by Contact on LinkedIn

Source: Erica A. Taub, New York Times

LinkedIn, the networking site for professionals, has become a vast business gathering place. With more than 259 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn offers users, most of whom pay nothing for the service, a chance to hone and increase their contacts. Users can also limit their connections to others who can best help them professionally.

October 2, 2013

Millennials in the Workplace: More Engagement, Less Powerpoint

Source: Michael Clement, Chicago Now

As employees and members of your team, Millennials are keen to engage in meaningful work and less motivated by the minutiae of post-college, entry-level positions. They want to be judged on the content of their presentations, not the prettiness of their Powerpoint slides.

October 1, 2013

Government Shutdown To Hit Labor Department Workplace Safety, EEOC Discrimination Investigations

Source: Dave Jamieson , Huffington Post

If Congress fails to fund the federal government to avert a shutdown, most investigations into workplace safety and discrimination will cease on Tuesday morning, when the overwhelming majority of Labor Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission employees are pulled off the job.

Labor: No Plans to Issue Jobs Data During Shutdown

Source: Christopher Rubager , ABC News

The Labor Department has no plans to release the closely watched U.S. monthly jobs report on Friday in case of a partial government shutdown that lasts through the week.

September 30, 2013

Interns Resist Working Free

Source: Ella Delaney , New York Times

A backlash against unpaid internships in America, manifested in a spate of lawsuits this year, is now spreading to Europe, where the issue of exploitation hit headlines in August with the death of the German intern Moritz Erhardt, 21, after allegedly working at Merrill Lynch's London office for 72 hours without sleep

September 27, 2013

Are employers dumping health benefits because of Obamacare?

Source: Tami Luhby , CNN Money

There are many assumptions about what the effects of Obamacare will be. This series aims to separate myths from realities and answer questions surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

Answers to Readers' Questions About Job Hunting

Source: New York Times

The Times invited readers to ask Eilene Zimmerman, a You're the Boss blogger, questions about job hunting. Ms. Zimmerman wrote The Times's Career Couch column for six years. This Q&A is part of "How I Hire," a LinkedIn Influencer feature in which The Times's Business section is participating.

September 26, 2013

Robin Richards of CareerArc, on Respecting Employee

Source: Adam Bryant, New York Times

This interview with Robin D. Richards, chief executive of the CareerArc Group, which connects employers with job and internship seekers, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.

Are employers dumping health benefits because of Obamacare?

Source: Tami Luhby , CNN Money

There are many assumptions about what the effects of Obamacare will be. This series aims to separate myths from realities and answer questions surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

New "Digest of EEO Law" Issued by EEOC

Source: Press Release , EEOC

This quarterly publication, prepared by the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO), features recent Commission decisions and federal court cases of interest. The latest edition also includes a special article on Abuse of Process.

September 24, 2013

DOL Goes to Bat for Tipped Workers

Source: Michele Bowman, Lawyers.com

A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that the Department of Labor cannot keep employers from forcing waitstaff to share tips with other restaurant workers in what is known as tip-poolin

More legal layoffs ahead? Experts expect more staff cuts

Source: Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal

Law firms often review nonlawyer staffing first when considering cuts, Altman Weil principal Thomas Clay tells the Legal Intelligencer. "I'm surprised that anybody's surprised," he told the publication. "You're going to continue to see it as firms look in a slow-growth or no-growth economy" to save money.

September 23, 2013

Lower Health Insurance Premiums to Come at Cost of Fewer Choices

Source: Robert Pear , New York Times

Federal officials often say that health insurance will cost consumers less than expected under President Obama's health care law. But they rarely mention one big reason: many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers.

EEOC: Buffalo employee fired after standing up for hiring black worker

Source: Paul Walsh , Star Tribune

A production manager lost her job at a small industrial company in Buffalo, Minn., for defending her recommendation to her boss that a black worker be permanently hired, according to a federal lawsuit.

September 20, 2013

Obama's Labor Pains: Unions Rage Against the Affordable Care Act

Source: Patricia Murphy , The Daily Beast

Unions were among the biggest backers of Obama's new health-care law. Now they say they were betrayed. Patricia Murphy on the simmering brawl.

Ex-Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich warns about income inequality

Source: Ricardo Lopez , LA Times

Former Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich, who served in the Clinton administration, warned during an interview of the perils of widening income inequality in the United States, excessive executive compensation and the future of labor.

What's the right ratio for CEO-to-worker pay?

Source: Jena McGregor, Washington Post

On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to propose a rule requiring companies to disclose the ratio of CEO pay to the average worker's pay within their company. Big business has been fighting the Dodd-Frank rule for years, arguing that the number is either impossible to calculate or irrelevant to investors, while unions and other supporters of the rule think it will be invaluable for shaming companies into lowering their executives' big paychecks.

September 19, 2013

Employers Trim Health Costs By Cutting Coverage For Spouses

Source: Julie Rovner, NPR

When UPS told workers that it would no longer offer health coverage for spouses who had their own job-based insurance, it caused a big stir. But the shipping giant has plenty of company.

Kleiner Perkins sex discrimination case to stay in public eye

Source: Sarah McBride, Reuters

A high-profile Silicon Valley sex discrimination lawsuit moved closer to trial Wednesday after California's highest court rejected an effort by venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to take a former partner's case against it to arbitration.

Law students may work as unpaid interns on pro bono matters for law firms, Labor Department says

Source: Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal

The letter (PDF) by the Labor Department's solicitor, M. Patricia Smith, is a response to then-ABA President Laurel Bellows, who sought assurances in May that the agency would interpret the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow such internships. Current ABA President James Silkenat says the ABA appreciates the Labor Department's stance.

September 18, 2013

Unfinished business: Women's initiative pushes for equal workplace rights

Source: Fox

"We're announcing a new effort to really galvanize women … around a women's agenda that focuses on issues like paid leave, equal pay for women, reproductive health," explained Neera Tanden, President and CEO for the Center for American Progress. "It's a broad agenda that really speaks to, in many ways, how women [have] plateaued over the last decade and our focus is on ensuring that women and families have a fair shot."

U.S. to Include Home Care Aides in Wage and Overtime Law

Source: Steven Greenhouse , New York Times

The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that it was extending minimum wage and overtime protections to the nation's nearly two million home care workers.

Minimum wage hikes possible in many states

Source: USA Today, Guampdm

California's recent decision to raise its minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016 - a higher minimum rate than any other state has now - may add momentum to the drive for higher hourly rates in at least eight other states in 2014.

September 17, 2013

Transgender Community Steps Closer to Employment Equality

Source: Maya Rhodan, Time

A transgender woman has reached a $50,000 settlement with her former employer in a discrimination case in South Dakota, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced Monday, accelerating a trend toward equal opportunity for transgender workers.

Three Common Questions About Workplace Retirement Plans

Source: Jason Gold, Huffington Post

In my financial practice, I am often questioned about what clients should do with their workplace retirement plans. For many, these savings are their largest investable asset over time, so it is no surprise that the topic comes up. Given the high level of interest from my clients and with workplace benefits enrollment season underway, I thought I'd focus this month's posting on three common questions I often get about workplace retirement plans.

Breaking the Code of Silence: Creating a Trusting Workplace

Source: Judith E. Glaser, Huffington Post

There are 5 characteristics of a conversation that bring about a sense of well-being and connectivity with others. As you weave these conversations into your team-building and relationship-building activities, you'll notice a positive shift in the openness and trust

September 16, 2013

Do workplace wellness programs work?

Source: Rahual K. Parikh, LA Times

Would you be willing to share with your employer how much you eat, drink, smoke or exercise? And would you be willing to make lifestyle changes in return for a break on the cost of your health insurance? The University of Minnesota offered such discounts to its workers.

Getting Personal With your Health Insurance Exchange Questions

Source: Julie Rovner, NPR

With the launch of new health insurance exchanges just about two weeks away, many of the questions in this month's mailbag focused less on the big picture and more on exactly how the law will operate for individuals.

September 10, 2013

Ambitious Women Face More Obstacles than Just Work-Life Balance

Source: Sarah Green, Harvard Business Review

The women we're hearing from -- Anne-Marie Slaughter, Sheryl Sandberg, and the rest -- aren't jetting out of the office at 5:30 to train for a marathon or learn Chinese or even just binge-watch Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. They're leaving "early" to take care of their children. And so we talk about having it all, leaning in, or opting out -- and we talk about women who don't make it to the very top of their companies, still, as if it's a personal choice.

A Dearth of Investment in Young Workers

Source: Tyler Cohen , New York Times

One of the most troubling features of the slow economic recovery is that it has largely bypassed young people. This doesn't bode well for the future of the American economy.

September 9, 2013

Will Part-Time Workforce Become the Mainstream of America's Future Employment?

Source: Morris Beschloss , My Desert

When the U.S. Labor Department issues its monthly unemployment rate, it usually follows with a raft of statistics that provide a true explanation of the precariousness of America's shaky employment recovery.

Capitalists wait for the recovery, while labor loses out

Source: Robert J Samuel , Washington Post

In the struggle between capital and labor, capital is winning -- and that's hurting the feeble economic recovery. To simplify slightly: Labor (wage-earners and consumers) can't spend, and capital (businesses and shareholders) won't spend. Without a powerful growth engine, the economy advances haltingly. I wrote about this last week from labor's perspective, but the subject deserves deeper treatment.

Non-Discrimination Ordinance Passes Despite An Asian Elephant in the Room

Source: Lee Cusenbary , My San Antonio

San Antonio's expanded non-discrimination ordinance passed today after much support and protest at City Hall. City Councilwoman Elisa Chan opposed the non-discrimination ordinance due to the fact it provided non-discrimination protection for gay and trans-gender Americans, whom she finds "disgusting."

September 6, 2013

Obamacare vs. Romneycare: The Labor Impact

Source: Casey B. Mulligan , New York Times

From a tax perspective, the Affordable Care Act is in a different league than the Massachusetts health reform law passed in 2006.

Big Labor, big spender: Column

Source: Mark Mix, USA Today

$1.7 billion. That's how much labor unions spent on the 2011-2012 election cycle, according to a new analysis from the National Institute for Labor Relations Research that tallies Federal Election Commission, IRS and state campaign finance reports and self-reported union disclosure forms from the Department of Labor.

5 Core Values for the Workplace

Source: Robert L. Dilenschneider, Huffington Post

There are many fine values, such as courtesy, confidence, ingenuity, thrift, and so on. The trouble is that the list of values grows easily and can cause many employees to lose their focus. They fail to prioritize. A "short list" of values is far more useful in putting the workplace back on track.

September 5, 2013

Gay rights, civil rights causes converge even if terms don't

Source: Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post

When speakers at Wednesday's "Let Freedom Ring" rally listed the social injustices that still need to be addressed, discrimination based on sexual orientation made almost every speech.

P&G backs non-discrimination bill

Source: Alexander Coolidge , Cincinnati.com

Procter & Gamble has signed on as a supporter for bipartisan legislation ending workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), advocacy group Americans for Workplace Opportunity announced Wednesday.

September 4, 2013

One-Third of U.S. Employees Say Employers Do Not Accommodate Religion in Workplaces

Source: Mike Ward & Bob Johnson, PR Web

Consider a typical workplace: meetings, production deadlines, coffee or smoke breaks and casual Fridays all come to mind as part of the routine. But when it comes to prayer breaks, wearing religious garb in the office and other accommodations specific to religion, that's a different story.

5 ways to arm yourself against workplace discrimination

Source: Stephanie Moon, WGAL News

Workplace discrimination can take many forms. It is illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.

September 3, 2013

Labor Union Membership Still Down on Another Labor Day

Source: Dave Franzman, KCRG

But another Labor Day in Iowa also brought more statistics showing unions are still losing members. U.S. Labor Department statistics show 11.2% percent of U.S. workers belonged to unions in 2012. That figure was 20% just 30 years ago.

Op-ed: Marching on Washington and the Issues We All Face

Source: Kenneth L Samuel, Advocate

Fifty years ago this month, as the nation's capital prepared for the pivotal March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond stood on the U.S. Senate floor and held forth against the march's organizer, the openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.

Wal-Mart extends benefits to same-sex partners

Source: Bloomberg News , Herald Net

Wal-Mart Stores's decision to extend health-care benefits to workers' same-sex partners removes one of the biggest holdouts and adds pressure on other resistant companies to follow suit.

September 2, 2013

Union Members Focus On Future This Labor Day

Source: CBS Detroit

It's Labor Day -- the last official holiday of the summer. But for thousands of working men and women, it's much more than just a day off.

Organized labor is making noise as unions add muscle to low-wage worker campaigns

Source: Dianne Stafford , Kansas City Star

On Labor Day 2013, organized labor is showing some oomph. Ty Cornley, an employee at a Jimmy John's, protested wages along with other fast-food workers who marched along Eastwood Trafficway last Thursday in Kansas City.



August 29, 2013

The New Pregnancy Discrimination

Source: Liza Featherstone, Glamour

What do an investment banker, a railroad conductor, and a telephone operator all have in common? Sadly, the answer isn't funny--it's that women in all these positions have faced pregnancy discrimination. "Thousands of women across the country are being forced onto unpaid leave or simply fired at the very moment they're counting on their income and job security," says Emily Martin of the National Women's Law Center. Seventy-five percent of American women will be pregnant and working at some point in their life--this is an issue that affects all of us. Here are some stories:

Working to Fulfill the Promise of the National Labor Relations Act

Source: Office of Public Affairs , NLRB

August 25 through August 31 is National Labor Rights Week. Throughout the country, staff members working in regional offices of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are meeting with immigrant workers, community groups, employees and employers to discuss the rights guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act.

Transgender in the Workplace: The Need for Training

Source: Vanessa Sheridan, Huffington Post

Laws are changing. Increasingly, legal battles are being fought and won. Subsequently, transgender people are becoming increasingly visible in every area of society, including the workplace. As more companies respond positively to the new business reality of transgender inclusion, the need for awareness training also increases.

August 28, 2013

Workplace Sexual Harassment Poll Finds Large Share Of Workers Suffer, Don't Report

Source: Jillian Berman | Emily Swanson, Huffington Post

The first time Heather Huhman experienced unwanted advances from a co-worker, she was just 15. Unsure of what to do, Huhman reported the man, who she says had been harassing her at work and following her home, to authorities at her company.

Starbucks Won't Cut Worker Hours, Benefits Ahead Of Obamacare: CEO

Source: Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, Huff Post Business

Starbucks Coffee Co will not follow the lead of other companies that are cutting health insurance benefits or reducing hours for employees in anticipation of the U.S. Affordable Care Act, the coffee shop chain's CEO Howard Schultz told Reuters on Monday.

Workplace Sexual Harassment Poll Finds Large Share Of Workers Suffer, Don't Report

Source: RIchard Eskow , Huffington Post

When Bayard Rustin addressed the March on Washington in 1963 he said this: "We demand that there be an increase in the national minimum wage so that men may live in dignity." The crowd cheered in response. But after fifty years of commemorating that march, after thousands of reverent re-readings of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, that dream remains deferred - and worse.

August 27, 2013

Federal jury awards St. Louis officer $620,000 in racial discrimination suit

Source: Margerete Gillerman , St. Loius Post

Every woman has her own definition of success. But there are certain traits that most successful women share. I spend a good part of my work day reading and writing about women who have achieved great things -- and I make it a point to surround myself with women who are well on their way to doing so.

12 Things Successful Women Do Differently

Source: Emma Gray , Huffington Post

I spend a good part of my work day reading and writing about women who have achieved great things -- and I make it a point to surround myself with women who are well on their way to doing so.

August 26, 2013

Working for Nothing

Source: Juliet Lapidos, New York Times

After graduating from school I despaired of finding a job and applied instead for unpaid internships, landing at The Paris Review, a literary magazine in Manhattan. I read through the slush pile, learned how to fact-check and performed light janitorial tasks, like emptying the dishwasher and taking out the trash. It was a fine four months. My parents lived in the city, so I didn't have to pay rent; the editors were kind, smart people who seemed appropriately embarrassed by the trash situation.

U.P.S. to End Health Benefits for Spouses of Some Workers

Source: Steven Greenhouse , New York Times

United Parcel Service has told its white-collar employees that it will stop providing health care coverage to their spouses who can obtain coverage through their own employers, joining an increasing number of companies that are restricting or eliminating spousal health benefits.

EEOC And Cooper University Health Care Reach Accord on Reasonable Accommodation Issues

Source: Press Release , EEOC

The U.S. Equal Employment Commission (EEOC) announced today that Cooper University Health Care has implemented policy changes that strengthen its processes for addressing reasonable accommodations for employees who must be absent from work due to serious medical conditions. Cooper has also agreed to pay $500,000 to former employees to amicably resolve disputes over the extent of reasonable accommodations previously granted.

August 22, 2013

Learning Revolution Comes to the Workplace

Source: Julian L. Alssid, Huffington Post

I think it's pretty obvious by now that Washington lawmakers are not going to lead us to robust economic recovery and employment any time soon. The evidence just keeps mounting.

Did you not get that promotion because you're a woman?

Source: Jena McGregor, Washington Post

These days, there's no shortage of advice for women about how to get promoted, manage their careers and personal lives, and receive equal pay. But what if women don't think they need it?

August 21, 2013

Who Is Organized Labor's Most Feared Enemy?

Source: David Macaray, Huffington Post

Based on everything that's happened in the last 70 years or so, one might reasonably assume the Republican Party is labor's chief adversary. After all, it was the Republicans who sponsored the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act, a squalid piece of pro-business legislation that pretty much defanged and de-clawed the landmark 1935 National Labor Relations Act (known as the Wagner Act).

What if we knew how much CEOs made vs. their workers?

Source: Jena McGregor, Washington Post

It may not be long before companies finally have to disclose the ratio of how much their average worker makes in comparison to their CEO. Reports in recent weeks have said the long-delayed rule proposal, which was part of the Dodd-Frank law that passed three years ago, could finally arrive this summer.

More Options This Fall For Some Small-Business Workers

Source: Michelle Andrews, NPR

Workers at small companies are generally starved for choice when it comes to health insurance. If their employers offer health coverage at all -- and only about a third of companies with fewer than 50 workers do -- chances are there will be just one plan on the menu.

August 20, 2013

Women in the Workplace: Recognizing and Overcoming Bias

Source: Kate Rogers, Fox Business

Women have made substantial gains in the workforce since the 1950s, but many still believe they are being passed over for promotions and raises due to their gender.

Obamacare clock stops for your boss, not you

Source: Amanda Gengler , CNN

Large employers that don't offer health care coverage next year won't face fines under Obamacare. You, however, are not so lucky.

Why Bosses And Teachers Have So Much Power Over Familie

Source: Lisa Earle McLeod, Huffington Post

We talk about you at dinner. Almost every night, our spouse or child gives us a recap of your day. We hear about your moods, what you said or did, sometimes, we even hear about your wardrobe and facial expressions.

August 19, 2013

You Ask, We Answer: More Of Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act

Source: Emily Alpert, Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

The United States Supreme Court continued its trend of business-friendly decision making in the 2012-2013 term, ruling more often than not in favor of business interests. In particular, the Supreme Court's decisions on arbitration- and employment-related issues gave companies and employers victories, enforcing arbitration agreements and limiting the scope of harassment and retaliation claims under Title VII.

15% of women report experiencing workplace bias in Gallup poll

Source: Emily Alpert, LA Times

Fifteen percent of American women believe they have been passed over for a promotion or some other opportunity at work because of their gender, new polling from Gallup shows. Gallup also found that 13% thought they were denied a raise at some point because they were women.

You Ask, We Answer: More Of Your Questions About The Affordable Care Act

Source: Julie Rovner, NPR

The Oct. 1 launch of the new health insurance exchanges is now less than two months away, and people are starting to pay attention to the changes these new marketplaces may bring to the nation's health care system.

August 14, 2013

EEOC is using labor law to bring civil actions against suspected human traffickers

Source: Terry Carter, ABA

Efforts to thwart human trafficking in workers has increased significantly in recent years, and the pace will quicken as employment rights intersect with human rights as an enforcement tool, shining a spotlight on employers.

Labor and Civil Rights Groups Descend on ALEC Conference

Source: Kari Lyderson , In These Times

This week, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is holding its 40th annual conference at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago, where state legislators and representatives of some of the world's most powerful companies have come together to discuss policy issues from the environment to education to labor--with the underlying goals of increasing privatization, curbing organized labor and limiting the federal government.

August 13, 2013

Labor Department updates guidelines to extend benefits to same-sex spouses

Source: Julian Hattem , The Hill

The federal government is rolling out changes to implement the Supreme Court's ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act's provision blocking federal benefits for same-sex couples.

Anti discrimination bill returns with record support in House

Source: Amy Worden, Philly.com

Support for a bill that would bar discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation is nearing the 50 percent mark in the House. The bill was re-introduced in the House yesterday by Reps. Dan Frankel (D., Allegheny) and Chris Ross (R., Chester) with a record 90 co-sponsors from both parties.

When Leaning In Doesn't Pay Off

Source: Scott Schieman, Markus Schafer and Mitchell McIver , New York Times

WHY do women not have as many leadership roles in the workplace as men do?

August 12, 2013

The Workers Defense Project, a Union in Spirit

Source: Steven Greenhouse , New York Times

The workers, most of them Honduran immigrants, had jobs applying stucco to the exterior of a 17-story luxury student residence. It was difficult, dangerous work, but that was to be expected. What upset them was that for the previous two weeks their crew leader had not paid them; each was owed about $1,000.

Unpaid Interns Not Protected Against Sexual Harassment: EEOC

Source: Blair Hickman and Christie Thompson, Huffington Post

In 1994, Bridget O'Connor began an internship at Rockland Psychiatric Center, where one of the doctors allegedly began to refer to her as Miss Sexual Harassment, told her that she should participate in an orgy, and suggested that she remove her clothing before meeting with him. Other women in the office made similar claims.

August 9, 2013

Demand legal protection: It's okay to be gay at work

Source: Rachel Laser , Washington Post

It should be a national priority to end such discrimination, yet most people don't even realize such legal discrimination exists. This week, the Senate took a momentous step towards rectifying this situation, sending the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) out of committee to the Senate floor - with a strong bipartisan vote of 15-7.

Will fast-food protests spur higher minimum wage?

Source: Sharon Cohen, AP

Terrance Wise has two jobs in Kansas City -- one at a burger joint, a second at a pizza restaurant -- but he says his paychecks aren't enough to buy shoes for his three daughters and insure his 15-year-old car. So he decided to draw attention to his plight: He walked off work in protest.

No Justice for the Injured

Source: Billy Corriher , Center for American Progress

Big Business Is Funneling Campaign Cash to Judges Who Allow Corporate Wrongdoers to Escape Accountability

August 7, 2013

How to Reinvent the Workplace to Satisfy Baby Boomers

Source: Philip Moeller, US News & World Report

Growing numbers of older employees are delaying retirement. They may be motivated to build bigger retirement nest eggs. Often, they feel physically capable of continuing to work for a long time past traditional retirement age.

Compassion In Business Benefits Employers And Employees, Workplace Stress Research Shows

Source: Emma Seppala, Huffington Post

Managers often mistakenly think that putting pressure on employees will increase performance. What it does increase is stress--and research has shown that high levels of stress carry a number of costs to employers and employees alike.

Key vote on minimum wage next week

Source: Jack Katzanek, The Press Enterprise

The bill to increase California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2018 faces a key legislative contest Monday at a hearing before the Senate's Appropriations Committee.

August 6, 2013

'Lookism' glass giving women a hard time

Source: Naomi Wolf , New Straits Times

Do women suffer from a double standard in the workplace in relation to how they look? Have we gotten past the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) shade of sexism in hiring and promotion -- disproportionately affecting women -- that I identified in 1991 as "the professional beauty quotient"?

Too Big to Cocktail? Judge Upholds Weight Discrimination in the Workplace

Source: Josh Sanburn, Time

Most forms of workplace discrimination have been barred for years thanks to state and federal protections. But in 49 states around the U.S., there's still at least one that's legal: discrimination based on weight.

Workplace equality

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune

In the politically charged election year of 1996 -- the same year the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed both houses of Congress with veto-proof margins -- the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) reached the Senate floor and was defeated by a single vote.

August 5, 2013

How to protect gay workers

Source: Editorial Board , Washington Post

IN THE politically charged election year of 1996 -- the same year the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed both houses of Congress with veto-proof margins -- the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) reached the Senate floor and was defeated by a single vote.

Women Claiming Gender Bias At Walmart Denied Class Action Status

Source: Daisy Nguyen , Huffington Post

A judge rejected on Friday an attempt to file a class action discrimination lawsuit on behalf of 150,000 Wal-Mart women employees in California who claimed their male colleagues were paid more and promoted faster than them.

NLRB rulings stalled pending Supreme Court review

Source: Alejandra Cancino, Chicago Tribune

NLRB rulings stalled pending Supreme Court review

August 2, 2013

Advocates launch campaign to bar workplace discrimination against gays

Source: Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post

A coalition of civil rights groups is launching a $2 million campaign aimed at mobilizing support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has languished on Capitol Hill for nearly two decades.

The Trayvon Martin Effect and Managing Race Issues in the Workplace

Source: Beth N. Carvin , Fast Company

The research is clear-- a company with diverse employees is a company with a wide range of workplace experiences. While the majority of acts of discrimination are not blatant violations of company policy, diverse employees are commonly treated differently in small, subtle ways. For example, black employees may now be subjected to a barrage of seemingly innocent questions like, "What do you think of the Trayvon Martin verdict?"

Senate panel OKs bill banning anti-gay job bias

Source: Sam Hananel , Boston.com

A Senate panel has approved a bill that would ban job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

August 1, 2013

Filner got no sex harassment training; is city liable for legal tab?

Source: Tony Perry , LA Times

Mayor Bob Filner's attorney said the city of San Diego should pay his legal fees in a sexual misconduct case because the mayor never received required sexual harassment training.

A Shifting Workplace Experience

Source: Quentin Hardy, New York Times

Compared with offices of the past, the modern workplace is paradoxically both more informal and more relentless. Doors have been replaced by cubicles, formal desks with tables, and long-planned meetings with ad hoc collaboration.

A Day's Strike Seeks to Raise Fast-Food Pay

Source: Steven Greenhouse , New York Times

From New York to several Midwestern cities, thousands of fast-food workers have been holding one-day strikes during peak mealtimes, quickly drawing national attention to their demands for much higher wages.

July 31, 2013

Advocates launch campaign to bar workplace discrimination against gays

Source: Seth Wenig , Washington Post

A coalition of civil rights groups is launching a $2 million campaign aimed at mobilizing support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has languished on Capitol Hill for nearly two decades.

Senate Confirms All NLRB Nominees

Source: Alan Fram , Time

The Senate voted Tuesday to fill all five seats on the National Labor Relations Board and prepared to consider President Barack Obama's picks for top diplomatic and law enforcement posts as the chamber whittled down a pile of stalled nominations.

Bridging the Generation Gap in the Workplace

Source: Randy Hain, Huffington Post

Over the next one to two decades, we will witness the exit of much of our workforce, mostly from the retiring Baby Boomer generation. With so much written about Gen Y's challenges and overall lack of readiness to lead, we should be concerned... concerned enough to do something about it.

July 30, 2013

Senate Republicans May Allow Workers' Rights to Disappear

Source: David Madland and Keith Miller , Center for American Progress

If the Senate does not act quickly to approve President Barack Obama's five bipartisan nominees to serve on the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB, a number of workplace protections taken for granted by union and nonunion workers alike could functionally disappear in August, leaving millions of workers vulnerable and with nowhere to turn.

Op-ed: 10 Drastic Changes to Help HIV-Positive and LGBT Citizens

Source: Ian Thompson , Advocate

Considering the seemingly unending partisan gridlock in Washington, you'd be forgiven for sighing and rolling your eyes at the mere mention of Congress.

July 29, 2013

The New Face of Big Labor

Source: F. Vincent Vernuccio, National Review Online

There is a new trend in union organizing. Big labor is setting its sights on "organizing" workers without necessarily making them members of a union.

Fighting Back Against Wretched Wages

Source: Steven Greenhouse , New York Times

Often relegated to the background, America's low-wage workers have been making considerable noise lately by deploying an unusual weapon -- one-day strikes -- to make their message heard: they're sick and tired of earning just $8, $9, $10 an hour.

Supreme Court Revisits Title VII

Source: Eileen Lohmann, Labor & Employment Law Forum

On June 24, the United States Supreme Court handed down rulings in two cases involving employment discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, each of which resulted in a five-to-four decision for the employer.

July 26, 2013

Depression in the workplace

Source: Jena McGregor, Washington Post

If you're dealing with depression at work, you're hardly alone. You may not know it, because it's not exactly water cooler conversation, but a new survey from Gallup finds that about 12 percent of U.S. workers have been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives.

Too Big to Cocktail? Judge Upholds Weight Discrimination in the Workplace

Source: Josh Sanburn, Time

Most forms of workplace discrimination have been barred for years thanks to state and federal protections. But in 49 states around the U.S., there's still at least one that's legal: discrimination based on weight.

July 25, 2013

Act Your Age? Not If You Hope to Escape Age Discrimination

Source: Don Kadlec , Time

Why should we try to stay young? In a recent post, I offered eight ways for boomers to stay hip without embarrassing themselves. The advice was meant to be taken in good fun, but also to be helpful. Still, I got pushback that is worth noting.

Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace: The Time Is Now

Source: Vanessa Sheridan , Huffington Post

Transgender inclusion in the workplace has quietly become a phenomenon of global proportions. In the year 2000, there were three Fortune 500 companies that included gender identity in their employee nondiscrimination policies.

Unpaid Interns: Silent No More

Source: Ross Perlin , New York Times

Last month, a federal judge in New York ruled that unpaid interns on the movie "Black Swan" should have received at least the minimum wage. The judge also allowed a class-action suit to go forward against the Fox Entertainment Group, the parent company of the film's production division.

July 24, 2013

NLRB nominees face GOP skepticism

Source: Priya Anand , Politico

The two new nominees for the National Labor Relations Board -- the result of last week's nuclear option deal in the Senate -- faced skepticism Tuesday from Republicans for their ability to be impartial decision makers given their backgrounds advocating for unions.

EEOC suits claim employers violated genetic bias law by asking for family history in required exams

Source: Debra Cassens Weis , ABA Journal

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in two lawsuits that employers violated federal genetic discrimination law by asking about family medical history in required physical exams

Washington Push for Higher Minimum Wage for Workers Has Walmart Balking

Source: Trip Gabriel , New York Times

An attempt by the City Council to force profitable chain stores to pay much higher wages than the city's minimum has infuriated Walmart, which is threatening to pull out of up to six planned stores.

July 22, 2013

Fairness at work: All employees deserve protection from bias

Source: Pittsburg Post Gazette

Last month, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and effectively shattered California's Proposition 8, allowing same-sex couples in that state to resume getting married. But workplace discrimination is a reminder that Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered still face barriers to opportunities.

Americans Are Warming Again to Unions. Will the Relationship Last?

Source: Christopher Matthews , Time

With the struggles in recent weeks over Obamacare implementation, immigration reform, and the debt ceiling, you would be forgiven for not noticing the fierce battle being fought in the United States Senate over an obscure federal agency called the National Labor Relations Board, which is tasked with enforcing federal labor law and protecting worker's rights to collectively bargain.

Age Discrimination Laws Did Not Help Older Workers During The Recession

Source: Phillip Moeller, Huffington Post

Age discrimination laws provided no meaningful protection to older employees during and after the recession, according to a study released this month by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

July 19, 2013

Obama hails Perez confirmation for Labor post

Source: David Jackson, USA Today

President Obama is applauding Thursday's Senate vote confirmingTom Perezas the new secretary of Labor. Perez, whose nomination had been held up by Senate Republicans, won approval on a party line vote of 54-46.

With Filibuster Deal, NLRB Could Soon Return To Full Force

Source: Scott Horsley , NPR

For decades after the 1930s, the National Labor Relations Board served as the arbiter for squabbles between management and unions, or workers who wanted to join a union. In more recent years, though, the board itself has become a battleground.

July 18, 2013

Tackling the Dysfunctional Workplace

Source: Randy Hain , Huffington Post

As I speak to business leaders around the country, I am always curious about the challenges they are dealing with and the problems that keep them up at night. If I distill these various conversations down, it would be appropriate to describe much of what I am hearing as "workplace dysfunction."

Part-Time Workers Say Schedules Are Getting More Erratic

Source: Marilyn Geewax , NPR

In the 1980s, a popular fast-food commercial touted chicken-breast sandwiches -- and mocked chicken nuggets sold by competitors.

New Lawsuit An 'Assault' On Unions | The Hechinger Report

Source: The Hechinger Report , Huffington Post

A California lawsuit filed this spring against teachers unions could have widespread national implications for labor laws.

July 17, 2013

N.J. top court strengthens workplace bias laws

Source: Chris Mondics, Philly.com

In a decision bolstering laws on workplace discrimination, the New Jersey Supreme Court found Wednesday that employers engaging in derogatory or denigrating remarks can be held civilly liable even though no individual may have been directly harmed.

Confidence of Gen Y Women in the Workforce Soars

Source: Dawn Walton, Yahoo Finance

A funny thing happened on the way to the office. Women, particularly the youngest, newest entrants to the workforce became more confident - so confident in fact, that men are beginning to feel left in their dust.

Obamacare delay passes insurance burden onto workers

Source: Tami Luhby , CNN

Employers got a one year reprieve from having to offer health insurance. But workers at these companies still have to get coverage or pay a penalty.

July 16, 2013

Transgender woman wins landmark employment discrimination suit

Source: Kate McDonough , Salon

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled in favor of a transgender woman who was verbally and physically harassed at her job with a federal contractor in Maryland. The court ruled that the woman's supervisors created a hostile work environment by failing to intervene after being informed of the harassment, in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Inaction on NLRB Confirmations Is Simply Wrong

Source: Richard Trumka , Huffington Post

Stall tactics and political brinksmanship in the U.S. Senate have inflicted senseless and avoidable pain on everyday people for far too long. Now we may be on the verge of breaking through.

Vacancies and Partisan Fighting Put Labor Relations Agency in Legal Limbo

Source: Mark Landler and Steven Greenhouse , New York Times

At the heart of the rancorous showdown between Senate Republicans and Democrats over President Obama's blocked political appointments is an unglamorous federal agency that polices labor practices and that has, for Republicans, become a reviled symbol of the Obama administration's bureaucratic overreach.

July 15, 2013

Workplace Discrimination Series: Mia Macy

Source: Preston Mitchum and Lauren Santa Cruz , Center for American Progress

Make no mistake: Workplace discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, community is an ongoing problem that has made it difficult for many LGBT workers to financially provide for their families.

Fighting the Epidemic of Wage Theft

Source: Ed Alpern , Lawyers.com

Wage theft. It's a national epidemic across the country. Minimum wage workers weathered the New York City summer heat to hold a rally to raise awareness and to end the exploitation. Lawyers.com videojournalist Ed Alpern reports.

Bill would outlaw job, housing discrimination for troops, vets

Source: Rick Maze , Navy Times

A bill protecting current and former service members from discrimination in housing and employment was introduced Thursday in the House and Senate.

July 12, 2013

Employment Discrimination Pushes Felons Onto Food Stamp Rolls, Increasing Program's Costs

Source: Saki Knafo, Huffington Post

By refusing to hire people who have been convicted of crimes, employers may be adding billions of dollars to the total cost of the country's ballooning food assistance program.

Motion to Dismiss: From Catcalls to Kisses, Gender Bias in the Courtroom

Source: Kat Macfarlane, The New York Observer

While Wendy Davis's 10-hour filibuster was a marvel of political assertion, the best moment from the nail-biter of a Texas Senate session came minutes before midnight, when Democratic Senator Leticia Van De Putte petitioned Senator Robert Duncan for permission to speak.

Off the Charts: Women in the Workplace

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Haver Analytics, New York Times

The number of private sector jobs held by women rose to a record level in June, surpassing the previous record set more than five years earlier in December 2007.

July 11, 2013

Obesity Likely to Become 'Disability' Under ADA

Source: Michele Bowman , Lawyers.com

The American Medical Association last month voted to classify obesity as a disease, a move lawyers say will likely expand the reach of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) further.

Gay rights activists cheer workplace discrimination bill

Source: Marina Villeneuve, LA Times

A Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday prohibiting workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, a victory for gay rights activists just two weeks after the Supreme Court handed down rulings expanding protections for married same-sex couples.

July 10, 2013

Gays And Lesbians Turn Fight To Workplace Discrimination Ban

Source: Jennifer Ludden , NPR

With new momentum for same-sex marriage from the Supreme Court, gays and lesbians are hoping for progress in another sphere: the workplace. In more than half the country, it's still legal to fire people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

What Vance v. Ball State Tells Us About Employment Discrimination

Source: Richard B. Lapp and Camille A. Olson, Yahoo Finance

The United States Supreme Court has made it more difficult for workers to sue their employers for alleged workplace harassment. The Court's 5-4 decision last week in Vance v. Ball State narrowed the definition of the term "supervisor," ruling against a catering assistant employed at an Indiana university who claimed she had been discriminated against because of her race.

July 9, 2013

Social media free speech rights complicated for workers

Source: Kristi Marohn, USA Today

An anonymous "Suzy Citizen" leaves fliers criticizing management in a public area of the St. Cloud Public Library, and the Great River Regional Library board of trustees hires an investigator to find out if an employee is the culprit.

Changes in the workplace after DOMA's demise

Source: Katie McDonough , Salon

Extending benefits to gay married couples raises "a lot of practical questions for employers," advocates say

How Government Is Hurting the Labor Market

Source: Danielle Kurtzleben, US News & World Report

The latest jobs report featured pleasant surprises, but also a few dark spots - arguably caused by Washington policies

July 8, 2013

Court Rulings Complicate Discrimination Suits For Employees

Source: Nina Totenberg & Sommer Ingram, NPR

In two big employment law cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it harder for employees to bring discrimination suits over workplace harassment and retaliation.
The two 5-to-4 rulings frustrated Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg so much that she took the unusual step of reading a dissent from the bench addressing both cases. Her dissent apparently frustrated Justice Samuel Alito so much that he rolled his eyes as Ginsburg spoke.

How high court bias rulings will affect medical workplace suits

Source: Alicia Gallegos , American Medical News

For alleged discrimination in the medical field, some experts say the decisions clarify legal standards for plaintiffs, while others say employee rights are at risk.

July 5, 2013

What Trans-Pacific and U.S.-EU Trade Partnerships Must Tackle: Jobs

Source: Michael Shank and Sabina Dewan, Huffington Post

A high-level panel appointed by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon released its recommendations last month for a global development agenda when the Millennium Development Goals expire at the end of 2015 and when approximately one billion people will still be living in extreme poverty.

High Court Sides With Employers In Discrimination Suits

Source: Yuki Noguchi , NPR

The Supreme Court sided with employers in two harassment and discrimination cases. One case turned on whether one employee was another's supervisor, the other on whether the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center was justified in withdrawing an offer of employment.

July 4, 2013

High Court Sides With Employers In Discrimination Suits

Source: Yuki Noguchi , NPR

The Supreme Court sided with employers in two harassment and discrimination cases. One case turned on whether one employee was another's supervisor, the other on whether the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center was justified in withdrawing an offer of employment.

Partial Delay In Health Law Challenges Obama More Than Foes

Source: Frank James , NPR

But one thing that's certain is that the politics of the decision are much easier for the Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act than they are for administration officials and the other boosters of the health care law.

Committee Vote On LGBT Job Bias Bill Set For July 10

Source: Chris Geidner, Buzz Feed

A Senate committee is slated next week to take the first steps on moving long-sought LGBT workplace legislation forward in the Senate. On July 10, the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee is scheduled to hold a markup on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act -- the first planned committee vote on the bill in the Senate in more than a decade.

July 3, 2013

Workplace Improvements: How To Make Your Space More Enjoyable

Source: Matthew D. Della Porta, Huffington Post

The American Psychological Association cites five components of a psychologically healthy workplace. I've laid them out below, along with practical ways to implement them. If your workplace doesn't have anything of this sort, don't despair; through the cooperation of employees throughout your organization, it may be possible to create helpful programs that make a notable impact on office morale and organizational health.

Obamacare Employer Mandate Delayed For One Year

Source: Jeffrey Young , Huffington Post

Employers who don't provide health insurance will be spared penalties of up to $3,000 per worker until 2015, a one-year delay of a major component of President Barack Obama's health care reform law, the Treasury Department announced Tuesday.

Bill Seeks To End Workplace Bullying In Mass.

Source: David Yamada & Andrew Botti, Radio Boston

Raise your hand if you've ever worked for a boss who was a bully. Not just mean, or difficult, but downright abusive. If your hand is up, you're not alone. According to a recent study from the Chicago-based organization Career Builder, 35 percent of workers say they've felt bullied at work.

July 2, 2013

California Advances Bill To Protect Domestic Violence Victims From Employment Discrimination

Source: Bryce Covert , Think Progress

This week, a California State Assembly committee voted to approve a bill that would bar employment discrimination against victims of domestic violence as well as those who experience stalking or sexual assault. The judiciary committee passed it with a vote of 6-1 and it now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Senate committee schedules vote on Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Source: Brody Levesque, LGBTQ Nation

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has scheduled a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The bill, which has languished in Congress for more than a decade, would prohibit employment discrimination against LGBT Americans by civilian, nonreligious employers with at least 15 employees.

Court Rulings Complicate Discrimination Suits For Employees

Source: Nina Totenberg & Sommer Ingram, NPR

In two big employment law cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it harder for employees to bring discrimination suits over workplace harassment and retaliation.

July 1, 2013

Congratulations! It's now much easier to be harassed at work

Source: Rex Huppke, Chicago Tribune

Two Supreme Court rulings strike a blow against American workers by making it more difficult to hold companies liable for harassment

Transgender discrimination under Title VII

Source: Katie Loehrke, The Times Tribune

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been very active over the past year. One recent action, which was notable but flew somewhat under the radar, was a decision in which the agency found that a transgender woman's claim of discrimination was recognized under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act's prohibition of sex discrimination.

Paid via Card, Workers Feel Sting of Fees

Source: Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Stephanie Clifford, New York Times

A growing number of American workers are confronting a frustrating predicament on payday: to get their wages, they must first pay a fee.

June 28, 2013

Long Island woman fired after donating kidney sues for discrimination

Source: John Marzulli , New York Daily News

Deborah Stevens sued former boss Jacqueline Brucia and Atlantic Automotive Group after she experienced post-operative complications after donating a kidney, and requests to not carry more than 10 pounds and clearance to use the bathroom without permission were rejected. Brucia had been on the list for a kidney donation herself and moved up the list when Stevens donated.

New York Court Sides With Starbucks on Tip Rules

Source: Steven Greenhouse , New York Times

The New York State Court of Appeals issued a n advisory opinion on Wednesday that shift supervisors at Starbucks, but not assistant managers with significant authority over other employees, may share in the baristas' tip pool.

Bill to Expand U.S. Database to Verify Hires

Source: Julia Preston & Ashley Parker, New York Times

The sweeping immigration measure advancing rapidly in the Senate goes far beyond much-debated border security measures and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants with a crucial requirement that could affect every American who takes a new job in the future.

June 27, 2013

How Congress Can Undo The Supreme Court's Attack On Workers' Rights

Source: Think Progress , Bryce Covert

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court handed down decisions in two little-watched cases: Vance v. Ball State University and University of Texas Southwestern Center v. Nassar. Both cases erected new hurdles for those who experience workplace harassment or discrimination.

Supreme Court limits workers' discrimination, retaliation suits

Source: David Savage , LA Times

The court makes it harder to blame an employer for harassment by a co-worker and rules that in retaliation suits, it's not enough to prove illegal bias was one of multiple reasons for a firing.

Utopia Achieved As A Litany Of Pervasive Discriminatory Practices Are Ended With Magical Thinking

Source: Ryan Grim & Jason Linkins , Huffington Post

Utopia Achieved As A Litany Of Pervasive Discriminatory Practices Are Ended With Magical Thinking

June 26, 2013

Making money: Age discrimination at work, and more

Source: Sergio Hernandez , The Week

3 top pieces of financial advice -- from keeping an eagle eye on medical costs to doing data-breach damage control

Blacks Still Face Job and Housing Discrimination

Source: Stacy Brown , The Washington Informer

Latrell White had everything going for her, the perfect job as a social worker, a nearly unblemished credit profile and a salary that allowed her the means to purchase a home in a tony neighborhood in the District.

Supreme Court Raises Bar to Prove Job Discrimination

Source: Steven Greenhouse , New York Times

In two decisions issued on Monday, the Supreme Court effectively made it harder for workers to prove that they had suffered employment discrimination.

June 25, 2013

Workplace Discrimination Poll Finds Most Favor Law Protecting Gays, Lesbians

Source: Emily Swanson , Huffington Post

The survey found that 52 percent of Americans said they favored a law prohibiting discrimination by employers against gays and lesbians, while 35 percent said they opposed the idea.

All-or-Nothing Strategy on Women's Equality Legislation Ends With Nothing

Source: Thomas Kaplan , New York Times

In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo described New York State as the "equality capital of the nation" and called on lawmakers to pass a 10-point Women's Equality Act that would strengthen the state's laws against sexual harassment, human trafficking, domestic violence and salary discrimination. Much of the legislation had widespread support.

In All But Six States, You Can Be Fired For Being A Victim Of Domestic Violence

Source: Bryce Covert , Think Progress

Last week, Carie Charlesworth, a teacher in California and a victim of domestic violence, was fired from her job because her abusive husband invaded the school parking lot and put the school on lockdown. While her abuser was sent to prison, she was also punished for his crime by losing her employment.

June 21, 2013

Is this the year to end anti-gay workplace discrimination?

Source: Greg Sargent , Washington Post

Later today, President Obama will speak at the LGBT Pride Month Reception at the White House. It's my bet that Obama will call on Congress to pass the long-sought Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make hiring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation illegal for all but the smallest employers.

We Can't Wait for Federal Workplace Protections

Source: Liz Abzug and Heather Cronk, Roll Call

Over the past two weeks, national conversations have picked up once again about the need for federal workplace protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

LGBT workplace discrimination must end

Source: Scott Peters, UT San Diego

The Supreme Court is expected to make a historic ruling on the marriage rights of same-sex couples any day now. As a longtime advocate for marriage equality, I hope the Court will do the right thing and rule same-sex marriage a constitutionally protected fundamental right because all Americans deserve to be treated equally under the law. While this matter of equal protection is up to the court, there is another civil protection that is now up to Congress: the pending Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

June 19, 2013

Report: Pregnant workers face routine discrimination

Source: Daniel Berehulak, CBS

Pregnant women, especially those in low-wage jobs, are denied basic accommodations and routinely fired, according to a new report released Tuesday.

Employers continue to refuse to provide pregnant workers accommodations that they routinely give employees with disabilities - despite federal laws designed to prevent such discrimination, the report by the National Women's Law Center and A Better Balance says.

The Flexible Workplace Comes of Age... Almost

Source: Alison A. Quirk , Huffington Post

There's a certain silent assumption that employees who participate in flexible work arrangements are, well, not serious. That assumption is alive and well as shown in studies published last week in the Journal of Social Issues and edited by law professor Joan C. Williams, founding director of the Center for Work-Life Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

EEOC Issues Final Rule Revising Freedom of Information Act Regulations

Source: Press Release, EEOC

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a Final Rule today revising certain provisions of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) regulations.

June 18, 2013

Discrimination against pregnant workers has been rising, report says

Source: Brigid Schulte, Washington Post

Thirty-five years after Congress passed a federal law to protect pregnant women from discrimination on the job, these workers are instead denied reasonable accommodations that other workers receive and often wind up losing income, benefits or their jobs or suffering pregnancy complications, according to a report released Tuesday.

AFL-CIO wants to be the voice of most workers, not just those in unions

Source: Olivera Perkins, Cleveland.com

The AFL-CIO, the nation's largest labor organization, is seeking to be the voice of all working and middle class people -- even if they don't belong to unions.

"I don't think this is a big leap to think that a union should have a broader definition," said Harriet Applegate, who heads the North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Labor, whose letterhead includes: "We're the people who brought you the weekend."

June 17, 2013

Supporting Family Caregivers With Leave Policies in the Workplace

Source: Lynn Feinberg , AARP Blog

My sisters and I are long-distance caregivers for our 92-year old mom. We have already experienced this profound caregiving journey, having cared for our dad for nearly seven years before he died at age 94. We know how overwhelming and stressful it can be to juggle work and caregiving responsibilities.

States Move to Ban Credit Screening for Job Applicants

Source: Elizabeth Dwoskin, Business Week

Credit reports weren't designed to be job-screening tools. But about half of employers now use them when making hiring decisions, according to a 2012 study by the Society for Human Resource Management. The practice cuts across all sectors of the economy, from high-level management to office assistants, home health-care aides, and people who work the counter serving frozen yogurt.

Unpaid No More: Interns Win Major Court Battle

Source: Tovia Smith , NPR

A federal court in New York has ruled that a group of interns at Fox Searchlight Pictures should have been paid for their work on the movie Black Swan. The decision may have broad implications for students looking for their first job.

June 13, 2013

Court indicates Labor went after employee for whistleblowing activities

Source: Joe Davidson , Washington Post

Robert Whitmore might have been an ornery old cuss, but that was not reason enough for the Labor Department to leave him in a two-year limbo, followed by a mockery of an investigation that led to his termination.

Federal Court Allows EEOC Disability Case to Proceed, Denying United Parcel Service's Appeal

Source: Press Release, EEOC

A federal district court has denied United Parcel Service's (UPS) motion to appeal an earlier ruling in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. The contested ruling allowed the Commission's disability discrimination case to proceed to the discovery phase. (EEOC, et al., v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 09-cv-05291 (N.D. Ill. June 11, 2013.)

Why Are So Many New Labor Groups Forming?

Source: Megan McArdle , The Daily Beast

501(c)(5) applications have spiked even higher than the groups the IRS was targeting.

June 12, 2013

Harry Reid: Employment Non-Discrimination Act Will Come Up 'Soon'

Source: Jennifer Bendery , Huffington Post

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday that he expects to take up legislation "soon" that would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Employment Checks Fuel Race Complaints

Source: Scott Thurm , Wall Street Journal

Federal regulators Tuesday accused two large employers of improperly using criminal-background checks in hiring, the latest salvo in a contentious debate over whether such screening amounts to discrimination against black applicants.

Two labor groups buck trend of union support of Obama on immigration

Source: Joe Davidson , Washington Post

Federal employee unions generally are supportive of President Obama -- except, of course, when he does things like freezing their basic pay rates for three years. On many policy issues, there's not a lot of space between Obama, Democrats and the labor organizations.

June 10, 2013

Opinion: Age discrimination in the workplace has become a prominent concern

Source: Paul Freiberger, NJ.com

Discrimination has been with us for a long time, based on one characteristic or another that allows one group to identify another as less worthy, less intelligent, less skilled and on and on. Whether it's based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender or one of a hundred other variables, we've always found ways to stereotype our fellow humans.

Progress At Work, But Mothers Still Pay a Price

Source: Stephanie Coontz, New York Times

There is no denying that we have made great progress toward gender equality. Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, which was signed into law on June 10, 1963. At that time, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, women earned less than 60 percent of what men made. According to Philip Cohen, a University of Maryland sociologist, a female college graduate at that time, working full time year round, made less than the average male high school graduate.

Labor & Employment Roundup

Source: Jonathan Harkavy, Patrick Kavanagh, and others, Workplace Prof Blog

It's time for another labor and employment roundup:

June 7, 2013

Transgender-bias bill passes Senate

Source: Doug Denison, Delaware Online

Legislation to add transgender Delawareans to the list of groups protected under the state's anti-discrimination law passed the Senate on Thursday with a slim majority and now heads to the House.

Catholic School Teacher Fired for Artificial Insemination Wins Suit

Source: Josh Crank , Lawyers.com

An Ohio jury ordered the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati to pay $171,000 to an unmarried teacher who was fired by two Catholic schools after becoming pregnant via artificial insemination.

Affordable Care Act spurs hiring blitz

Source: Ricardo Lopez , LA Times

California is hiring hundreds of workers at three call centers. The state also needs an additional 20,000 enrollers statewide.

June 6, 2013

Most small businesses back laws to protect LGBT workers, survey says

Source: Adolfo Flores, LA Times

More than two-thirds of small businesses believe federal and state laws should prohibit employment discrimination against gay and transgender people, according to a national poll.

How Do We Build a Mothers' Movement Around Workplace Flexibility?

Source: Jocelyn Elise Crowley, Huffington Post

Each of these groups promotes the health and happiness of its members by highlighting the ways in which mothers who want to or need to work for pay can do so with the help of workplace flexibility options. I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with mothers in these groups who came from all walks of life and a variety of backgrounds.

June 5, 2013

The Female Labor Market Is Actually Stagnating

Source: Erika Christakis, Time

The announcement last week that women are now the primary breadwinners in 40% of American households unleashed the usual reflexive responses. Attempting what looked like self-parody, Fox News featured an all-male quartet of pundits sputtering about the decline of women's "natural" role. Some saw welcome progress for women, while others viewed the 40% figure as more evidence that the "End of Men" is night.

A Short-Term Solution to NLRB Impasse: A 4-Member Board

Source: Peter Hurtgen , The National Law Journal

The world of labor management relations is currently embroiled in a major upheaval, which has spread beyond the usual union/management battleground. In Noel Canning v. NLRB, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board were unconstitutional, thus leaving the board with only one legitimate member and without a quorum.

June 3, 2013

More employees stand up for their workplace health

Source: Dianne Stafford , Kansas City Star

Across American offices, workers like Schwarz are dumping their sit-down desk chairs in favor of standing desks, treadmill desks and big exercise, or stability, balls. Researchers say the small but growing trend is a very good thing.

Fired for Being Gay? Protections Are Piecemeal

Source: Tara Siegel Bernard, New York Times

Jake, a 43-year-old worker at an auto parts warehouse in Ohio, often spends his lunch break in his car. By eating alone, he doesn't have to talk with co-workers about his weekend plans or worry about using the wrong pronoun that could reveal that his life partner of 12 years is another man. Since many of his colleagues drop gay slurs on a daily basis, it's a topic he would rather avoid.

The Triumph of the Working Mother

Source: Stephanie Coontz, New York Times

Fifty years ago, Betty Friedan made a startling prediction in her controversial best seller, "The Feminine Mystique." If American housewives would embark on lifelong careers, she claimed, they would be happier and healthier, their marriages would be more satisfying, and their children would thrive.

May 30, 2013

Shareholders of Exxon Mobil Reject Gay Discrimination Ban

Source: AP, New York Times

Shareholders of Exxon Mobil defeated a resolution on Wednesday to explicitly ban discrimination against gays. The Exxon board had argued that the company already banned discrimination of any type and did not need to add language regarding gays.

Mother's Day Is Over -- But Pregnancy Discrimination Isn't.

Source: Lenora Lapidus , Huffington Post

Women make up almost half the workforce today, and, if they become pregnant, most will work throughout their pregnancy. Given this reality, you probably think the stories below are works of a bygone era. Well, you'd be wrong.

U.S. regulators issue rules on workplace wellness programs

Source: Reuters , Sharon Begley

Employees will be eligible for significantly lower premiums on the health insurance they buy through their employers if they participate in "workplace wellness programs," even if they don't improve their health, U.S. regulators said on Wednesday.

May 29, 2013

Here Are the Least Sucky Cities for Women in the Workforce

Source: Meher Ahmad , Jezebel

The pay gap between male and female workers in the U.S., though it decreased briefly in 2011 with women making a whopping 82.2 percent of what men earned (thanks, dudes! Extra shopping ca$h, amirite?), widened again in 2012, most likely because The Recession but also because Old Dudes Don't Want Us Making Money.

7 Reasons Why the Labor Movement Has Stalled

Source: David Macaray , Huffington Post

A self-described "McGovern Democrat" whom I shall call "Fay" told me that, alas, she could no longer support organized labor because, in her own, stunning words, "unions have become too powerful." A UCLA honors grad and longtime political activist, Fay is probably the most "left-wing" person I've ever personally known.

Career Coach: Respecting others at the workplace

Source: Joyce E. A. Russell, Washington Post

Recently, the University of Maryland was honored to host the 14th Dalai Lama for a lecture. To a sold-out crowd of students, faculty, administrators and dignitaries, he offered some of his life lessons and insights. One of his themes was the importance of treating people as people. Sounds simple, yet often not done in the world.

May 28, 2013

Two activist groups accuse Wal-Mart of unfair labor practices

Source: Tiffany Hsu, LA Times

The day after Wal-Mart Stores Inc. named a former advisor to President George W. Bush to head its corporate and government affairs division, two activist groups filed complaints accusing the retail behemoth and its suppliers of poor labor practices.

In denial: Corporate America's blindness to gender discrimination

Source: Jonathan A. Segal, Forbes

How can a company expect to survive, let alone thrive, if half of its talent pool is excluded from key positions? Most companies can't even recognize they have a problem with gender discrimination.

May 23, 2013

Senate OKs longer window to sue for discrimination

Source: AP, Houston Chronicle

The Texas Senate has passed a measure that puts the state more in line with the federal law to protect against gender discrimination in wages.

The federal Lily Ledbetter Act requires employers to prove that differences in pay are related to qualifications, not to gender. It also allows more time for employees to sue employers for discrimination.

U.S. Department of Labor pushes for minimum wage increase

Source: Dianne Stafford , Kansas City Star

The acting U.S. secretary of labor, Seth Harris, believes enough Americans back an increase in the minimum wage strongly enough that Congress will raise it next year.

Why Do We Defend Discrimination?

Source: John Becker , Huffington Post

Think about it: if a person's private convictions grant them a free pass to ignore laws forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, where does it stop? Shouldn't they be similarly free to ignore laws against discrimination on the basis of gender? Disability? What about religion or race?

May 22, 2013

EEOC Issues Revised Documents on Rights Of Employees With Specific Disabilities

Source: Press Release, EEOC

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued four revised documents on protections against disability discrimination, explaining how the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, applies to individuals with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities, EEOC announced May 15.

Yesterday's Supreme Court Chevron Decision and Its Impact on the NLRB

Source: Blog Editors, Workplace Prof Blog

As an administrative law geek, I read the Supreme Court's Chevron decision issued yesterday (City of Arlington v. FCC 569 U.S. __, slip op. No. 11-1545 (5/20/13)) with great interest. And then I started wondering if it had any impact on the NAM v. NLRB case concerning the NLRB's authority to require employers to exhibit posters about employees' collective bargaining rights.

May 21, 2013

Labor unions break ranks with White House on ObamaCare

Source: Kevin Borgadus, The Hill

Months after the president's reelection, a variety of unions are publicly balking at how the administration plans to implement the landmark law. They warn that unless there are changes, the results could be catastrophic.

When Good Things Happen To Bad People: Disturbing News About Workplace Bullies

Source: Gary Belsky , Time

As if life isn't unfair enough for the alarming number of people who are bullied at work--or otherwise adversely affected by such behavior--recent research suggests that a lot of workplace bullies achieve high levels of career success. In fact, their bullying and on-the-job achievements might just be related.That's according to a new study ("Political Skill and the Job Performance of Bullies") in the most recent issue of the Journal of Managerial Psychology, the first attempt to examine the correlation between bullying and job performance.

Larger Union That Enforces Immigration Opposes Bill

Source: Laura Preston, New York Times

A labor union representing 12,000 federal officers who issue immigration documents will join forces on Monday with the union representing deportation agents to publicly oppose a bill overhauling the immigration system that is making its way through the Senate, arguing that the legislation would weaken public safety.

May 20, 2013

Senate's top Republican says NLRB nominee package unacceptable

Source: Amanda Becker , Thompson Reuters

The top Republican in the U.S. Senate said on Thursday that an effort to push through a package of five nominees to the National Labor Relations Board will meet a dead end, unless the president replaces two Democrats on the list.

Wisconsin bill would eliminate workplace flu-shot requirement

Source: Kevin Lang, JS Online

Wisconsin employers, including hospitals, nursing homes and other health care agencies, could no longer require workers to get flu shots under a bill pending in the Legislature.

May 13, 2013

Small Companies in Colorado Can No Longer Discriminate

Source: Aaron Kase , Lawyers.com

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill into law last week that provides recourse against discrimination to workers at companies that employ fewer than 15 people.

EEOC Meeting Explores Wellness Programs' Evolution

Source: Press Release, Occupational Healthy and Therapy

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a meeting May 8 to examine the use and potential misuse of employee wellness programs. Experts who participated said U.S. employers need guidance to avoid violating anti-discrimination laws, according to the board's news release about the meeting.

May 12, 2013

Working Families Flexibility Act Passes House Over Opposition Of Democrats, Labor

Source: Dave Jamieson , Huffington Post

As part of their efforts to rebrand the GOP as a more caring party, House Republicans passed a hotly debated bill Wednesday that would loosen federal overtime laws, allowing for "comp" time instead of pay for private-sector employees who work more than 40 hours in a week.

Class Action or Not, the Unpaid Intern Lawsuit at Hearst Will Go On

Source: Rebecca Greenfield , Atlantic Wire

A judge may have thrown out class-action status for the lawsuit against Hearst for using unpaid interns at its magazines, but the disgruntled former coffee-fetchers will continue the fight. "The case of the named plaintiffs and the people who opted into the case will go forward," said Junot Turner, the Outten and Golden lawyer handling the case.

May 10, 2013

Merck sued for $100 million in sexual bias case

Source: Reuters , NBC News

A senior sales representative for Merck & Co has sued the drugmaker for more than $100 million, alleging it discriminates against female employees in terms of pay and advancement, particularly pregnant employees and women with children.

May 9, 2013

Older Workers Say Age Bias Is Common

Source: Ann Carrns, New York Times

About two-thirds of older workers say they have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace, and most of them say it's common, a new survey from AARP finds.

Employer Wellness Programs Need Guidance to Avoid Discrimination

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Wellness programs are an increasingly common feature of employee benefits programs, and guidance is needed to avoid violations of federal equal employment opportunity laws, a panel of experts representing business, advocacy groups and providers told the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at a meeting held today.

May 8, 2013

Comp-time bill reveals partisan divide in workplace

Source: Mary Orndorff Troyan, USA Today

The U.S. House could vote Wednesday on legislation to give hourly workers in the private sector the option to take paid time off instead of collecting overtime pay.

Male Bosses Need to Speak Up for Gender Balance

Source: Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, Harvard Business Review

Does anyone else find it strange that the debate heating up in the US around gender imbalances in the workplace is overwhelmingly a conversation among ... women? This constant frame of gender as a "women's issue" is one of the big obstacles to progress -- in both countries and companies.

Churn, baby, churn: The labor market won't be healthy until people feel like they can quit their jobs

Source: Neil Irwin , Washington Post

America needs more quitters.
Or the job market does, anyway. That's the lesson to draw from the latest Labor Department report, which shows the soft underbelly of the U.S. jobs picture. The unemployment rate may be falling and the number of jobs rising.

May 7, 2013

How Far Will Protection From Discrimination Slip?

Source: Steven Mencher , AARP

In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) v. Nassar, Dr. Naiel Nassar lost his job at a health clinic where the supervising doctor openly made discriminatory remarks and questioned his work because she believed Middle Easterners are "lazy."

Pregnancy discrimination a real threat for some workers

Source: Jeremy Blackman , Concord Monitor

In March of last year, Katherine Tremblay, a Nottingham mother, was fired from her job of three-plus years as a field engineer at FairPoint Communications in Manchester. The layoff was part of a companywide downsizing in which performance rankings were used to help identify candidates for termination.

May 6, 2013

Four Additional Hurdles for Immigration Reform

Source: Alex Altman , Time

Back when the Senate's Gang of Eight was haggling over the details of its immigration-reform bill, TIME dug into four major hurdles the bill would have to clear. But now the dynamics have changed.

Age bias is 'elephant in the workplace'

Source: Christine Dugas , Poughkeepsie Journal

"Retirement job" seems like an oxymoron. And yet a growing number of Americans say that they plan to continue to work during their retirement years.

May 3, 2013

NLRB warns against employer 'no solicitation' signs

Source: Katie Loehrke , Atlanta Journal Constitution

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) allows employers to prohibit solicitation by employees during work time. However, generally speaking, employers may not prohibit employees from soliciting during non-work time, even if the employee is on company property. As a result, employers may not have a blanket rule barring any solicitation by employees.

Millions Of Americans Are Leaving The Workforce. Why?

Source: Jacob Goldstein & Jessica Jiang, NPR

Earlier this year, the percentage of Americans who are working or looking for work fell to its lowest level since 1979.

May 2, 2013

Gay rights and the religious exemption

Source: Editorial , LA Times

A blanket exemption for religious employers shouldn't be the price paid to enact the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which seeks to protect gays and lesbians from job bias.

A May Day Look at American Workplace Safety

Source: Pat Garafalo , US News & World Report

Today marks May Day, the old spring festival now closely associated with the workers' rights movement. Around the world, laborers are taking to the street to demand better pay, benefits, working conditions or, in the case of Bangladesh, justice for the more than 400 workers who died in a recent building collapse.

EEOC to Explore Wellness Programs

Source: Press Release, EEOC

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, May 8, at 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Time), at agency headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E. In accordance with the Sunshine Act, the open session of the meeting will be open to public observation of the Commission's deliberations.

May 1, 2013

http://www.cleveland.com/open/index.ssf/2013/04/republican_workplace_freedom_l.html

Source: Brandon Blackwell, Cleveland.com

Two Statehouse Republicans are poised to propose legislation that would make Ohio a "right-to-work" state.

A Pathway to Citizenship Should Create a Pathway to Workplace Protections

Source: Victor Narro, Huffington Post

The current Senate immigration reform bill makes some great strides to protect workers. Yet, it falls dramatically short on enforcement. While the bill allocates up to $6.5 billion on border enforcement, it allocates just $1 billion to interior enforcement -- most of which will likely go to the controversial E-Verify program. In other words, funding for border security will be over six times the funding for worker protections.

Wisconsin Unions Challenge Governor - Again

Source: Michele Bowman , Lawyers.com

After a trial court ruled last year that Wisconsin's new law restricting public employees' ability to collectively bargain is unconstitutional, labor unions are now demanding that the state comply with the ruling while it's on appeal.

April 30, 2013

NLRB gains an incentive to settle, as employers lose theirs

Source: Amanda Becker , Thompson Reuters

The National Labor Relations Board has urged its regional directors and other officers to maintain a high settlement rate as a way for the agency to weather the government sequester.

Will Millennials Come Back to Labor?

Source: Carmen Berkley , Huffington Post

As we approach International Workers Day, also known as May Day, it's hard not to wonder about the future of the labor movement, and whether or not young people in the United States will wake up and see that joining labor unions could be a part of the solution to the nation's 22.9 percent youth unemployment rate.

Why the Wall Street Journal is wrong about labor-force participation

Source: Jim Tankersley, Washington Post

Ben Casselman has a fantastically wonky piece in today's Wall Street Journal on labor-force participation. Good news: It's quite comforting! "Americans are leaving the labor force in unprecedented numbers," Casselman writes. "But the trend has more to do with retiring baby boomers than frustrated job seekers abandoning their searches."

April 29, 2013

How Big Data Is Playing Recruiter for Specialized Workers

Source: Matt Ritchel , New York Times

When the e-mail came out of the blue last summer, offering a shot as a programmer at a San Francisco start-up, Jade Dominguez, 26, was living off credit card debt in a rental in South Pasadena, Calif., while he taught himself programming.

Median Pay in U.S. Is Stagnant, but Low-Paid Workers Lose

Source: Floyd Norris , New York Times

The median pay of American workers has stagnated in recent years, but that is not true for all workers. When adjusted for inflation, the wages of low-paid workers have declined. But the wages for better-paid workers have grown significantly more rapidly than inflation.

April 26, 2013

Oregon same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, federal judge says in employee discrimination case

Source: The Oregonian , Bryan Denson

A federal appeals judge found this week in a bias complaint that federal and Oregon bans on same-sex marriages violate the U.S. Constitution.

Obama administration asks Supreme Court to review NLRB appointees

Source: Amanda Becker , Thompson Reuters

An appellate decision invalidating appointees to the National Labor Relations Board contradicts the modern understanding of presidential authority, the Obama administration argued on Thursday.

April 25, 2013

Senate delays confirmation vote for Labor secretary

Source: Political Notebook , Boston Globe

Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistle-blower case.

The End to Workplace Discrimination Against Gays

Source: Editors , Bloomberg

Many Americans would no doubt be surprised to learn that in much of the nation their fellow citizens can be fired from their jobs for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. In fact, 29 states have no explicit protections against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or identity -- and there is no federal law extending that protection, either.

Comp time: A workplace idea who's time has come

Source: Rep. Martha Roby , Politico

Should a working dad be forced to use up all of his vacation time in order to be involved in his child's school?
Should a military mom with her husband deployed have to dip into sick leave at work to make sure her kids have the parental support they need?

April 24, 2013

Senate must act on gay workplace rights

Source: Greg Sargent , Washington Post

In France, lawmakers have now voted to legalize gay marriage, after months of debate and street protests. Here in the United States, lawmakers may be poised to act in another arena where the battle over gay civil rights is being fought: The workplace.

How to control workplace cruelty

Source: Eleanor Bloxham, CNN Money

Ostracism, bullying, and hostility at work takes its toll on creativity. And it is pervasive in too many corporate workplaces.

April 23, 2013

EEOC Seeks Damages for Disabled Iowa Plant Workers

Source: Ryan J. Foley | AP , ABC

A now-defunct Texas company that put mentally disabled men to work at an Iowa turkey plant for decades is due in court to defend itself against allegations that it subjected the men to physical and verbal abuse.

NLRB recess: It's all in the timing

Source: Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer, Philly.com

Got an interesting email today from a reader who pointed out that the appellate court specifically ruled in the NLRB appointments case, Noel v. Canning, that Congress was not in recess when President Barack Obama appointed new members to the National Labor Relations Board on Jan. 4, 2012.

Mandated Sick Leave Debate: Is there a middle ground?

Source: Lorna Lunney , AU Labor Law Forum

The debate over mandatory sick leave continues to challenge state and city governments across the country. Most recently, Philadelphia fell one vote short for mandatory sick days leaving 180,000 workers without the benefit.

April 22, 2013

Are Gay Employees Protected Against Discrimination?

Source: Michael P. Maslanka, State Bar of Texas

Dallas lawyer Michael P. Maslanka shares his views on whether gay employees are protected against discrimination in the workplace.

Managing Stress in the Workplace

Source: Tom Gimbel, Huffington Post

April is Stress Awareness Month (yes, there is such a thing!), and although stress finds its way into our lives in a range of capacities, we undoubtedly find it most often in the workplace.

April 19, 2013

House Votes To Freeze NLRB

Source: Patrick Kavanagh, Workplace Prof Blog

Late last week, the House voted (219-209) for the Preventing Greater Uncertainty in Labor-Management Relations Act. The bill would require the NLRB members to cease their work, while allowing other functions, such as the regional offices, to continue. The impetus is the D.C. Circuit's Noel Canning decision.

Philly Security Guards Protest Wage Theft by Employer

Source: Aaron Kase , Lawyers.com

Five protestors were arrested last week in Philadelphia for blocking traffic in an effort to call attention to a crime that is a menace to hourly workers nationwide: wage theft.

One Slur Enough to Bring Racial Harassment Case, Court Rules

Source: Aaron Kase , Lawyers.com

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit states that a plaintiff may bring a harassment claim against an employer for a single offensive slur, if the insult is egregious enough.

April 18, 2013

Republicans Accuse Labor Nominee of Fighting for Civil Rights

Source: Dave Johnson, Huffington Post

Where does the Republican Party put its energy? On anything that furthers the interests of the wealthiest. Tax cuts and kicking government are right at the top of that list*. Also near the top comes blocking minimum wage increases, blocking workplace safety rules and keeping lots of people unemployed so they are desperate to take any nasty, dirty, low-paying job, etc.

Labor secretary nominee unscathed after hearing

Source: Paul West , LA Times

Thomas E. Perez, Obama's pick for the Cabinet post, has been criticized by conservatives, but the two-hour hearing before the Senate labor panel was more perfunctory than contentious.

How the End of the Traditional Workplace Is Changing Our Cities

Source: Emily Badger , The Atlantic

Technology has blurred the walls of the workplace in at least two dramatic ways. People who once worked inside the clear confines of a cubicle, inside an office, within an office tower in a commercial district, can now work from nearly anywhere. And because the spatial distinction has been disappearing between work and home (and everywhere in between), neat divisions in time are now eroding, too.

April 17, 2013

Your Job Isn't What The Employer Promised: Is That Illegal?

Source: Donna Ballman , AOL Jobs

I was hired for a specific job with a specific job title. Months later, my employer changed my title without asking me and made me work in a role that I neither wanted nor was qualified for.

Why Women Are Leaving the Workforce in Record Numbers

Source: Liz Peek , The Fiscal Times

One tiny problem may be holding women back: they are leaving the workforce in record numbers. The number of women age 20 and older not in the labor pool, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has soared from 40 million in 2000 to nearly 49 million today; another 315,000 called it quits last month.

AFL-CIO's Non-Union Worker Group Headed Into Workplaces in Fifty States

Source: Josh Eidelson , AFL-CIO

The country's largest non-union workers' group will soon announce plans to establish chapters in every state, achieve financial self-sufficiency and extend its organizing--so far focused on politics and policy--directly into the workplace.

April 16, 2013

A Polygamist and His Paralegal: A Tale of Sexual Harassment

Source: Staci Zaretsky, Above The Law

The job market for entry-level lawyers isn't a very welcoming place, and while it's better to be underemployed than unemployed, you might have to take some blows to your self-esteem in the process. It's not a big deal, because you've realized that beggars can't be choosers.

Employees wouldn't have to 'like' bosses under Oregon House bill

Source: Christian Gatson , The Oregonian

The Oregon House passed a bill that would bar employers from seeking access to the social media accounts of job-seekers and employees Monday.

GOP issues critical report of labor secretary nominee Perez

Source: Sam Hananel, Washington Post

Republican lawmakers sharply criticized Thomas Perez, the nominee for labor secretary, in a report Sunday over what they said was a questionable deal he brokered while serving as head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.

April 15, 2013

Workplaces take on new harshness

Source: Alana Semuels , The Columbian

The envelope factory where Lisa Weber works is hot and noisy. A fan she brought from home helps her keep cool as she maneuvers around whirring equipment to make her quota: 750 envelopes an hour, up from 500 a few years ago.

Fifth Circuit to Weigh in on Sexual Stereotyping Claims Under Title VII

Source: Carter Meader , AU Labor Law Forum

The Fifth Circuit has granted the EEOC's petition for rehearing en banc for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Boh Brothers Construction Co., No. 11-30770. The announcement comes approximately nine months after the original Fifth Circuit panel overturned a verdict in favor of the Plaintiff, Kerry Woods.

House committee debates bill to pause NLRB

Source: Amanda Becker , Thompson Reuters

Lawmakers held a spirited discussion on the immediate future of the National Labor Relations Board on Wednesday, after a recent appeals court ruling that cast doubt on the board's authority to make decisions.

April 12, 2013

As employers push efficiency, the daily grind wears down workers

Source: Alana Semuels , LA Times

Many businesses no longer want long-term relationships with their employees, who must now work harder without getting financial and psychological rewards that were once routine.

Should paid sick leave be mandated for all employees?

Source: Jena McGregor , Washington Post

A man holds a sign at a rally in front of City Hall to show support for a paid sick leave bill, a day after New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced that lawmakers and advocates reached a deal on the legislation March 29, 2013 in New York City.

April 11, 2013

The incredible shrinking labor force, in one chart

Source: Brad Plumer , Washington Post

The U.S. labor force is shrinking. Back in 2007, 66 percent of Americans had a job or were actively seeking work. Today, that number is at 63 percent and falling.

The incredible shrinking labor force, in one chart

Source: Brad Plumer , Washington Post

The U.S. labor force is shrinking. Back in 2007, 66 percent of Americans had a job or were actively seeking work. Today, that number is at 63 percent and falling.

When a promised promotion feels more like bosses are taking advantage

Source: Karla L. Miller, Washington Post

Two months ago, I was promised a promotion at work. I have yet to see a title change or salary increase.

April 10, 2013

Ending the Wage Gap

Source: Sudip Datta, Abhijit Guha, and Mai Iskandar-Datta, Harvard Business Review

If you're a female executive who has just been recruited for a high-powered job, you may be asking yourself, "What gender gap?"

Some Small Businesses Opt for the Health-Care Penalty

Source: Emily Maltby & Sarah Needleman , Wall Street Journal

Small-business owners across the U.S. are bracing for the health-care law that kicks in next year, fearing it will increase the cost of providing insurance to employees.

Is the tougher workplace slowing down the economic recovery?

Source: Alana Semuels , LA Times

The workplace is changing as many companies, looking to increase productivity, ask employees for more while giving them less, according to a Los Angeles Times series. That's difficult for individuals at work - but it might also have a profound impact on the economy in the long-term.

April 9, 2013

'Is work killing you?' Here are strategies for handling workplace stress

Source: Sharon Jayson , Clarion Ledger

Canadian physician and stress management specialist David Posen asks a question on the minds of many in his new book Is Work Killing You? A Doctor's Prescription for Treating Workplace Stress. He talks with USA TODAY'S Sharon Jayson about how the recent economic slump and culture of downsizing has created more employee stress amid fear of layoffs, increased workload and the 24/7 work environment.

What privacy rights do I have in the workplace?

Source: LA Times

Employers are frequently using monitoring software to make their employees more productive at work, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times, part of a series about the "Tougher Workplace."

Right to Work Law Challenged in Michigan

Source: Michele Bowman , Lawyers.com

The ACLU is trying to dismantle a "right to work" law passed in Michigan in December, saying people were locked out of the capitol while the measure was debated.

April 8, 2013

The shrinking workforce

Source: Chicago Tribune

There were plenty of depressing numbers from the labor market Friday. Most striking to us wasn't the unemployment rate of 7.6 percent-- down a tick. It wasn't the 88,000 jobs created in March -- too few to sustain a recovery.

The numbers behind the decline in workplace benefits

Source: Alana Semuels , LA Times

American employers are asking more from workers as they try to cut costs and become more productive to compete in a globalized world, as described in a Los Angeles Times Sunday story. But they're also giving them much less.

Why Marriage Equality Matters to the Labor Market

Source: Jay Shannon , AU Labor & Employment Law Forum

The Supreme Court's recent foray into the rights of gays and lesbians under the U.S. Constitution has catapulted the issue to the forefront of legal discussion. Noticeably absent in many publicized conversations is the impact of existing law on our current labor market in the United States. The Court's rulings in both cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and U.S. v. Windsor, will have a significant impact on the U.S. Labor market.

April 5, 2013

Judge awards $1.18 million in discrimination lawsuit against Fulton County

Source: Shae Rozzi , WSBTV

Doug Carl says he'd rather have the last six years of his life back than receive a large sum of money as a result of his discrimination lawsuit against Fulton County.

Blowing smoke on workplace health

Source: Editorial , LA Times

The best way to hire productive employees is to look for people with qualifications, talent, honesty and commitment. Now, however, a small but growing number of employers are looking for something else as well: job applicants who don't smoke.

The Path for Powerful Women in Today's Workplace

Source: Dr. Gail Gross , Huffington Post

With the growing discussion of women in today's workplace -- propelled by recent headlines made by powerful female leaders such as Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo -- I believe it is important to recognize the path paved before us to truly grasp the full context of our place in history - and our role moving forward.

April 4, 2013

Bill to bar job discrimination on sexual orientation faces quiet opposition

Source: Kolten Parker , Houston Chronicle

State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, backed by members of the LGBT community, compared workforce discrimination based on sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Movement and women's suffrage while presenting her bill to other senators Wednesday.

Fast-Food Workers Plan Second Strike for More Pay

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Tabitha Verges, a minimum-wage worker at a Burger King in Harlem, was caught unawares when 200 workers at other fast-food restaurants in New York City walked out last November to demand higher wages.

Overtime Laws Could Be Loosened Under GOP Comp-Time Proposal

Source: Dave Jamieson , Huffington Post

House Republicans are planning to introduce legislation that could loosen the nation's 75-year-old law governing overtime in the workplace, allowing employers and workers to choose taking compensatory time off rather than the traditional time-and-a-half pay.

April 3, 2013

Helpful Workplace Hints From the World's Most Helpful Guy

Source: Susan Dominus, New York Times

How do you respond to colleagues who complain about your helpfulness or criticize you for being helpful?

Retailers Track Employee Thefts in Vast Databases

Source: Stephanie Clifford and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, New York Times

Facing a wave of employee theft, retailers across the country have helped amass vast databases of workers accused of stealing and are using that information to keep employees from working again in the industry.

Can immigration reform save the American workforce?

Source: Robert Reich , Salon

Legalizing undocumented workers would prevent employers from undercutting the country's largest unions

Shiu Dusts off 1980 Goal for Women in Trades

Source: Anna Halkidis , Women\'s E News

Thirty-plus years have passed. Now the director of federal contract compliance for the Department of Labor is focused on getting U.S. women a 7-percent piece of all skilled trade jobs performed, a goal first set in 1980.

April 2, 2013

Workplace Wellness Takes the Lead for Stress Awareness Month

Source: Judy Martin, Forbes

National Stress Awareness month launches on Capitol Hill this week, as healthcare, business and agency chiefs recognize National Workplace Wellness Week with a number of panel discussions.

Woman's bias lawsuit dusts off Vermont's equal-pay law

Source: Matt Ryan, USA Today

A Vermont woman's claim that she was shortchanged by her former employer has spurred a court to interpret, for the first time, an anti-discrimination law that's been on the books here for more than a decade.

After Boom-Boom Room, Fresh Tactics to Fight Bias

Source: Susan Antilla, New York Times

Over the course of several conversations, women on Wall Street who were subjected to groping, pay disparity and vulgar office jokes eventually opened up to the firm's lawyers.

April 1, 2013

Two new cases seek to clarify pregnancy discrimination laws

Source: Anna Louie Sussman, Thompson Reuters

Two recent complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission seek to clarify the rights of pregnant women under a 2008 amendment to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

A Simple, Legal Way to Help Stop Employment Discrimination

Source: Philip Cohen, The Atlantic

Women and racial minorities are no longer making progress toward equal representation in the workplace. Here's a way to maybe fix that.

March 21, 2013

America's Private Sector Labor Unions Have Always Been in Decline

Source: Matthew Yglesias, Slate

Looks like it's time for another round of Internet Thumbsuckers About Labor Unions. Specifically, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson think economists should pay more attention to the political economy impacts of labor unions and not just to their localized impact on wages and growth

Aiming for 50 percent women in workplace: 'A tough goal'

Source: Amy Langfield, Today

Many companies pay lip service to workplace diversity, but few go as far as Coca Cola, which aims to reach gender parity across all levels of its business by 2020.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission faces furloughs if sequester continues

Source: Josh Hicks, Washington Post

The agency that enforces workplace-discrimination laws will have to furlough its employees for more than eight days if the spending cuts known as the sequester continue through the rest of the fiscal year, according to the nation's largest federal employee union

March 20, 2013

Strapped for retirement, more hope to work longer

Source: Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post

After a long era of planning on earlier exits from the workforce, more Americans are planning to work longer to make up for their failure to save enough for retirement

The Right to Concerted Legal Redress

Source: CAS, Workplace Prof Blog

Many thanks to my colleague Rick for his post on the abstract for Horton Hatches the Egg: Concerted Action Includes Concerted Dispute Resolution, which Tim Glynn and I recently uploaded on SSRN. We don't disagree with him that the smart money might well bet on the FAA in this collision, but we're pretty sure this will be a heavier lift for a textualist Court than at least some of the prior decisions.

NYC Employers Can't Refuse to Hire the Unemployed

Source: Michele Bowman , Lawyers.com

The New York City Council on Mar. 13 passed a law forbidding employers from discriminating against job applicants who are unemployed. It is the first law in the country to provide a private cause of action for people who are refused employment because they lack a job.

March 19, 2013

Modern Etiquette: Lost your job? Retiring? is it congratulations?

Source: Mary Mitchell , Reuters

I doubt if Shakespeare was thinking about our 21st Century workplace when he penned that "parting is such sweet sorrow" yet the oxymoron surely is not lost on anyone who recently has lost a job or retired from one.

Opinion: Does Affirmative Action Do What It Should?

Source: Dan Slater , New York Times

WHAT'S more important to how your life turns out: the prestige of the school you attend or how much you learn while you're there? Does the answer to this question change if you are the recipient of affirmative action?

Republicans signal a fight over Thomas E. Perez, Obama's pick for labor secretary

Source: David Nakamura, Washington Post

Republicans slammed President Obama's selection of Thomas E. Perez as the next labor secretary Monday, painting the assistant U.S. attorney general as a polarizing and radical figure and suggesting that they will seek to hold up his nomination.

March 18, 2013

Employers slowly enrich programs for older workers

Source: Philip Moeller , US News & World Report

The later-life needs of older Americans are often expressed as quality-of-life goals: health and wellness, rich family and personal ties, and meaningful pursuits and travel, among others. To employers, however, older workers increasingly represent serious bottom-line expense and profitability issues.

Obama to Nominate Justice Aide for Labor Post

Source: Peter Baker, New York Times

President Obama plans to announce Monday that he will nominate Thomas E. Perez, who heads the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, to be the next secretary of labor, a choice that promises to provoke a debate with Republicans about voting rights and discrimination.

Advertise on NYTimes.com Gender Bias Seen in Visas for Skilled Workers

Source: Ashley Parker , New York Times

The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to hear testimony Monday afternoon arguing that the H-1B visa program, which covers highly skilled temporary foreign workers, often in high-tech fields, discriminates against women.

March 14, 2013

Jobless-Discrimination Law In New York City Is Adopted

Source: Jennifer Peltz, Huffington Post

New York City will soon have the nation's most far-reaching laws barring employers from shunning out-of-work job applicants, after lawmakers passed the provisions Wednesday over a mayoral veto.

Former National Guard employee gets $231K payout for sexual harassment

Source: Sean Reilly , Federal Times

The National Guard must pay a former employee more than $231,000 after failing to adequately investigate her complaint of repeated sexual harassment, an administrative judge has ruled.

Ageism And The Younger Boss

Source: Kristen Houghton, Huffington Post

In the past, employees had been able to disagree with each other and their bosses, feeling free to state their own positions. Issues were discussed and agreements on procedures were made. Now no one dared to disagree. Older employees were beginning to feel like "dinosaurs."

March 13, 2013

The impact of a $9 minimum wage

Source: Tami Luhby, CNN

In his State of the Union address, Obama pressed to raise the hourly rate in stages to $9 an hour in 2015, up from the current $7.25, and index it to inflation. The change, should it become law, would boost the wages of 15 million Americans, according to the White House.

Recess Appointments Ruling Could Invalidate 1,400 Workers' Rights Decisions

Source: Nicole Flatow, Think Progress

Less than two months after the powerful U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidated President Obama's January 2012 recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, 87 companies and several unions have cited the decision in pending actions before the NLRB, challenging its authority to rule in their pending cases.

Can You Be Fired For Calling In Sick -- Even With Doctor's Note?

Source: Donna Ballman , AOL

People ask me this all the time. Can you really be fired for being out sick even though you have a doctor's note? One state, Connecticut, and four cities -- Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. -- have paid sick leave laws.

March 12, 2013

Is Your 'Natural' Hairstyle Preventing You from Getting a Job?

Source: Stacey Gordon , Forbes

Speaking with an African-American candidate a few days ago, she made a comment in passing that made me stop and think. We were discussing the interviews she had been on and she said, "I'm sure my natural hairstyle prevented me from getting a couple of those jobs."

NLRB will petition Supreme Court over Obama's recess appointments

Source: Josh Hicks, Washington Post

The National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday announced it would petition the Supreme Court to review a lower-court ruling that invalidated three appointments President Obama made to the board last year.

March 11, 2013

Federal Court Grants Injunction Against A.C. Widenhouse in EEOC Race Harassment Cast

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Following on the heels of a legal victory for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a North Carolina federal court has awarded more than $243,000 and injunctive relief against A.C. Widenhouse, Inc., a Concord, N.C.-based trucking company, in a race harassment and retaliation case, the agency announced today.

Obama to name civil rights enforcer Thomas Perez as Labor secretary

Source: Lisa Mascaro and Don Lee, Los Angeles Times

The Harvard-educated lawyer is a first-generation Dominican American with a career in public service. His nomination could face a GOP backlash over his Justice Department activities.

NLRB Grounds Union Challenge to Boeing's Code of Conduct

Source: Joel Barras , Forbes

In another example of unions trying to push the boundaries of recent NLRB restrictions on employment policies, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, Local 2001 ("Union") recently challenged Boeing's decade-old Code of Conduct.

March 8, 2013

New York requires businesses to give workers annual wage notification, but doesn't check for compliance

Source: Teri Weaver, Syracuse.com

For the second year, hundreds of thousands of workers across New York have signed a notice acknowledging their wages - a paperwork requirement that state labor officials don't even double-check.

We've Moved Backward in Closing the Gender Wage Gap

Source: Bryce Covert, Forbes

he gender wage gap is a hot topic. So hot that President Obama's first act when he took office was signing the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which give the victims of pay discrimination more time to file charges against their employers.

March 7, 2013

Telecommuting: The Brain at Work and at Home

Source: David Rock , Huffington Post

In the last decade, we've seen tremendous changes in our workforce. With all of the recent advancement in technologies, nearly three-quarters of employers give their employees the tools they need to work remotely, giving employees more freedom to pick the hours they work.

Will we ever 'like' the female executive?

Source: Dominic Basulto, Washington Post

It seems like anytime a female leader makes a tough business decision or climbs the corporate ladder too soon, too fast it immediately draws a negative response

With Positions to Fill, Employers Wait for Perfection

Source: Catherine Rampell , New York Times

American employers have a variety of job vacancies, piles of cash and countless well-qualified candidates. But despite a slowly improving economy, many companies remain reluctant to actually hire, stringing job applicants along for weeks or months before they make a decision.

March 6, 2013

Employer credit checks keep jobless out of workforce

Source: Blake Ellis, CNN

Employer credit checks are preventing the nation's hardest hit job seekers from entering the workforce, a new study shows.

Disabled Workers Often Face Abuse: Study

Source: Health Day , US News & World Report

Disabled people are twice as likely to be attacked at work as other employees, and they also are more likely to be insulted, ridiculed and intimidated on the job, a new study finds.

What You Should Know About the EEOC and Arrest and Conviction Records

Source: News Release , EEOC

On April 25, 2012, the Commission, in a 4-1 bi-partisan vote, issued its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e

March 5, 2013

House, Department of Labor Disagree Over Applicability of WARN Act to Sequestration-Related Layoffs

Source: Christy Wu, Labor & Employment Law Forum

Recently, the Office of Management and Budget issued guidance to agencies to reduce costs in contract spending, signaling the reality that federal contractors must tighten their belts under sequestration. Yet contracting employers have been guided by federal advice which has not always been clear or consistent.

Recovery in U.S. Is Lifting Profits, but Not Adding Jobs

Source: Nelson D. Schwartz , New York Times

With the Dow Jones industrial average flirting with a record high, the split between American workers and the companies that employ them is widening and could worsen in the next few months as federal budget cuts take hold.

OFCCP Scraps Pay Bias Guidance In Favor of Expanded Investigations

Source: Human Resources Report , Bloomberg

The Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is rescinding two Bush-era pay discrimination guidance documents and replacing them with broader and more flexible investigation procedures, the department announced Feb. 26.

March 4, 2013

EEOC issues guidance on domestic violence discrimination

Source: Jim Evans, Zanesville Times

Just about every employer knows that it's illegal to discriminate in employment on the basis of a person's race, ethnicity, religion, gender, national origin, age, military service and disability.

High-Risk Pregnancy Entitles Employees to Extended Leave

Source: Michele Bowman , Lawyers.com

A recent case in California has raised the issue of how two state laws designed to protect pregnant workers interact. A woman who used up her pregnancy leave and wanted more time under the general disability law will have her day in court, according to Sanchez v. Swissport.

A First Step for Maryland's Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act

Source: Dana Beyer , Huffington Post

This week the effort to make Maryland the 17th state to provide comprehensive gender identity protections in employment, housing and public accommodations made its first public legislative appearance in Annapolis.

March 1, 2013

Missouri House endorses workplace discrimination bill [Article no longer available]

Source: Staff , St. Louis Morning Call

The Missouri House on Wednesday gave first-round approval to a bill requiring workers who sue to prove discrimination was a "motivating factor" in actions such as wrongful termination or denial of promotions.

'Twas the Night Before Sequestration: The End or the Interminable Beginning of EEOC Investigations?

Source: Miram E, Forbes

As every sector of federal government braces for the impact of an across-the-board haircut of funding with the sequestration cuts scheduled to go into effect on March 1, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency responsible for investigating complaints made by employees under most anti-discrimination laws, faces up to a $30 million cut from its $360 million annual budget.

Growing push to halt workplace bullying

Source: Sam Hananel, Huffington Post

Margaret Fiester is no shrinking violet, but she says working for her former boss was a nightmare. "One day I didn't do something right and she actually laid her hands on me and got up in my face and started yelling, `Why did you do that?'" said Fiester, who worked as a legal assistant for an attorney.

February 28, 2013

Pregnant woman says San Diego Christian College fired her for having premarital sex

Source: Teri James, The Denver Channel

A woman in California claims she was fired from her job at a San Diego college because she engaged in premarital sex and became pregnant. Teri James alleges her employer, San Diego Christian College in El Cajon, wrongfully terminated her. James hired high-profile attorney Gloria Allred to represent her in the case.

Careful, 'Having it All' Women, Your Privilege is Showing

Source: Christine Pelosi, Huffington Post

While your people are breaking ceilings, it's my people of color who are caring for your kids, so your discussion doesn't empower us. We want to be breaking ceilings too."

February 27, 2013

Workers over 50 are the new 'unemployables'

Source: Annalyn Kurtz, CNN

Older workers were less likely to lose their jobs during the recession, but those who were laid off are facing far tougher conditions than their younger colleagues.

Union Leaders Call on Obama to Fill Labor Board

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

The nation's union leaders are voicing alarm that the National Labor Relations Board might remain paralyzed for a year or more as a result of a federal appeals court ruling that found President Obama's recess appointments to the board to be unconstitutional.

Bill would bar some athletes from California workers' comp claims

Source: Mark Lifsher , Los Angeles Times

Proposed legislation would ban retired athletes from seeking California workers' comp benefits after they've played relatively few games in the state.

February 26, 2013

Wal-Mart Sued by Wisconsin Women for Gender Bias

Source: Andrew Harris, Bloomberg

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the world's largest retailer, was sued by five Wisconsin women who claim the company denied them and other female employees equal pay and equal opportunities.

CNN Spotlights Transgender Woman's Struggle Against Employment Discrimination

Source: HRC Staff, Human Rights Campaign

Transgender Americans often face discrimination in many aspects of daily life. This can be especially prevalent in the workplace. Unfortunately, there are no federal protections against anti-LGBT workplace discrimination and most states still allow a person to be fired based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.

February 22, 2013

Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Source: Press Release , EEOC

An employer's use of an individual's criminal history in making employment decisions may, in some instances, violate the prohibition against employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

How to Assert Your Legal Rights at Work

Source: Allison Green, US News & World Report

First, before anything, you want to make sure that your employer really is breaking the law. People often wrongly assume that the law entitles them to things that aren't actually enshrined in law--such as fair treatment, paid vacation days, or a warning before being fired. So first make sure that you really are facing a legal violation.

February 21, 2013

Florida lawmakers look to end discrimination against expecting mothers

Source: Kimberly Wiggins , My Fox Orlando

Pregnant women throughout the United States are protected from employment discrimination under federal law, but that's not necessarily the case in Florida. Two state lawmakers are now trying to change that fact.



Transgender job seekers face uphill battle

Source: Blake Ellis , CNN Money

Rebecca Juro, 50, has been unemployed for the last four years and she can't help but think it's because she's transgender.

Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination Questions And Answers

Source: EEOC Commission , EEOC

Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws. What Are the Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination?

February 20, 2013

Bill Would Redefine Workplace Discrimination

Source: Marshall Griffin , KCUR

A Missouri statehouse committee heard testimony Monday on a bill that would redefine what constitutes workplace discrimination. If passed, workplace discrimination would have to be a motivating factor, not just a contributing one, in any wrongful action taken against a worker by an employer, which is the current federal standard.

The Drumbeat for LGBT Non-Discrimination Executive Order Grows Louder

Source: Ian Thompson, ACLU

Coming on the heels of a letter from 37 U.S. senators, a coalition of national civil rights, religious, professional, labor, civic and educational organizations sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday urging him to issue a long-sought executive order to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors.

Faith in Values: Lessons from Our Past Should Light the Path of Immigration Reform

Source: Sally Steenland , Center for American Progress

A key part of the debate revolves around "legal status" vs. "citizenship." The two terms may seem similar but their difference is vast. Providing legal status without a chance to earn citizenship would mean creating a permanent underclass of people who live in our communities, work, and pay taxes while being denied certain basic rights

February 19, 2013

Department of Labor: Side-by-Side Comparison of Current/Final Regulations

Source: Department of Labor

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
Side-by-Side Comparison of Current/Final Regulations

2013 Employee Handbook Updates

Source: Steve Taylor , Society for Human Resource Management

Legal and regulatory changes--more than new laws--are driving the need for company policy adjustments, revised plan documents and updated employee handbooks for 2013 by U.S. employers.

An Executive Order to Prevent Discrimination Against LGBT Workers

Source: Lee Badget , Center for American Progress

While many states, municipalities, and corporations have instituted policies that shield LGBT workers from workplace bias, LGBT individuals currently lack adequate legal protections from employment discrimination.

February 18, 2013

Discrimination Doesn't Make Dollars, or Sense

Source: David Futrelle, Time

Discrimination isn't just an insult to our most basic notions of fairness. It also costs us money, because those who are discriminated against are unable to make the best use of their talents.

Paid Leave for Women … And Men

Source: Ellen Bravo, New York Times

Fifty years after the publication of "The Feminine Mystique," we're way past debate over whether or not women should hold paid employment (a debate that was never real for many women). Today two-thirds of employed women are either the primary or co-primary breadwinner for their families.

Raise That Wage

Source: Paul Krugman , New York Times

One major proposal, however, wouldn't involve budget outlays: the president's call for a rise in the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9, with subsequent increases in line with inflation. The question we need to ask is: Would this be good policy? And the answer, perhaps surprisingly, is a clear yes.

February 8, 2013

The Family and Medical Leave Act, 20 Years Later

Source: Laura D'Andrea Tyson, New York Times

Twenty years ago, just a few weeks after his inauguration, President Clinton fulfilled a campaign pledge and signed his first bill - the Family and Medical Leave Act. The law sent a strong signal of his commitment to provide more opportunities for American workers in return for more personal responsibility.

Walmart Workers Are Back on Strike Over a New Wave of Alleged Threats

Source: Josh Eidelson, The Nation

For the first time since November's Black Friday walkout, US Walmart retail workers are out on strike. At noon, half a dozen workers in Laurel, Maryland, walked off the job in protest of alleged retaliation by Walmart management.

Side-by-Side Comparison of Current/Final Regulations

Source: DOL, DOL

Wage and Hour Division (WHD) |
Side-by-Side Comparison of Current/Final Regulations

February 7, 2013

Checking Work Email Outside Of Work Should Count As Overtime, Lawsuit Claims

Source: Michael Tarm , Huffington Post

Does scanning emails and answering calls from bosses on your smartphone after hours constitute work that should be compensated? A lawsuit winding its way through federal court in Chicago says that it does.

Profound Weight of Layoffs Is Seen in Work Trends Survey

Source: Catherine Rampell , New York Times

Layoffs have touched nearly every American household in some fashion over the last few years, according to new survey data to be released Thursday by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.

Are we throwing in the towel on American workers?

Source: Nina Easton, CNN Money

Last week the nation's jobless rate ticked back up to 7.9%, yet at Microsoft more than 6,000 jobs go begging. These are jobs that pay, on average, $104,000 for applicants with only a bachelor's of science degree. "Great jobs," notes Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith. No kidding.

February 6, 2013

Christian school's lawsuit may test court ruling

Source: Linda Deutsch , AP

A lawsuit by a Southern California Christian school against two former teachers who refused to provide proof of their faith could pose one of the first court tests of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on religious freedom.

Work, Life Balance: 20 years of the Family and Medical Leave Act

Source: AU Law Forum , AU Labor & Employment Law Forum

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is meant to alleviate some of the "work, life" problems that arise every day in families across the country. FMLA is a federal law that requires employers to provide employees leave for qualified medical and family reasons, without risk to the employees job.

Can an employer have a mandatory flu shot policy?

Source: Katie Loehrke, Vasalia Times Delta

The cold and flu season has already been particularly harsh this year, and American companies and workers aren't out of the woods yet -- flu season can last into May, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

February 5, 2013

Job Growth Steady, but Unemployment Rises to 7.9%

Source: Catherine Rampell , New York Times

Despite the chaos and uncertainty hovering over tax rates and government budget cuts at the turn of the year, job growth accelerated at the end of 2012 and was even faster than originally estimated, the Labor Department said on Friday. Job growth also continued at a steady if modest pace in January, with employers adding 157,000 payroll positions, though the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent.

Union membership in the U.S. continues its long decline

Source: Alana Semuels , LA Times

Union membership is continuing to shrink throughout the country, even as companies add jobs in one-time union strongholds such as Michigan.

Union membership fell to 11.3% of wage and salary workers last year, down from 11.8% the year before, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said today. In 1981, 20.1% of wage and salary workers were unionized.

Immigration Reform Must Include Workers' Rights

Source: Amy Dean , Huffington Post

At this moment, various plans to reform America's broken immigration system are working their way through Congressional debate.

February 4, 2013

Looking at key concepts in employment law

Source: Dick Baggett , Go San Angelo

The Supreme Court first established firmly the principle of disparate impact in its 1971 Griggs vs. Duke Power Company decision. In this case, the Supreme Court recognized that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 permits disparate impact claims.

Paycheck Fairness Act Would Allow Workers To Share Salary Information

Source: Jilian Berman , Huffington Post

The "Paycheck Fairness Act," introduced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) last week, would prohibit companies from retaliating against workers who discuss salary information.

California Labor Law Wage Theft = 865 Employees, Three Time Clocks

Source: Gordon Gibb , Lawyers and Settlements

If you have 865 employees working in two warehouses taking up an area equivalent to 20 football fields, you better have more than three time clocks. Otherwise you are going to have a problem. That's exactly how a Chino-based warehouse and distribution firm got into trouble with California labor law.

January 31, 2013

Violence in the Workplace: It's Never a Woman

Source: David Macaray, Huffington Post

A true story. While I was president of a labor union, one of our Executive Board members ("Fred") brought in a newspaper article about an employee who shot and killed the shift supervisor and HR rep who'd just fired him. At the end of the termination meeting, this guy pulled out a gun, shot both of them, then walked out of the office and turned himself in.

Law Schools' Applications Fall as Costs Rise and Jobs Are Cut

Source: Ethan Bronner , New York Times

Law school applications are headed for a 30-year low, reflecting increased concern over soaring tuition, crushing student debt and diminishing prospects of lucrative employment upon graduatio

Don't Hire Ex-Cons? Myths About Hourly Workers That Don't Hold True

Source: Peter Burrows , Bloomberg

In fact, this segment of the workforce is so poorly understood that many common assumptions about them are simply wrong, he said. Simkoff should know. His service, which helps companies manage their global workforces, has information on 984,000 hourly workers from its 20 large customers, including Xerox.

January 30, 2013

Workplace Disability Discrimination Claims Hit Record

Source: Sean Heasley , Disability Scoop

Overall, the number of job bias complaints filed with the EEOC was down somewhat in 2012, with a total of 99,412 charges filed by private sector workers. Disability claims, however, have increased every year since 2005.

Curry: If you don't look the part, you don't get the job

Source: Lynn Curry , Anchorage Daily News

Perhaps it's simply a reflection of our hectic, fast-paced society today, but it seems like more and more people today are labeled as having anger management issues.

January 29, 2013

Workers of the World, Sit Tight

Source: Adam Davidson , New York Times

For 25 years, Monty Newcomb has worked at the same chemical plant in Calvert City, Ky., making products that hold pills together and remove sediment from beer. In his early years, Newcomb watched his union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, lose one battle after another in its ongoing struggle with management.

Viewpoint: The Decline of Unions Is Your Problem Too

Source: Eric Liu, Time

Last week came news that the share of America's workforce that's unionized hit a 97-year low. A mere 11.3% of workers now belong to a union, and a great chunk of those are in the shrinking public sector. In the private sector, unionization fell to an abysmal 6.6%, down from a peak of 35% during the 1950s.


After D.C. Circuit ruling, what happens to NLRB decisions and its GC?

Source: Sue Resinger , National Law Journal

In the wake of Friday's federal court ruling invalidating three of President Barack Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, corporations are left in a cloud of doubt. In fact, the "only certainty is there's a tremendous amount of uncertainty," veteran appellate attorney Andrew Pincus told CorpCounsel.com Monday.

January 28, 2013

In Hiring, a Friend in Need Is a Prospect, Indeed

Source: Nelson D. Schwartz , New York Times

But when a friend at Ernst & Young recommended her, Ms. Parakh's résumé was quickly separated from the thousands the firm receives every week because she was referred by a current employee, and within three weeks she was hired. "You know how long this usually takes," she said. "It was miraculous."

Will Virginia Lawmakers Stop Discrimination Against LGBT Employees?

Source: Lucas Grindley , Advocate

The state Senate passed a bill that would make it illegal for gay and lesbian state employees to be discriminated against, but the proposal faces an uncertain future.

Bills Protect Gays In Employment Discrimination

Source: Elena Schneider, The Texas Tribune

When Meghan Stabler first revealed her plans for a medical and physical transition from male to female to a co-worker in 2004, she was nervous and fearful.

January 25, 2013

Unemployment Discrimination Banned By New York Council Bill

Source: Arthur Delaney, Huffington Post

The New York City Council passed a bill Wednesday that would ban businesses from discriminating against unemployed job applicants.

LGBT advocates seek ban on employee discrimination [Article no longer available]

Source: AP, ABC 7 News

Gay rights advocates are renewing their push for President Barack Obama to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees.

State-Level Policies Threaten to Further Weaken Unions

Source: David Madland and Dick Bunker , Center for American Progress

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data today showing that the national union membership rate dropped to 11.3 percent in 2012--a net decline of 0.5 percentage points from 2011. The private-sector unionization rate continued its steady decline, dropping to 6.6 percent from 6.9 percent in 2011.

January 24, 2013

5 Steps for Handling a Workplace Bully

Source: Chrissy Scivique, US News & World Report

Sometimes, the workplace can feel a lot like high school: Full of cliques, gossip, and passive-aggressive behavior. Bullying has been a hot topic as of late and sadly, adults are not immune to it. Bullies certainly exist in the workplace, though they aren't quite as obvious as they were in grade school. They don't go around throwing people into trash cans and stealing lunch money. But their torment can be just as destructive.

ACLU Urges EEOC to Update Guidance Policy

Source: Media @ ACLU , ACLU

The ACLU and a coalition of civil rights and civil liberties groups sent a letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in response to the Commission's briefing on "The Impact of Criminal Background Checks and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Conviction Records Policy on the Employment of Black and Latino Workers," held on December 7, 2012.

California unions grow, bucking U.S. trend

Source: Alana Semuels, LA Times

Latino workers, demanding respect in a precarious job environment, helped boost the state's unionized workforce by 100,000 in 2012.

January 23, 2013

An Employer Asks You To Do Work For Free: Legal Or Not?

Source: Donna Ballman , AOL Jobs

I run into many problems with employers regarding availability and doing free work to promote business. An example is: A company would tell me that I am an independent contractor but would require me to stay in the area, without pay, in case someone would want to schedule my services last-minute.

'Halo Effect' of Dukes Seen Spurring Change in Workplace Suits

Source: Jessie Kokrda Kamens , Bloomberg BNA

The U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2011 class action decisions set the stage for a year of "significant change" in workplace class action litigation in 2012, led by the "halo effect" of the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes decision, a law firm report released Jan. 14 said.

Employers' rights (and wrongs) regarding language in the workplace

Source: Katie Loehrke, Visalia Times Delta

It is well known that employers may not discriminate based on personal characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, and national origin. It's also well known that a diverse workforce can lead to advantages for an employer, including improved customer relations and diversity of thought among employees. Despite the advantages of diversity, however, it may come with complications.

January 22, 2013

Federal court upholds Wisconsin union limits

Source: Todd Richman & Scott Bauer , Washington Times

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's contentious law stripping most public workers of nearly all of their collective-bargaining rights in a decision hailed by Republicans, though it does not undo a state court ruling keeping much of the law from taking effect.

Flu Outbreak: Why Paid Sick Days Matter

Source: Shamus Khan , Time

We are in the midst of one of the worst flu seasons in recent memory. By the end of it, about 60 million Americans are likely to contact influenza, over 200,000 will probably to be hospitalized and tens of thousands will have died.

Even if It Enrages Your Boss, Social Net Speech Is Protected

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

As Facebook and Twitter become as central to workplace conversation as the company cafeteria, federal regulators are ordering employers to scale back policies that limit what workers can say online.

January 21, 2013

News Summary: Weekly US unemployment aid applications fall to 5-year low

Source: AP, Washington Post

The number of Americans applying for unemployment assistance plummeted to a five-year low last week, a sign that the job market may be improving. Applications are a proxy for layoffs.

Budget Cuts Jeopardize Job Discrimination Protection

Source: US News Wire, Hispanic Businesss

Potential budget cuts from sequestration would devastate the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's ability to enforce laws that protect American workers from job discrimination, according to the American Federation of Government Employees.

'Employment Discrimination 2.0' and What President Obama Can Do About It in His Second Term

Source: Benjamin Todd Jealous , Huffington Post

President Obama will hold his second Inauguration on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, just across a grassy expanse from where Dr. King spoke at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

January 18, 2013

Outsource your own job, get fired. What's fair about that?

Source: Paul Whitefield , LA Times

The Times' Alana Semuels reported Thursday on the strange case of "Bob," a computer software developer at an unnamed U.S. company who "unbeknownst to his bosses, hired a Chinese developer to do his job, allowing him to take home impeccable performance reviews while actually spending the day watching cat videos and shopping on EBay."

The Catch-22 of Being a Female Boss

Source: Karen Firestone, Harvard Business Review

For women who have persevered through the corporate competition and finally attained a level of authority over a group of employees, we need to remember a few essentials. Not only is it critical to be genuine and play to our strengths, but we also must understand how societal expectations can sometimes play a role in the way our messages, as managers, are received.

Code Word for Age Discrimination

Source: Jessica Lapin, Huffington Post

New Yorkers over 55 quickly learn the open secret that "overqualified" means "too old." The Great Recession has impacted workers of all ages, but seniors and near-seniors have been hit especially hard. New Yorkers age 55 and older who lose their jobs are out of work for an average of one year, compared to 41 weeks for younger employees.

January 17, 2013

DOL Issues Guidance on "Caring for an Adult Child" Under the FMLA

Source: Jeff Nowak, JD Supra

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an Administrator's Interpretation (AI) to clarify the factors an employer must consider when an employee requests leave to care for an adult child.

Should You Stay, or Should You Go?

Source: Lindsay Olsen , US News & World Report

If you're considering quitting your job, you may be indecisive about whether it's the right decision or not. On the one hand, you're pretty miserable. On the other hand, if you wait it out, you might make that promotion next year. While quitting or staying at your job is a personal decision, let's look at a few key situations and what you should consider.

Economic Snapshot for January 2013

Source: Christian E. Weller, Center for American Progress

Economic revival and job growth continue at a moderate pace in the fourth year of the recovery from the Great Recession of 2007-2009. The economy and the labor market are being held back in part by the uncertainty over what will happen to the federal government's debt ceiling--the amount the federal government can borrow without Congress's approval--and to the already-enacted automatic spending cuts now set to begin in March 2013.

January 16, 2013

Shifting Taboos on Tattoos

Source: Kaitlin Montgomery , Huffington Post

Throughout the years, tattoos have gotten a bad rap within the workplace -- they simply shouldn't be seen. As times change and new generations take the place of the old, the line regarding tattoos as inappropriate could be shifting.

Is the U.S. Falling Behind on Women in the Workplace?

Source: Jordan Weismann , The Atlantic

From the early 1970s to the early 1990s, the U.S. workforce underwent a radical transformation, as women bid goodbye to their roles as housewives and entered the labor market en masse.

Sick Workers' Dilemma: Stay Home Or Go To Work?

Source: Alisa Chang , NPR

As the earliest flu outbreak in years continues to claim victims, businesses are taking a hit, too. They're faced with an unsolvable problem: If they tell too many sick employees to stay home, the work doesn't get done. But when people sick with flu and other bugs show up, they're spreading illness through the workplace.

January 14, 2013

Another View: Unemployment, not the deficit, is the biggest drag on the economy

Source: William Winger & Lawrence Winger , Portland Press Herald

Sen. Angus King appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" program Jan. 6 and said, with regard to the perceived deficit issue, "we're not gonna grow our way out of it." This view is completely wrong. The recession, the lack of demand and the high rate of unemployment are the primary causes of our current budget deficit. Our first priority must be to complete our recovery from the recession.

A New Session, A New Push For LGBT-Friendly Laws In Austin

Source: Christina Kristofic , KUHF FM News

Charles Scarborough, a 51-year-old Army veteran from New Milford, Susquehanna County, says he is hearing-impaired and his former bosses and coworkers in the Central Bucks district mockingly referred to him as "Charlie Huh?," questioned whether he truly had a disability and discriminated against him.

Bill aims to make VA employee discrimination illegal

Source: Christina Kristofic, Mike Valerio

For the first time, Virginia could protect all state employees from discrimination, as a bill begins its path through the 2013 General Assembly.

January 11, 2013

More Americans file unemployment claims, but jobs market still appears stable, Labor Department says

Source: Reuters , New York Daily News

Last week, initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 371,000, U.S. labor officials said Thursday. Seasonal employment during the holidays tends to make the number of claims more unpredictable this time of year.

Baucus says he's declaring 'war' on veterans unemployment

Source: Mike Dennison , Missoulin

U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, speaking to the Montana Legislature on Thursday, said he's declaring a "war on veteran unemployment" and will be pushing legislation to help veterans of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan get jobs.

The Difficult Issue of Attractiveness Discrimination

Source: Brad Reid , Huffington Post

A free market economy should maximize business managerial prerogatives. On the other hand, individuals should not be penalized for appearance and attractiveness factors beyond their control. Currently, the Americans With Disabilities Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees unless this would cause an undue hardship to the employer.

January 10, 2013

EEOC Releases Its Strategic Enforcement Plan

Source: Gary Siniscalco, Lauri A. Damrell, Stephanie Albrecht , JD Supra

The final version maintains the key areas of national priority outlined in the draft SEP; however, it includes additional priorities, including age discrimination and equal pay issues.

Why many women delay revealing pregnancies

Source: Beth Tietel , Boston Globe

Despite such corporate recognition, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that pregnancy discrimination claims rose from 4,287 in Fiscal Year 2001 to 5,797 in FY 2011. (A recent high came in FY 2008 with 6,285 complaints.)

Teachers union, fired teachers sue Chicago for racial discrimination [Article no longer available]

Source: Robby Soave, Daily Caller

The Chicago Teachers Union is supporting three recently fired black teachers who are suing the city for racial discrimination.

January 9, 2013

Pregnancy discrimination: a real-world challenge

Source: Bette Begleiter and JoAnne Fischer, Philly.com

Under current law, U.S. employers are not required to make even minimal accommodations for pregnant women, leaving many with no choice but to leave a job that they truly want or need.

New employment laws for 2013

Source: Anderson Post Valley Staff, Anderson Post Valley

New employment laws will affect day-to-day operations and policies of California's employers in 2013. Here are some of the more noteworthy new laws from the California Legislature as identified by the California Chamber of Commerce. Unless specified, all new legislation goes into effect Jan. 1.

Govt, giant food service provider Centerplate settle employment discrimination case [Article no longer available]

Source: AP, Washington Post

The Justice Department and one of the largest hospitality companies in the world have settled allegations that the firm discriminated in employment by requiring non-U.S. citizens to produce specific documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

January 8, 2013

The Top Five Reasons Employees Will Quit In 2013

Source: Meghan Casserly , Forbes

The new normal for employment is just under five years. Five years with a company and we start looking towards greener pastures (read: more money, better-stocked snack-machines and lavish holiday parties). And according to Indeed.com, January is the month when most of us look to make the move to new companies--online job searches are up 40% from December to January.

First-time jobless claims rose to 372,000 last week

Source: Jim Puzzanghera, LA Times

First-time jobless claims rose to 372,000 last week, a level consistent with a moderately growing labor market ahead of Friday's December unemployment report.

California farm labor law still a hot issue

Source: Dan Walters, Sacramento Bee

Jerry Brown's major achievement in his first year as governor in 1975 was the Agricultural Labor Relations Act, creating a first-in-the-nation mechanism for the United Farm Workers union to seek contracts with growers.

January 7, 2013

Don't Sign Away Discrimination Claims to Get Severance Pay

Source: Michele Bowman , JD Supra

In general, employers cannot punish employees who exercise their right to file discrimination charges with the EEOC - it violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which defines unlawful employment practices.

Gay employee sues airline association for discrimination

Source: Lou Chibbaro Jr, Washington Blade

A gay auditor at the D.C.-based Air Transport Association of America filed a lawsuit in September charging the group with paying him a "substantially" lower salary than others with similar job duties because of his sexual orientation.

GOP Rep. Stivers Tentatively Endorses Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Source: Rebecca Leber and Scott Keyes, Think Progress

Republicans have obstructed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) for years, preventing a federal law from prohibiting discrimination against LGBT employees. On Thursday, Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) told ThinkProgress that he would be in favor of preventing employment discrimination, if there is a way to "not mess up many states' employment laws" in the process.

January 4, 2013

New Jersey's New Pay Equality Notice Law

Source: Evan J. Shenkman, JD Supra

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development just issued proposed rules providing guidance about the new law, along with a sample proposed notice for posting and distribution to employees. The rules and notice are scheduled to appear in the January 7, 2013 issue of the New Jersey Register, but are available here in the interim.

Federal Courts Continue Grappling With Privacy Issues And Employee Communications

Source: Beth P. Zoller , JD Supra

The federal courts continue to evaluate an employee's right to privacy and an employer's right to monitor employee communications and terminate employees based on those communications, whether under common law, statute or the US Constitution.

US Unemployment Outlook [Article no longer available]

Source: Live Trading News

Friday's US jobless rate from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics remained unchanged from its revised level the previous month, adding 155,000 jobs, roughly equal to the average 153,000 jobs added monthly over the first 11 months of the year.

January 3, 2013

U.S. jobs report: December unemployment rate at 7.8 percent; 155k jobs added Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/national/2013-01-04/story/us-jobs-report-december-unemployment-rate-78-percent-155k-jobs-added#ixzz2HJljjNeb

Source: AP, Florida Times Union

U.S. employers added 155,000 jobs in December, a steady gain that shows hiring held up during tense fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington.

Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/national/2013-01-04/story/us-jobs-report-december-unemployment-rate-78-percent-155k-jobs-added#ixzz2HJlhcSiy

Can Bosses Do That? As It Turns Out, Yes They Can

Source: Lewis Maltby , NPR

Did you know you could be fired for not removing a political sticker from your car -- or even having a beer after work? Lewis Maltby says it's more than possible -- it's happened. His new book, Can They Do That? explores rights in the workplace.

Guidance on the 90-Day Waiting Period Limitations

Source: Mark Kelly, JD Supra

For plan years starting on or after January 1, 2014, a group health plan or a health insurer offering group coverage may not impose a waiting period that exceeds 90 days. IRS Notice 2012-59 defines "waiting period" as a period of time that must pass before coverage for an employee or dependent, who is otherwise eligible to enroll under the terms of the plan, can become effective.

December 27, 2012

You're hot; you're fired

Source: Kerry Waldman , Times Union

Every particle of me wants to disagree with the Iowa court that last week protected a male boss' right to fire an employee simply because he finds her "irresistible."

he Application of Title VII and the ADA to Applicants or Employees Who Experience Domestic or Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Q: What are some examples of employment decisions that may violate Title VII and involve applicants or employees who experience domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking?

Discrimination case by former Kansas City police recruit draws national attention [Article no longer available]

Source: Judy L Thomas , Kansas Star

A sex discrimination and harassment lawsuit filed by a former Kansas City police recruit has drawn the concern of law enforcement officials in more than a dozen states.

December 26, 2012

Why Leaders Can't Afford to Ignore Employees' Well Being

Source: Elaine Pofeldt, Forbes

If you or your employees are bringing your problems to work, you are likely to be hurting each other's performance, according to recent research by Gallup. The flip side of the findings: If your life is going well, it's likely to rub off on those around you.

Workzone: Discriminatory job practices working against older workers

Source: Patricia Sabatini, Pittsburg Post Gazette

It isn't easy to grow old gracefully. But for people 55 and older who want to continue in the work force, the realities of advancing age can be especially harsh.


7 Ways the Generation Gap Divides the Office [Article no longer available]

Source: Dara Petinelli , ABC

What makes today's divide unique, however, is technology's influence in the workplace. Below you will see how this gap plays out in the office, and what the generations can do to get along better.

December 21, 2012

NLRB Clarifies Social Media Case Analysis

Source: Workplace Prof Blog

The Board recently released its decision in Hispanic United of Buffalo, in which it clarified the analysis for Facebook and other social media cases.

Labor Relations Board Loses Voice of Dissent

Source: Sean Higgins , The Examiner

NLRB solves its partisan gridlock problem: no Republicans serving on it now

Protecting the rights of convicted criminals: Ban the Box Act of 2012

Source: Rep. Hansen Clarke, Washington Post

Earlier this month, the Washington, D.C. city council voted down a bill to protect people with criminal records from employment discrimination.

December 20, 2012

Ringing in the New Year With Employment Legislation That Could Affect New Jersey Employers in 2013

Source: Cole Schotz , JD Supra

Five important pieces of legislation that could affect your business either will go into effect or may be decided by Governor Christie before we ring in 2013. These bills range from social networking legislation to minimum wage increases to workplace support for victims of domestic violence.

Family Research Council Sued For Sexual Harassment, Discrimination

Source: Laura Bassett, Huffington Post

The former director of women's and reproductive health at the Family Research Council, a prominent Christian conservative advocacy group, is suing the organization, claiming it retaliated against her and fired her after she filed a sexual harassment complaint against her boss.

Behind the strikes at Wal-Mart, McDonald's, ports

Source: Emily Jane Foxx, CNN

Over the past week, port workers in Los Angeles went on strike. So did fast food workers from McDonald's and Burger King. And last month, it was Wal-Mart workers.

December 19, 2012

Fact Sheet: The Value of Unions and the Consequences of 'Right-to-Work' Laws

Source: Katie Murphy , Center for American Progress

The passage of so-called right-to-work legislation in Michigan fails to take into consideration the real impact unions have on both states' and the nation's economies and on middle-class Americans.

How to Treat Workplace Stress

Source: Lauren Weber , Wall Street Journal

What are the main causes of workplace stress?

EEOC Approves Strategic Enforcement Plan

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Commission Establishes Priorities for Enforcement and Strategies for Integrating Agency Responsibilities.

December 18, 2012

Congress Should Extend Emergency Unemployment Benefits Now

Source: Sara Ayres , Center for American Progress

Congress must extend unemployment insurance despite the ongoing fiscal showdown and budget cuts that will likely take effect in January.

Walmart VP: When Workers Ask About Unions, Management Tells Them Benefits 'Might Go Away'

Source: Josh Eidelson , The Nation

In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, a top Walmart official said the company has evaded unionization in part by reminding workers what benefits "might go away" if they organized.

Closer Look at Union vs. Nonunion Workers' Wages

Source: Ben Casselman , Wall Street Journal

Over the weekend, the Journal reported on the economics of "right-to-work" rules.

December 17, 2012

Employers should revisit blanket leave and criminal background check policies, protect against gender identity bias, EEO experts say

Source: Employment Law Daily

Employers should take another look at blanket leave and criminal background check policies, and make sure that discrimination on the basis of gender identity is prohibited, according to experts discussing equal employment opportunity (EEO) developments in 2012.

Supreme Court unanimous: Process for discrimination claims was too complicated

Source: Josh Hicks, Washington Post

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday unanimously upheld a former federal worker's right to appeal a discrimination case in U.S. district court despite a lower court's determination that the matter should be taken up in a special federal claims court.

Right-to-Work Nevada a Rare Bright Spot for Labor

Source: Nicholas Riccardi , ABC

The future of the American labor movement may lie just off the Las Vegas Strip, inside a squat building huddled in the shadow of the Stratosphere casino.

December 14, 2012

Right to Work Laws and Why Labor Unions Are in Crisis

Source: Scott Martelle, The Daily Beast

Michigan's new right to work law is the latest blow to organized labor.

Push for minimum wage hike intensifies as worker ranks swell

Source: Alana Semuels and Ricardo Lopez, Chicago Tribune

Many who lost middle-class jobs during the recession are taking low-paying positions. Employees and activist groups are pushing for a living wage.

New law raises employers' responsibility in religious accommodations

Source: Robin Paggi , The Bakersfield Californian

Religious discrimination claims against employers have steadily increased over the last decade, and a new law recently signed by Governor Brown could lead to even more claims in the New Year.

December 13, 2012

NYC Fast Food Workers Strike for a Union and Higher Wages

Source: Aaron Kase, Lawyers.com

Fast food workers walked off the job last week across New York City in a surprise effort aimed at increasing their paychecks and the creation of an unusual union.

Labor Disputes, the Walmart Way

Source: Ira Boudway, Business Week

1970: The Retail Clerks International Union attempts to organize Wal-Mart Stores employees at two outlets in Missouri.

Supreme Court makes bias complaint process simpler for federal workers

Source: Josh Hicks, Washington Post

The U.S. Supreme Court has given federal workers a simpler and less confusing process for appealing discrimination cases that have been dismissed on procedural grounds, the court and worker advocates said.

December 11, 2012

DOJ settles discrimination claim against homecare provider

Source: Joe Hendon , Examiner

DOJ settles discrimination claim against homecare provider. The agreement resolved claims that the provider violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), when it demanded unnecessary documentation from a newly naturalized citizen in response to an initial mismatch in E-Verify and then refused to hire her when she did not produce it.

Social media in the workplace

Source: A. Kevin Trotman , Houston Chronicle

During the past year the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued several rulings regarding employee rights to make work-related comments on social media.

Labor Vows Payback for Supporters of Right-to-Work Laws

Source: John Flesher , Politics in Polk

With defeat in the Michigan Legislature virtually certain, Democrats and organized labor intend to make enactment of right-to-work laws as uncomfortable as possible for Gov. Rick Snyder and his Republican allies while laying the groundwork to seek payback at the polls.

December 10, 2012

Tenn. activists rally for ENDA executive order

Source: Chris Johnson , Washington Blade

Faced with living in a state with no non-discrimination law protecting them, LGBT activists demonstrated in three Tennessee cities on Sunday to call on President Obama to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from engaging in job bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Fighting Pregnancy Discrimination

Source: Janet Raasch , Lawyers.com

Women are the primary or co-primary earners in two-thirds of American households.

Supreme Court sides with former federal worker in discrimination appeal

Source: Josh Hicks , Washington Post

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday unanimously upheld a former federal worker's right to appeal a discrimination case in U.S. district court despite a lower court's determination that the matter should be taken up in a special federal claims court.

December 6, 2012

Collective Action Against Wage Theft

Source: Editorial , New York Times

If you work in Illinois, Indiana, or Wisconsin, it just got a little easier for your employer to reveal to others any health care information that you voluntarily offer up.

JOB CITES: Don't be fooled: Labor laws apply to nonunion employers

Source: Warren Buliox, Wisconsin Law Journal

Consider the following scenario: You are a nonunion employer who has just conducted an internal investigation into a harassment complaint by an employee (let's call her Monica).

Columns: A Guide To Handle Every Day Problems In The Workplace

Source: Deborah Bullock , Langley Today

Bullying is usually seen as acts or verbal comments that could 'mentally' hurt or isolate a person in the workplace. Sometimes, bullying can involve negative physical contact as well.

December 5, 2012

How Companies Must Adapt for an Aging Workforce

Source: David Bloom & David Canning , Harvard Business Review

The world's population is growing older, taking us into uncharted demographic waters. By 2050, over one-fifth of the US population will be 65 or older, up from the current figure of one-seventh. The number of centenarians worldwide will double by 2023 and double again by 2035

Unionizing the Bottom of the Pay Scale

Source: Eduardo Porter, New York Times

Other than poverty, José Carrillo and Joshua Williams have little in common.

EEOC files suit against Sony, staffing company for firing woman because of prosthetic leg

Source: Ameet Sachev , Chicago Tribune

A Chicago-area woman with a prosthetic leg was wrongfully terminated from a temporary job because of her disability, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

December 4, 2012

Seeing discrimination in nondiscrimination

Source: Bill Schuette, Washington Times

In 2006, Michigan voters approved an amendment to their constitution prohibiting racial, gender and ethnic discrimination in public employment, public contracting and public education. Yet the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati struck it down last year.

Slow Movement On Banning Anti-LGBT Job Discrimination

Source: Chris Geldner , Buzz Feed Politics

Although marriage equality advocates have found recent success, anti-LGBT job bias measures have been stalled in Congress and at the White House.

More Workers Claiming Job Discrimination Over Language, Accents

Source: Paul Foy , Insurance Journal

More people in the workforce are claiming discrimination over their English-speaking ability or foreign accents, according to federal officials.

December 3, 2012

The Strange Case of Wal-Mart and the National Labor Relations Board

Source: John Logan, Counterpunch.com

For the first time in its half-century history, Wal-Mart is facing the prospect of significant labor strife. Wal-Mart workers throughout the country have been participating in short strikes and other workplace actions for the past two months. They are demanding higher wages, better benefits, more full time work, and respect on the job.

Latinos Least Likely to Have Paid Leave or Workplace Flexibility

Source: Sarah Jane Glynn and Jane Farrell , Center for American Progress

Good jobs that offer paid leave and flexibility are associated with a variety of health and economic benefits. Unfortunately, people of color--especially Latinos--are less likely than their white counterparts to have access to these jobs.

Special Report: Silicon Valley's dirty secret - age bias

Source: Sarah McBride, Reuters

When Randy Adams, 60, was looking for a chief-executive officer job in Silicon Valley last year, he got turned down from position after position that he thought he was going to nail -- only to see much younger, less-experienced men win out.

November 30, 2012

Walmart's poor labor record

Source: John Logan, SF Gate

For decades, Walmart has intimidated employees who try to speak up against low wages and poor conditions.

In Drive to Unionize, Fast-Food Workers Walk Off the Job

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

After three years of working at the McDonald's restaurant on 51st Street and Broadway, Alterique Hall earns $8 an hour -- and is yearning for something better.

Language conflicts trend higher in workplace

Source: Paul Foy , Mercury News

More people in the workforce are claiming discrimination over their English-speaking ability or foreign accents, leading the federal government to issue guidelines to employers on when they can enforce English-only rules, federal officials said Thursday.

November 29, 2012

President signs whistle-blower bill for US workers

Source: AP, Daily Herald

President Barack Obama signed legislation Tuesday that affords greater protection to federal employees who expose fraud, waste and abuse in government operations.

ADAAA could soon protect pregnant workers

Source: Mary Swanton , Inside Counsel

Add pregnant women to the list of employees with conditions that may qualify for workplace accommodations.

Editorial: Harassment in the Workplace

Source: Editorial, New York Times

The Supreme Court this week heard the case of Maetta Vance, who, for many years, worked for the catering department of Ball State University, often as the only African-American in its dining services.

November 28, 2012

Supreme Court To Look At Who Is A 'Supervisor' In Harassment Cases

Source: Nina Tottenberg , NPR

The U.S. Supreme Court this week takes up the question of who qualifies as a supervisor when the issue is harassment in the workplace. The court's answer to that question could significantly restrict employer liability in racial and sexual harassment cases, or, in the view of some business organizations, it could result in frivolous litigation.

Gender pay gap is eroding, especially among younger women, US data show

Source: Amanda Paulson, Christian Science Monitor

Women are slowly making inroads in the gender pay gap. Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data for full-time workers show women earn 82 percent as much as men, up from 64 percent in 1980.

Dealing with Complex Gender-Discrimination Issues in the Workplace

Source: Timothy Long and Lauri Damrell , Law.com

For the first time in history, women are half of all U.S. workers, and mothers are the primary or co-bread winners in nearly two-thirds of American families

November 27, 2012

Fairness needed for pregnant workers

Source: Arjun Sethi , CNN

Peggy Young just wanted to support her family. As an employee at United Parcel Services, she delivered letters and packages, a job that sometimes required heavy lifting. When she became pregnant, she asked for a lighter assignment. UPS denied the request

Who's the Boss? High Court to Define 'Supervisor'

Source: Lauren Weber , Wall Street Journal

Is a supervisor the person who hires and fires employees, or it anyone who oversees other people's work?

Silicon Valley's dirty secret: Age bias

Source: Sarah McBride, Mercury News

When Randy Adams, 60, was looking for a chief-executive officer job in Silicon Valley last year, he got turned down from position after position that he thought he was going to nail -- only to see much younger, less-experienced men win out.

November 26, 2012

State bill seeks to bar job discrimination against communists

Source: Ed Vogel, Las Vegas Review Journal

At a time when right-wing politicians are crying about the rise of socialism in America, the Nevada Legislature is moving in the opposite direction: It is poised to prohibit job discrimination against communists.

Anti-Discrimination Laws May Now Apply to Violence Victims

Source: Kristen B Frasch, Human Resource Executive

An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission fact sheet says employers can now be liable for discrimination by showing bias against applicants and employees who experience domestic or sexual violence.

The Debate Behind Disability Hiring

Source: Sara Cann, Fast Company

A proposed rule would force businesses to hire disabled workers. Why is that making companies with existing disability programs uneasy?

November 21, 2012

Feds Release Long-Awaited Obamacare Health Law Rules For Employers

Source: Kaiser Health News, TLNT

Long-awaited details on how insurers can structure health benefits and premiums for policies that will cover tens of millions of Americans starting in 2014 were released by the Obama Administration Tuesday.

NLRB still investigating Wal-Mart dispute

Source: Associated Press , Daily Herald

Federal labor officials said Tuesday they don't expect to decide before Thursday on whether to seek an injunction on behalf of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to stop a union-backed group from encouraging worker walk-outs that are expected to culminate Friday.

Twinkies' demise proves the stupidity of U.S. labor relations

Source: David Horsey , LA Times

The Great American Twinkie Crisis illuminates what is wrong with the relationship between management and labor in this country.

November 20, 2012

Why Wal-Mart workers are striking on Black Friday

Source: Emily Jane Foxx, CNN

The stage has been set for a battle between a group of Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) workers and the retailer on Black Friday.

EEOC Releases Performance and Accountability Report Under New Strategic Plan

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Performance Now Measured Against Three Strategic Objectives; Past Fiscal Year Saw Record Reduction in Charge Inventory and Monetary Recovery in Administrative Process

November 19, 2012

First Impression Case: Fifth Circuit Rules on Ministerial Exception to Employment Discrimination Law

Source: CDK Lawyers, Justice News Flash

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the dismissal of an employment discrimination lawsuit because it found that the ministerial exception applied.

Wal-Mart Workers' Black Friday Strike

Source: Elizabeth Dwoskin , Business Week

America's biggest retailer may be in for an unexpectedly painful holiday season.

Beware the Outdated Form: Updating Older Non-Compete Agreements

Source: Linda K. Stevens , TLNT

Non-compete covenants appear in an increasing number of employment-related contracts.

Supreme Court to Review FLSA Case That Could Limit Employee Remedies

Source: Emily Pantoja , Labour Law Forum

The Supreme Court recently granted cert to review a case that could have an impact on future class action cases and remedies for employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Protests Backed by Union Get Wal-Mart's Attention

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

For years, Wal-Mart has fended off repeated efforts by unions and their supporters to organize its workers. Now, that battle is once again escalating.

November 16, 2012

Sparks Steak House to Pay $600,000 to Settle EEOC Class Male-On-Male Sexual Harassment Suit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Famed Restaurant Failed to Stop Manager's Abuse of 22 Male Waiters, Retaliated Against Employees for Complaining, Federal Agency Says.

The 7 Ways Organizations Justify Bullying in The Workplace

Source: Ron Thomas , TLNT

The potential for individuals within organizations to behave unethically is limitless.

U.S. workers endure 'lost decade' of declining wages [Article no longer available]

Source: Kevin G. Hall , Kansas Star

Since 2002, in fact, it's effectively been a lost decade for workers.

November 15, 2012

Washington: Foreign Students Will Get Back Pay for Factory Work

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

The Labor Department reached a settlement on Wednesday that recovers $213,000 in back wages for 1,028 foreign students who were summer employees in what many said were abusive conditions at a factory in Palmyra, Pa., that packed Hershey's chocolates.

November 14, 2012

8 Ways Employers Can Discriminate Against Workers -- Legally

Source: Donna Ballman , Aol

I talk lots about illegal discrimination, but there are many forms of employment discrimination that are perfectly legal. Here are some of the types of discrimination that may be legal if they happen to you:

Employers' Duties When Injury Affects Ability to Perform Discussed

Source: Kevin P. McGowan , Bloomberg

The Americans with Disabilities Act is an "inadvertent leave law".

November 13, 2012

Getting Paid in the Wake of Superstorm Sandy

Source: Michele Bowman , Lawyers.com

Hurricane Sandy not only damaged the lives of many people in the Northeast; it also wreaked havoc with their jobs.

The Gender Pay Gap and the Paycheck Fairness Act

Source: Angela Bouliakis, AU Labor & Employment Law Forum

Currently, federal law prohibiting job discrimination includes: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination.

The Role of Supervisors in Employment Discrimination

Source: Leah Argentieri , Jurist

Today, a woman may find herself in a situation where she was fired based on gender but has no legal remedy for this discrimination.

First Impression Case: Fifth Circuit Rules on Ministerial Exception to Employment Discrimination Law

Source: Kenneth A Claus, Justice News Flash

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed the dismissal of an employment discrimination lawsuit because it found that the ministerial exception applied. This exception bars employment discrimination lawsuits brought by ministers against their churches.

November 12, 2012

Gay rights measure faces a Nebraska city council [Article no longer available]

Source: The Grand Island Independent , San Francisco Chronicle

The Grand Island City Council has been asked to bar from city employment policies any discrimination based on sexual orientation.

NLRB Judge finds 24 Hour Fitness arbitration clause violates federal labor law

Source: Office of Public Affairs , NLRB

An NLRB Administrative Law Judge has issued a decision finding that 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. maintained and enforced an unlawful arbitration policy that required employees to give up their federally protected rights to take concerted action.

November 9, 2012

Following election, some workplace restrictions loosened

Source: Eric Yoder, Washington Post

With the election over, federal employees now may freely wear clothing or buttons in the workplace showing the candidates and may display pictures of them, but such items advocating for or against political parties or partisan political groups remain banned.

The 2012 Election and the Fate of State Labor Law Initiatives

Source: Joe Slater , Workplace Prof Blog

As referenced in my last post, the future development of labor and employment law in the United States is not limited to a consideration of federal judicial, legislative, and regulatory developments. Additionally, state and local laws and initiatives also play a very important role in setting up the rules of the game in the workplace.

Memo to Media: Most Working Women Are Put in a Bind, Not a Binder -- Problem May Be Men Full of Blinders

Source: Beverly Wettenstein, Huffington Post

Women voters are considered key to the election results. Neither party has a lock on the outcome in one of the tightest races in history.

November 8, 2012

Work Advice: The difference between internships and free-labor scams

Source: Karla L. Miller, Washington Post

Reader: My daughter recently graduated from an acclaimed eastern college. She has sent out many résumés for internships with no response. I've noticed the requirements listed on many of these internships include previous work experience and technical training. These descriptions are identical to real job requirements, yet the internships rarely pay. It's clear to me these places want free labor, and they're very selective.

NLRB more aggressive in protecting employee activities at union and non-union companies

Source: Marc Bloch , Crain's Cleveland

If you're a non-union employer, you might be shocked to discover that you, too, are subject to the restrictions and policies covered under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

Looking Back at Obama's Term in Employment Law

Source: Philip M. Berkowitz, Law.com

What impact did President Barack Obama's positions on employment and labor law have on his reelection?

November 7, 2012

Labor Unions Deliver For Obama With Post-Citizens United Ground Game

Source: Dave Jamieson , Huffington Post

For a labor movement that's found itself on its heels for much of the past two years, President Barack Obama's decisive victory in Tuesday's election proved that unions' political ground game may be as potent as ever in the new age of super PACs.

EEOC issues domestic violence guidance

Source: Cathleen Flahardy , Inside Counsel

Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a series of questions and answers to employers in an effort to reiterate its commitment to justice for vulnerable individuals.

Goldman urges court to require arbitration in gender bias case

Source: Nate Raymond , Chicago Tribune

A lawyer for Goldman Sachs urged a U.S. appeals court Wednesday to send a former employee's gender discrimination dispute to arbitration rather than allow her to proceed with a proposed class action.

November 6, 2012

Eveleth police lieutenant suing city for age discrimination

Source: Mark Stodghill , Duluth News Tribune

The second-highest-ranking member of the Eveleth Police Department is suing the Iron Range city, claiming he was more qualified than the officer chosen as police chief and that he was passed over because of his age.

Discrimination Lawsuit Against Catholic Church Becomes Question of "Ministerial Exception

Source: Human Resources Journal

The Music Director for St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Austin, TX, was fired. He sued, claiming violations of the ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), but the case was ultimately decided based on whether or not the church was entitled to the ministerial exception.

Supreme Court split on class action cases

Source: Greg Stohr , Philly.com

Two class-action disputes divided the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday as companies looked to build on the victory won last year when the justices threw out a nationwide sex-bias suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

November 5, 2012

Social media takes workplace harassment to new levels

Source: Joan Farrell , HR.BLR.com

As if employers didn't have enough trouble preventing harassment in the workplace, now employees have newer, faster, more subtle ways to send and receive offensive comments, photos, and videos.

Paid sick days: Portland shouldn't rush to approve a new mandate

Source: Susan Nielson , The Oregonian

Portland's neighbors to the north and south -- Seattle and San Francisco -- require most employers to offer paid sick time to their employees

Federal workplace collections for Hurricane Sandy victims allowed

Source: Eric Yoder, Washington Post

Federal agencies have been told they may solicit contributions from federal workers for victims of Hurricane Sandy outside the government's normal charity drive.

October 31, 2012

EEOC Provides Guidance on the Application of Employment Discrimination Laws to Instances of Domestic Violence, Stalking

Source: Ilyse Schuman, DC Employment Law

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released a question and answer fact sheet that appears to extend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to protect employees or applicants who have experienced domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking outside of the workplace.

Inside HR: Jessica Miller-Merrell on How Social Media and Mobile Are Changing HR

Source: Jessica Miller , Monster Thinking

Human resources professionals are finally beginning to understand social media, mobile technology and the effect they are having on employees and the workplace, Jessica Miller-Merrill of Xceptional HR told Monster at the Society for Human Resource Management's 2012 conference in Atlanta.

Workplace bullying is all too real, victims say

Source: Greg Dawson, Orlando Sentinel

Laura Dunavent's voice still quavers when she recalls the darkest chapter of her life.

October 30, 2012

A Growing Focus on Pregnancy Discrimination

Source: Kecia Bal , Human Resource Executive

While a patchwork of federal laws already prohibit discrimination against employees affected by pregnancy or childbirth, recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuits, as well as its recently announced enforcement plan, show a growing focus on defending mothers' rights in the workplace

Straight Allies Advocate for LGBT Equality in the Workplace [Article no longer available]

Source: Harris Interactive , Sacramento Bee

Straight allies, in large numbers, flex their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) coworkers, according to the 2012 Out & Equal Workplace Survey.

3 Myths about Severance Pay

Source: Blogging4Jobs, Mike Haberman

I get occasional calls from clients asking me about severance pay. What is required? What is customary?

October 29, 2012

Starbucks Sued by Baristas, Managers over Tip-Sharing

Source: Michele Bowman , Lawyers.com

Should Starbucks baristas have to share their tips with their shift supervisors?

Presidential Election's Impact on HR and Employment Law

Source: The Proactive Employer

But have you thought about where the candidates stand on issues related to human resources and employment law?

Many American workplaces are becoming more segregated

Source: Kevin Stainback and Donald Tomaskovic-Devey, Washington Post

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on an affirmative action.

October 26, 2012

Walmart Worker Wins $1.5 Million for Verbal Abuse by Boss

Source: Sylvia Hsieh, Lawyers.com

As Walmart employees stage their first retail-worker strike across the country, a 42-year-old former assistant manager has won a $1.5 million lawsuit for being mistreated by a store manager.

Wynn Employee Voter Guide Pressures Workers To Vote Right

Source: Christina Wilkie, Nate Hindman , Huffington Post

Wynn Resorts, the third-largest casino operator in the U.S., recently mailed a "2012 General Election Voter Guide" to its 12,000 employees in Nevada

Why Your Company's Social Media Policy May Be Illegal Part II - But Employees Can be Fired for Facebook Posts

Source: Pedram Tabibi , LIBN

The value of a good social media policy for a company cannot be overstated.

October 25, 2012

Red Lobster Short-Changes Servers to Avoid Obamacare

Source: Michele Bowman , Lawyers.com

Sticking it to waiters and waitresses who are already underpaid and overworked is turning out to be business as usual for Darden Restaurants Inc., which owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster.

Young women can tackle pay issue head-on [Article no longer available]

Source: Diane Stafford , Kansas Star

This is a must read for women graduating from college:

Don't assume your first pay offer will be the same as what a similar male graduate will get.

Women Must Stand Up for Themselves in the Workplace

Source: Helen Drinan , Huffington Post

By this time each fall, our campus is in full swing with students and faculty rushing to and from classes, meetings, and all the various activities.

October 24, 2012

Closing The Gender Wage Gap Would Create 'Huge' Economic Stimulus, Economists Say

Source: Laura Bassett, Huffington Post

Closing The Gender Wage Gap Would Create 'Huge' Economic Stimulus, Economists Say

What Do DOMA Decisions Mean for Employment Law?

Source: Stephanie Francis Ward , Huffington Post

As courts strike down laws that ban same-sex marriage, lawyers wonder if employers will change benefits to be more inclusive for lesbian and gay employees, reports Corporate Counsel.

NLRB Law Update - Recent NLRB Decisions That Affect The Non-Union Workplace

Source: James Hays & Rebecca Hirschklau , Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

Within the past year, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB" or the "Board") has taken action restricting normative and commonly found personnel policies of non-union employers.

October 23, 2012

EEOC Wins Summary Judgment on Liability in Baltimore County Pension Case

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Pension Plan Found to Be Discriminatory on the Basis of Age.

The Uncomfortable Truth About American Wages

Source: Michael Greenstone & Adam Looney, New York Times

Job creation has rightly been the central economic issue of the last three years as the United States continues its recovery.

Wal-Mart faces wage lawsuit as walkout threat looms

Source: Dan Levine and Jessica Wohl, Chicago Tribune

A new lawsuit accused Wal-Mart Stores Inc and two staffing agencies of requiring temporary employees to show up early for work, stay late, and work through lunch at the world's largest retailer.

October 19, 2012

Supreme Court to Hear Title VII, Class-Action Cases in 2012-13 Term

Source: Matthew Heller , Workforce

As Littler Mendelson's Garry Mathiason says, 'There are always some surprises from the Supreme Court.'

Walmart Strikes Spread Nationwide

Source: Aaron Kase, Lawyers.com

What started as isolated walkouts in California by employees of retail giant Walmart has spread to cities across the nation, as workers fight for better working conditions and the right to organize.

Lost wages: What records does your union need to keep; what policies should you develop?

Source: John Lund, Department of Labor

Suppose you've just been audited by Office of Labor-Management Standards and your closing letter says your local union "did not retain adequate documentation for lost wage reimbursement payments to the Treasurer and Vice President totaling at least 53 times."

October 18, 2012

A Court Ruling About Workplace Conduct That Will Blow Your Mind

Source: Eric B. Meyer , TLNT

Take a few minutes to read this court decision. It will blow your mind.

BellSouth Telecommunications to Pay $120,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment / Retaliation Suit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Telecom Giant Retaliated Against Women for Complaining About Sexual Harassment by Manager, Federal Agency Charged.

Wage gap? Gender gap? Answers from Obama and Romney fall through the cracks

Source: Mary McNamara , LA Times

During the second presidential debate, the candidates dance around a question about workplace inequalities and fail to connect with a key constituency.

October 16, 2012

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to federal employment laws [Article no longer available]

Source: Ann Bowden-Hollis, Sun Herald

Growing businesses frequently become subject to a variety of federal employment laws because of increasing the number of employees "on the payroll."

Labor: An employee's Facebook pictures rightly cost him his job

Source: John Kuenstler , Inside Counsel

Employers might "like" this: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently ruled on its first social media termination case, finding in favor of the employer.

'Old White Man' Wins $1.8 Million for Job Discrimination

Source: Sylvia Hsieh, Lawyers.com

A former Wisconsin state official won $1.8 million, claiming his boss transferred him to a job 110 miles from his home in order rid the agency of "old white men" and for supporting another worker's discrimination complaint.

October 15, 2012

US Department of Labor launches virtual Workplace Flexibility Toolkit during National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Source: News Release , US Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor has launched its online Workplace Flexibility Toolkit to provide employees, job seekers, employers, policymakers and researchers with information, resources and a unique approach to workplace flexibility.

Court Orders AA Foundries to Take Extensive Measures to Prevent Racial Harassment

Source: Press Release, EEOC

EEOC Sued After Superintendent Frequently Used Racially Derogatory Terms, Hanging Noose Found at Worksite; Order Follows Jury Verdict of $200,000

Walmart Strike Memo Reveals Confidential Management Plans

Source: Alice Hines , Huffington Post

Walmart launched a large-scale response this week to a series of unprecedented labor strikes, according to a confidential document obtained by The Huffington Post

October 12, 2012

Memphis includes gays under anti-discrimination

Source: The Commercial Appeal , News Channel 9

The Memphis City Council has included sexual orientation and gender identity in an ordinance that bans discrimination in city hiring.

Darden tests limiting worker hours as health-care changes loom

Source: Sandra Pedicini, Orlando Sentinel

In an experiment apparently aimed at keeping down the cost of health-care reform, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has stopped offering full-time schedules to many hourly workers in at least a few Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters and LongHorn Steakhouses.

Obesity is Now Considered a Workplace Disability

Source: Lawyers.com

Under the original Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), obesity was considered a disability only when it was due to an underlying physiological disorder, like diabetes or a thyroid condition. Otherwise, obesity was considered a lifestyle choice.

October 11, 2012

Unmasking a Pretext for Res Ipsa Loquitur: A Proposal to Let Employment Discrimination Speak for Itself

Source: William R. Corbett , SSRN

Unmasking a Pretext for Res Ipsa Loquitur: A Proposal to Let Employment Discrimination Speak for Itself

Wendy's Franchisee to Pay $41,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Killeen Fast-Food Restaurant Refused to Hire Hearing-Impaired Applicant Despite His Qualifications, Federal Agency Charged

Work Advice: Fighting salary discrimination

Source: Karla L Miller , Washington Post

Reader: My company has a policy that, after so many years, your salary should be at mid-level on its salary charts

October 10, 2012

Private emails cost fire captain his job

Source: Nina Culver , Spokesman Review

The Spokane Valley Fire Department on Monday fired a captain who continued to send religious emails from his department email account despite numerous orders to stop.

California vetoes Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

Source: AU Law Forum , American University

During an eleventh hour vote, California governor Jerry Brown vetoed legislation which would have protected approximately 200,000 domestic workers in California by providing for overtime.

High court to hear biggest race case in six years

Source: Tom Curry , NBC

On Wednesday morning the United States Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the most important civil rights case to come before the justices in the past six years: a challenge to the use of race as a factor in admissions at the University of Texas.

October 9, 2012

Title IX complicates employee dispute case

Source: Cynthia Hua, Yale Daily News

The Title IX retaliation suit filed Friday afternoon by employee Susan Burhans is a common reaction to employment disputes, according to attorneys in the field.

For Judge in Firefighter Discrimination Case, an Evolving Opinion

Source: Mosi Secret, New York Times

One after another, nearly 150 white firefighters approached a lectern facing a federal judge and, voices sometimes trembling with anger, decried what they called a perversion of justice.

Age Discrimination: Older Workers Worry About Hiring Bias

Source: Ann Brenoff , Huffington Post

In the first 919 days that Jim Pawlak was out of work, he sent out 908 resumes and was called for fewer than 50 interviews.

October 5, 2012

EEOC: WSSU racially discriminated against white former employee

Source: Michael Hewlett , Winston Salem Journal

A white former employee of Winston-Salem State University, a historically black university, was a victim of racial discrimination when she was terminated, according to a ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Union County bank violates anti-discrimination laws, former exec says

Source: Ed Beeson , The Star Ledger

By today's standards, a small bank headquartered in Elizabeth gives its workers plum benefits: free health insurance, good salaries and a pension to which they don't have to contribute a dime.

WORKPLACE: Facebook decision goes against employee

Source: Jack Katzanek , Press Enterprise

The question about what an employee can post about her or his boss on a personal Facebook page remains a complicated one.

October 4, 2012

Female Walmart ex-employees file federal discrimination suit over promotions

Source: Jane Musgrave, Palm Beach Post

When Boca Raton resident Christina Going asked her boss at Walmart what she could do to snare a higher-paying position, the answer sounded like it was designed to give her ammunition for a discrimination lawsuit.

Hampton Inn Franchise to Pay $85K to Settle EEOC Race and National Origin Bias Suit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Franchise Fired White and Non-Hispanic Workers Because of Negative Stereotypes, Federal Agency Charged.

Payroll Tax Cut Is Unlikely to Survive Into Next Year

Source: Annie Lowrie, New York Times

Regardless of who wins the presidential election in November or what compromises Congress strikes in the lame-duck session to keep the economy from automatic tax increases and spending cuts, 160 million American wage earners will probably see their tax bills jump after Jan. 1.

October 3, 2012

Hiring based on appearance can lead to discrimination claim

Source: Katherine Loehrke, FLD Reporter

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently began an investigation of a Massachusetts-based coffee chain's alleged practice of hiring only attractive women.

Employee Rights To Fight Workplace Abuse Raised In 2 Supreme Court Cases

Source: Christina Wilkie, Huffington Post

The Supreme Court, in the term that began Monday, will rule on at least two disputes that could have a major impact on how employees fight alleged mistreatment by their employers.

Pao Says Kleiner Perkins Fired Her; Firm Denies It

Source: Nicole Perlroth, New York Times

Ellen Pao, the venture capitalist who sued Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for discrimination and retaliation last May.

October 2, 2012

Challenging Offensive Language in the Office

Source: Steven Petrow, New York Times

A couple of weeks ago, I was having lunch with some of my department colleagues when one of them told a "joke" that, while not blatantly homophobic, was certainly gay-unfriendly and not at all funny.

California Is Latest Stage for Election Battle Over Unions

Source: Adam Nagourney , New York Times

The battle to curb labor's political clout has moved from Wisconsin to California, where wealthy conservatives are championing a ballot measure that would bar unions from donating to candidates.

Woman Sues Over Personality Test Job Rejection [Article no longer available]

Source: Abby Ellin , ABC

More companies are turning to pre-employment personality tests.

October 1, 2012

St. Alexius Medical Center's Failure to Accommodate Employee with Cognitive Disability Draws EEOC Disability Lawsuit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Federal Agency Says Hospital Could Have Accommodated Employee Instead of Firing Her

Pregnancy Discrimination In The Workplace Target Of New EEOC Crackdown

Source: Christina Wilkie, Huffington Post

During the past week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed four pregnancy discrimination related lawsuits and settled a fifth.

September 28, 2012

3 Tips for Job-Seeking Boomers Hoping to Combat Age Discrimination

Source: U.S. News & World Report , Huffington Post

Recently, the research and consulting firm Millennial Branding firm teamed up with the career networking site Beyond.com to survey more than 5,000 job seekers about their job search.

September 27, 2012

Wisconsin Judge Restores Stripped Worker Rights

Source: Aaron Kase, Lawyers.com

A judge in Wisconsin has restored collective bargaining rights to Wisconsin's public sector employees, ruling that a law signed by Gov. Scott Walker last year limiting union power is unconstitutional.

Women face host of obstacles to retirement

Source: Christine Dugas, USA Today

When Jeanne Majors, 63, took an early retirement in December 2005, she assumed that she would pick up a part-time job and be in good financial shape. She didn't know that her future would quickly fall apart.

Senate Republicans Challenge Obama's Recess Appointments

Source: Ashley Southall , New York Times

Senate Republicans have filed a friend-of-the-court brief challenging President Obama's appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, reigniting a confrontation over presidential power.

September 26, 2012

EEOC Teaching Teens About their Workplace Rights

Source: Kristen Frasch, Human Resource Executive

In what appears to be a continuation of its revved up enforcement of - and attention to - workers' rights, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken another employee group under its wing: teenagers.

Scully Distribution to Pay $630,000 to Settle EEOC Class Action Race Discrimination Suit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Scully Distribution to Pay $630,000 to Settle EEOC Class Action Race Discrimination Suit

Federal panel hears arguments in Wis. union case [Article no longer available]

Source: AP, CBS News

A federal appeals court in Chicago heard arguments Monday on the constitutionality of Wisconsin's law restricting collective bargaining by public employees -- one of several related appeals working their way through the courts.

September 25, 2012

NJ pays millions in sex harassment cases

Source: AP , NECN

Soon after joining New Jersey's corrections officer academy, Gina Marie DiPasquale was taken aback by what she saw as blatant harassment of female trainees.

Job-Hunting with a Criminal Record

Source: Lawyers.com

There are 65 million adults in the United States with a record of arrest or conviction that can interfere with their ability to find and keep a job.

As More Companies Recruit with Pre-Employment Tests, Questions of Bias Percolate

Source: Molly McDonough , ABA Journal

Companies are increasingly relying on pre-employment testing to find the employees with the right fit for the job. But as the testing becomes more common, so are complaints about bias and possible risk to employers.

September 24, 2012

3 Tips for Job-Seeking Boomers Hoping to Combat Age Discrimination

Source: Ritika Trikha , US News & World Report

Recently, the research and consulting firm Millennial Branding firm teamed up with the career networking site Beyond.com to survey more than 5,000 job seekers about their job search. And they found that Baby Boomers--folks in their late forties to sixties--are having the toughest time finding jobs compared to other generations.

NJ Transit settles discrimination suit with police [Article no longer available]

Source: AP, Sacramento Bee

New Jersey Transit has agreed to pay 10 police officers $5.8 million to settle a discrimination lawsuit.

Chemcore to Pay $30,000 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Suit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Wholesale Supplier Fired Employee Hours After She Reported Pregnancy, Agency Charged

September 21, 2012

Judge denies Home Depot's demand for worker's emotion-laden Facebook posts

Source: Lisa Vaas , Naked Security

A federal California judge has ruled that Home Depot can't rummage through a former worker's Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media posts and pictures to prove that she lied about emotional distress caused by her employer's alleged wrongdoing.

EEOC's Youth@Work Outreach Campaign

Source: Gabrielle Erway , The Proactive Employer

While the EEOC works diligently to enforce laws prohibiting employment discrimination, the agency also believes strongly in preventing such issues from arising in the first place and sees education as the first line of defense.

W. Sac firm refused to let woman return to work after maternity leave, feds allege

Source: Denny Walsh , Sacramento Bee

A federal agency is accusing a West Sacramento security services firm of unlawfully refusing to allow a security officer to return to work after maternity leave.

September 20, 2012

Intellectually Disabled Workers Awarded $1.3M for Pay Discrimination by Henry's Turkey Service

Source: Press Release , EEOC

Further Proceedings on Disability-Based Abuse and Harassment Allegations Lie Ahead.

Ohio franchisee who runs Pa. Panera stores agrees to settle black worker's discrimination suit [Article no longer available]

Source: AP , Washington Post

An Ohio franchisee who runs several western Pennsylvania Panera Bread stores has agreed to pay more than $76,000 to settle discrimination claims by current and former black employees.

Jury awards fired worker back pay from RadioShack in age bias suit [Article no longer available]

Source: Sandra Baker , Star Telegram

A federal jury in Colorado awarded a Denver man $187,000 in back pay Tuesday after finding that Fort Worth-based RadioShack illegally fired him for filing an age discrimination complaint.

September 19, 2012

Sterling Savings Bank Sued for Alleged Labor Law Violations [Article no longer available]

Source: Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC , Sacramento Bee

Sterling Savings Bank systematically violated federal and state labor laws by denying overtime pay to mortgage loan officers and other mortgage origination employees, the Rowdy Meeks Legal Group LLC and Johnson Johnson Larson & Schaller, PC allege in a lawsuit filed in Oregon federal court.

Lawsuits over worker pay soar as economy struggles

Source: Sandra Pedicini , Orlando Sentinel

A recent lawsuit accusing Orlando-based Darden Restaurants of underpaying servers is one of a growing number of legal actions by workers who say their employers have shortchanged them.

Wisconsin Union Law Appeal: Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Asks For Stay

Source: Scott Bauer, Huffington Post

Wisconsin's attorney general on Tuesday appealed a court ruling repealing major parts of Gov. Scott Walker's law effectively ending collective bargaining for most public workers.

September 18, 2012

Workers Standing Up for Their Rights in Record Numbers

Source: Michele Bowman , Lawyers.com

Record numbers of workers are standing up for their rights when it comes to being treated fairly on the job.

Age Discrimination Keeping Boomers From Employment

Source: Huffington Post

The Great Recession has dealt its fare share of setbacks, but some would argue boomers have been hit significantly harder than the rest of the nation, especially with news that older unemployed workers are less likely to get hired again.

Watchdog says NLRB general counsel violated ethics rules in Wal-Mart case [Article no longer available]

Source: AP , Washington Post

The top lawyer at the National Labor Relations Board violated federal ethics rules by helping investigate a case involving Wal-Mart Stores Inc. despite holding a financial interest in the company, the board's inspector general has found.

September 17, 2012

Filipino nurses win language discrimination settlement

Source: Ahn Do, Los Angeles Times

At $975,000, it's believed to be the largest language discrimination settlement in the U.S. healthcare industry. Officials at Delano Regional Medical Center say they did nothing wrong and settled only because it made financial sense.

Filterfresh Coffee Services Pays $90,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination Suit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Federal Agency Charged Company Fired Female Employee but Provided Male Counterpart With More Opportunities

Note if worker drops ADA accommodations ball

Source: The HR Specialist , Business Management Daily

Employers and employees are supposed to engage in the interactive accommodations process once an employee indicates she may be disabled. If she doesn't cooperate, document it.

September 14, 2012

Amendment to New York Wage Deduction Statute Expands Allowable Deductions

Source: Workplace Resource Center , Jackson Lewis LLP

Expanding the scope of permissible deductions from wages under New York law, Governor Andrew Cuomo, on September 7, 2012, has signed legislation amending New York Labor Law §193.

Red Lobster: We Sea FLSA Differently

Source: Gabrielle Erway , The Proactive Employer

Employees of one of the nation's largest restaurant operators have filed suit against the company in federal court.

EEOC sues Leona's alleging unfulfilled settlement

Source: Mary Ellen Podmolick , Chicago Tribune

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Leona's Pizzaria, Inc., alleging that the restaurant chain failed to abide by an agreement resolving employment discrimination claims.

September 13, 2012

Bojangles' to Pay over $30,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Greensboro Restaurant Fired Worker for Complaining About Abuse, Federal Agency Charged

Miles Kimball Company to Pay $95,000 To Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Source: Press Release , EEOC

Deaf Employee Was Fired After Being Denied Interpreter, Federal Agency Charged

Compensating Your Employees Fairly: A Guide to Internal Pay Equity

Source: The Proactive Employer

I've been racking up the frequent flyer miles lately speaking about internal pay equity.

September 12, 2012

US Foods Settles EEOC Race Discrimination Suit for $165,000

Source: Press Release , EEOC

Food Service Distribution Company Fired Employee Due to Race, Federal Agency Charged

EEOC warns employers against enforcing confidentiality during workplace investigations

Source: Kristen Erinburg , Crain's Cleveland

Last week, my blog focused on the potential consequences of the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) recent decision prohibiting blanket confidentiality policies relative to workplace investigations.

September 11, 2012

California Civil Attorneys: New Labor Law Protects Big Worker Group [Article no longer available]

Source: Linda Garcia , US Politics Today

The new labor law provides workers with overtime pay, meal and rest periods, and uninterrupted sleep periods and compensation for interruptions.

Samsung accused of sexual discrimination at China plant

Source: Ryan Huang, ZD Net

The South Korean firm is facing allegations from a labor rights group that its hiring practices violated Chinese law, after it put up a recruitment poster for female workers without communicable diseases.

The EEOC Strategic Enforcement Plan Infographic

Source: Stephanie R. Thomas, PhD., The Proactive Employer

Here's the EEOC Strategic Enforcement Plan - in infographic form.

September 10, 2012

California Gov. Brown signs bill banning religious discrimination [Article no longer available]

Source: Stephen Magagnini , Sacramento Bee

Blue, green, saffron, red, pink and black turbans crowded around Gov. Jerry Brown on the north steps of the Capitol on Saturday when he signed two bills designed to battle anti-Sikh discrimination.

Appeals ruling revives ADA case against United

Source: Reuters , Chicago Tribune

A federal appeals court has revived an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit against United Airlines Inc., and said U.S. law generally requires employers to reassign disabled workers to vacant jobs for which they are qualified.

Court Rules Employers Must Reassign Disabled Workers to Vacant Jobs

Source: Jonathan Stempal, Insurance Journal

A federal appeals court has revived an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit against United Airlines Inc., and said U.S. law generally requires employers to reassign disabled workers to vacant jobs for which they are qualified.

September 7, 2012

Kauai County in Hawaii Settles EEOC Race Harassment Case for $120,000

Source: Press Release, EEOC

White County Attorney Subjected to Racially Disparaging Remarks by Top-Level Manager, Federal Agency Charged

NLRB Loses Court Challenge Over Secret Ballots

Source: Melanie Trotman , Wall Street Journal

A federal government agency lost its court challenge of an Arizona constitutional amendment that guarantees workers in the state can vote by secret ballot on whether to join a union.

Michigan high court allows pro-union measure on November ballot

Source: Reuters

Michigan voters may decide in November whether to enshrine a right to collective bargaining in the state's constitution, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday, in a victory for labor unions in the state that is home to major auto companies.

September 6, 2012

How Long is Too Long for a Medical Leave of Absence?

Source: John Hyman, Workforce

If you are granting a leave to an employee as an accommodation, your best defense to a potential ADA claim is to open a dialogue with the employee about a return date, and prepare to be flexible.

Arizona Wins Ruling in Labor Fight Over Union Ballots

Source: Karen Gullo, Bloomberg

Arizona defeated a U.S. government court challenge to a law requiring that union elections be held using a secret ballot as opposed to using the so-called card- check.

EEOC Draft Plan Prioritizes Employer Hiring Practices

Source: Jenna Greene, Law.com

Faced with a rising caseload and shrinking resources, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a draft strategic enforcement plan that calls for bringing cases with the broadest possible impact and eliminating systemic barriers in recruitment and hiring.

September 5, 2012

EEOC Seeks Input on Strategic Enforcement Plan

Source: Press Release, EEOC

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released for public comment a draft of its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP)

Wells Fargo worker fired for fake dime files civil rights complaint

Source: AP, DeMoines Register

Richard Eggers, a 68-year-old call center worker fired for putting a cardboard cutout of a dime in a laundry machine in 1963, has filed state and federal civil rights complaints against his former employer, the firm that did his criminal background check, and federal banking regulators.

Christians Claim Workplace Discrimination in Landmark Case

Source: Harvey Morris, New York Times

One of Europe's highest courts is considering a landmark decision on the employment rights of Christians, including two British women who were disciplined for wearing crucifix necklaces at work.

September 4, 2012

6 challenges affecting the American worker

Source: John Gallagher, Katherine Yung, Zlati Meyer and Susan Tompor, USA Today

Labor Day means more than a chance to relax and eat hot dogs. It's also a time to reflect on the challenges facing the American worker.

EEOC Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Modify FOIA Regulations

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Changes Affect Certain FOIA Procedures

EEOC Lawyer Advises Careful Navigation of Issues in the Workplace

Source: Bulletin to Management, Bloomberg

Although it might not be obvious, he said, navigating issues that arise from social media use in the workplace involves EEOC-related topics and "can create an absolute legal mine field for employers."

August 31, 2012

Fry's Electronics to pay $2.3 million in sexual harassment case

Source: Tiffany Hsu, LA Times

Fry's settles a federal lawsuit alleging that the retailer retaliated against a supervisor who reported a sexual harassment claim.

New disclosures give workers a better look at 401(k) fees

Source: David Nicklaus, St. Louis Today

If you're like most 401(k) participants, you probably ignored the long disclosure document you got recently.

NLRB Rules on Keeping Employees From Discussing HR Investigations

Source: Catherine Dunn, Law.com

Companies may want to think twice about how they instruct employees to keep mum during internal HR investigations, following a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board.

August 30, 2012

California Social Media Privacy Bill Would Put New Restrictions On Employers (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Source: Aaron Sankin , Huffington Post

Rule number one when applying for a job: lock down your Facebook

New Tennessee unemployment law makes changes helpful to employers

Source: Kara E. Shea, HR Hero

Tennessee's Unemployment Insurance Accountability Act, which takes effect September 1, amends the state's unemployment statute in ways helpful to employers.

Bill gives domestic workers union-style work rules

Source: Don Thompson, Mercury News

Nannies, housekeepers, childcare providers and caregivers in California would be eligible for overtime and meal breaks under a bill making its way through the Legislature.

August 29, 2012

Managing Mental Health at Work

Source: Melissa Korn , Wall Street Journal

John Binns, a partner in the consulting practice at U.K.-based Deloitte LLP, assumed his career "would be finished" after he took a two-month leave in 2007 to treat a severe bout of depression.

California workers' compensation bill faces difficulties

Source: Marc Lifsher, LA Times

Advocates for low-income injured workers and the attorneys who represent them are furiously rejecting a proposed overhaul of the state's complex, costly workers' compensation insurance system.

EEOC Obtains $2.75 Million from WRS Compass for Victims of Race Harassment at Clean-Up Site

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Federal Agency Said Company Subjected Black Workers to Nooses and Other Abuse; White Workers Who Associated With Blacks Were Also Harassed

August 28, 2012

ABCO West Electrical Will Pay $23,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: American University , American University Labor & Employment Law

Construction Company Fired and Then Refused to Rehire Amputee, Federal Agency Charged.

ABCO West Electrical Will Pay $23,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Construction Company Fired and Then Refused to Rehire Amputee, Federal Agency Charged.

Court: Age discrimination unproven in Boeing sale

Source: Roxana Hegeman , Business Week

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that former employees of The Boeing Co. failed to demonstrate a pattern of age discrimination in the wake of the 2005 sale of its commercial aircraft business in Kansas and Oklahoma.

August 27, 2012

'Bitch' as Sexual Harassment: Context Matters (Sort of)

Source: John Hyman , Workforce

Common use, however, has not neutralized the word as a matter of law.

Labor Department Clarifies Compliance Rules For Internet Hiring

Source: John Zappe , TLNT

If your employer does business with the federal government, you already know -- or should know -- the rules about Internet hiring.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholds Board decision on pre-recognition agreements

Source: Office of Public Affairs , NLRB

In a decision issued Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld a 2010 National Labor Relations Board ruling that an employer and union did not violate federal labor law by entering into an agreement establishing principles for bargaining if employees selected union representation.

August 24, 2012

Counseling as an ADA-Protected Medical Examination

Source: John Hyman , Workforce

If counseling qualifies as a covered medical exam, then employers, like WLAA, will have to rely on the statute's defense of job-relatedness and business necessity if an employee needs counseling.

Google's formula to retain women: Longer maternity leave

Source: Eve Tahmincioglu, Today

Many employers end up scratching their heads when women who are seemingly on the fast track to the corner office end up leaving their companies.

Burger King Sued For Discrimination After Allegedly Firing Pentecostal Christian For Wearing Skirt

Source: Meredith Bennett-Smith , Huffington Post

Burger King's motto might be "Have it your way," but the slogan's rhetorical generosity does not, apparently, apply to its employees.

August 23, 2012

Courts to NLRB: We don't care what you think about class action waivers

Source: Nate Raymond , Thompson Reuters

The National Labor Relations Board threw a wild card at employment lawyers in January when it held companies couldn't require workers to sign away their rights to bring collective actions.

Gay man sues Library of Congress, alleging discrimination

Source: Lisa Rein , Washington Post

Peter TerVeer was an up-and-coming auditor for the Library of Congress's inspector general's office.

California Social Media Privacy Bill Would Put New Restrictions On Employers

Source: Aaron Sankin , Huffington Post

Rule number one when applying for a job: lock down your Facebook profile's privacy settings.

August 22, 2012

EEOC taking longer to complete appeals, hearings, investigations

Source: Stephen Losey, Federal Times

Significantly more federal employees are taking their discrimination cases all the way to the appeals process.

7 Updates on NLRB and OFCCP Proposed Rules and Posters

Source: CAI, Workplace Insight

Make sure your company is complying with recent changes in employment regulations and up to date on the newest proposals from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

Official's Lawsuit Claims Discrimination Against Men at U.S. Immigration Agency

Source: Kirk Semple, New York Times

The lawsuit, filed by a top federal immigration official in New York, alleges that he was shunted out of a high-level position in the agency in favor of a less-qualified woman because he was a man.

August 21, 2012

For Some Women, Discrimination Prevents Return to Work

Source: Bryce Covert, The Nation

Women have yet to recover in the recovery.

Health care enrollment time tries workers

Source: Christine Dugas, USA Today

As the open-enrollment season for health benefits approaches, many workers will be making some bad choices, according to a new survey.

Judge Dismisses Whistle-Blower Suit Against Infosys

Source: Julia Preston , New York Times

A federal judge in Alabama on Monday dismissed a lawsuit by an American employee of Infosys, the giant Indian outsourcing company.

August 20, 2012

I refused a job transfer -- what now?

Source: Suzzane Lucas , CBS

I have been with my company for five years.

EEOC Warns Against Silencing Employees During Investigations

Source: Shannon Green , Law.com

A recent letter sent by a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission field office to an employer is giving some employment lawyers pause.

Some companies slash labor costs by flouting federal laws [Article no longer available]

Source: Mandy Locke , The Sacramento Bee

As a commercial masonry contractor, Doug Burton prides himself on being exact.

August 17, 2012

The Motherhood Penalty: We're in the Midst of a 'Mom-Cession'

Source: Bonnie Rochman, Time

Married mothers find it harder to secure a new job after being laid off and when they do, they earn less than married fathers.

US goes after employers on job bias

Source: Sam Hananel, News Leader

EEOC filing more class action lawsuits

Puyallup Truck Dealership Sued by EEOC for National Origin and Sexual Harassment

Source: Press Release, EEOC

A Puyallup, Wash., used-truck dealership violated federal law when its general manager engaged in ongoing harassment targeting a Filipino American male employee, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

August 16, 2012

The Supreme Court To Define Supervisor For Purposes of Title VII

Source: AU Law Forum , American University Labor & Employment Law

In a case that could have far reaching implications for employers, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear Vance v. Ball State University, a case in which the Court will define "supervisor" for purposes of determining an employer's liability for harassment under Title VII.

Solyndra agrees to pay $3.5 million in a settlement with its laid-off employees

Source: George Avalas, Mercury News

Solyndra has agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle claims that the bankrupt solar company failed to properly notify employees that it was halting operations.

EEOC and NLRB Tag Team Workplace Investigations

Source: Philip Miles, Lawffice Space

The EEOC's Buffalo office recently issued a letter condemning the practice of threatening employees with discipline for "discussing 'the matter.'"

August 15, 2012

When the Boss Is a Screamer

Source: Sue Shellenbarger , Wall Street Journal

Shouting Is Less Tolerated in the Workplace, but Nasty Emails and Other Ways of Venting Take a Toll

Combat Cattiness: 4 Tips To Downplay Drama And Foster Productivity

Source: Kelsey Mayer , Forbes

Drama in the workplace is extremely counterproductive. I've heard horror stories about coworkers instigating drama and bitterness in organizations.

Worker Wage-and-Hour Suits Rise in Difficult Labor Market

Source: Emily Grannis , Business Week

Lawsuits by U.S. workers contesting wages and hours, including demands for overtime pay, reached a 20-year high this year as unemployment remained above 8 percent.

August 14, 2012

Workplace Sexual Harassment and Negative Effects for All Employees: Harms Beyond Targets

Source: Dan Defoe, Psycholawgy

Sexual harassment in the workplace harms the targets of the mistreatment.

One more 'right': to join a union

Source: Opinion Contributor , Politico

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his final State of the Union Speech on Jan. 11, 1944, called on Congress to create a "Second Bill of Rights."

Muslim employee's suit accuses Disney of bias over head scarf

Source: Kate Mather , LA Times

Imane Boudlal charges that she was harassed after she began wearing a hijab in 2010 while working as a cafe hostess.

August 10, 2012

Accuracy in Criminal Background Checks

Source: Editorial , New York Times

For far too long, the federal government has neglected its responsibility for regulating the companies that provide criminal background checks used by 9 in 10 companies to screen job applicants.

Employers Brace for EEOC 'Red Zone' Lawsuits [Article no longer available]

Source: Andrew Lu, Reuters

It is August and we are now entering the "Red Zone" period for EEOC lawsuits against employers.

Janet Napolitano-run Homeland Security treated male staffers like lapdogs, federal discrimination lawsuit charge

Source: Joseph Straw , Reuven Blau and Rich Schapiro , New York Daily News

James Hayes Jr., who now is New York's top Homeland Security cop, claims Napolitano filled top spots in Washington, D.C., with two of her gal pals who were bent on tormenting male employees.

August 9, 2012

Should You Tell Your Employer About Your Side Job?

Source: Rebecca Thorman , US News & World Report

Low wages, pay freezes, and the threat of layoffs mean that for many employees a second job is a necessity. But does your employer agree?

Doctor's Dilemma: Medically Proving That Watching Pig Pornography Is Stressful

Source: Terrence McCoy, Houston Press

Doctor unveiling the link between sexual harassment in the workplace, and emotional distress.

Company learns hard way to take sexual harassment seriously

Source: Jane Ann Morrison, Las Vegas Review Journal

Prospect Airport Services didn't take it seriously when Rudolpho Lamas complained that a young female co-worker was sexually harassing him

August 7, 2012

Forced to resign: What are your options?

Source: Suzzane Lucas , CBS News

Dear Evil HR Lady, My employer asked me to resign.

Morningside House of Ellicott City to Pay $25,000 for Religious Discrimination

Source: Press Release, EEOC

EEOC Says Muslim Applicant Denied Hire Because of Hijab.

Thin Is In For Executive Women: How Weight Discrimination Contributes To The Glass Ceiling

Source: Lisa Quast, Forbes

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2012/08/06/thin-is-in-for-executive-women-as-weight-discrimination-contributes-to-glass-ceiling/

August 6, 2012

Make family leave affordable for parents

Source: Elen Bravo, Times Union

Nearly two decades ago, on Aug. 5, 1993, the United States took a stride forward by implementing the Family and Medical Leave Act. But we've got further to go.

How to handle partial-day absences under FMLA

Source: The HR Specialist , Business Management

Sometimes, an employee needs just a few hours of FMLA leave to make a doctor's appointment or to drive a relative to treatment.

Caldwell Freight Lines to Pay $120,000 to Settle EEOC Race Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Freight Delivery Company Refused to Hire Blacks, Federal Agency Charged.

August 3, 2012

dELia's Will Pay $75,000 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Retailer Harassed and Terminated Pregnant Employees, Federal Agency Charged.

EEOC Intake Form Is Sufficient Notice of Discrimination Claim

Source: David Gialanella, Law.com

Huntington Ingalls, Inc., the present owner of the shipyard in Newport News, Va., and its contractor Quality Coatings of Virginia, Inc. of Chesapeake, Va., will pay $80,000 to settle a lawsuit for retaliation filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced Monday.

Temp Employees Removed From Ship After Reporting Sexual Harassment By Female Supervisor Against Men

Source: Anneline Waldman , The Job Mouse

Huntington Ingalls, Inc., the present owner of the shipyard in Newport News, Va., and its contractor Quality Coatings of Virginia, Inc. of Chesapeake, Va., will pay $80,000 to settle a lawsuit for retaliation filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced Monday.

August 2, 2012

Members of Moreland Auto Group Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Lawsuit for Retaliation

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Former Employee to Receive Maximum Amount Allowed Based on Size of Employer.

Judge Declines to Reconsider Union-Organizing Rule

Source: Melanie Trottman , Wall Street Journal

The federal district judge who struck down a National Labor Relations Board rule that would have quickened union-organizing elections has denied the board's request that he reconsider the decision.

Now illegal for Illinois employers to ask for Facebook logins

Source: AP, Fox News

Seeking to guard the privacy rights of the social networking generation, Illinois is making it illegal for employers to ask job applicants for passwords to their online profiles.

August 1, 2012

Mary Bullock's Discrimination Lawsuit Against Anti-Discrimination Agency Most Ironic Lawsuit Ever?

Source: Huffington Post

You would think that the agency charged with protecting workers from discrimination would know a thing or two about how not to get sued for discrimination. Apparently not.

Restaurant associations take action on behalf of workforce [Article no longer available]

Source: NRA staff , Restaraunt.org

Restaurant industry trade associations have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor on behalf of restaurants and restaurant employees who share in tips and participate in tip pools.

NLRB Takes Aim At Employment-At-Will Clauses In Employee Handbooks

Source: American University , American University

As discussed in previous postings on this site, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is devoting a significant amount of attention to "concerted activity" under Section 7 of the NLRA, and is aggressively working to expand the "concerted activity" definition.

July 31, 2012

2nd Circuit rebuffs challenge to Buffalo firefighter test

Source: West Law, Thompson Reuters

The city of Buffalo, New York, did not discriminate against African-Americans with the test it used to promote firefighters, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Twin span sexual harassment case overturned by federal appeals court

Source: Ramon Antonio Vargas, Nola.com

A federal appeals court has overturned a jury's decision last year to award hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to a post-Katrina bridge repair worker who claimed his former crew superintendent at Boh Bros. Construction Co. sexually harassed him.

Unemployed Face Discrimination Just One Month After Losing Their Jobs, Report Says

Source: Arthur Delaney , Huffington Post

A new research paper suggests potential employers think less of unemployed job candidates no matter how briefly they've been out of work.

July 30, 2012

Chick-Fil-A Gay Flap A 'Wakeup Call' For Companies

Source: Elise Hu , NPR

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A has long stood by its Bible-based roots, keeping stores closed on Sundays and donating millions to Christian causes.

Lettire Construction Agrees to Pay Back Wages for Workers

Source: Charles V. Bagli, New York Times

Nicholas Lettire has won awards and political support for building affordable housing in Harlem and the Bronx, and for employing local workers at his construction sites.

Court Grants EEOC Injunction Against Prospect Airport Services

Source: Press Release, EEOC

A federal judge has ordered Prospect Airport Services, Inc., a provider of wheelchair assistance services to airline passengers, to implement extensive measures to prevent sexual harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

July 27, 2012

West Virginia High Court Affirms $2.1 Million Workplace Harassment Award

Source: Kevin D. Holden, Jackson Lewis LLP

A case from the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the state's highest court, demonstrates clearly why investigations of employee complaints of co-worker misconduct must be handled promptly and with care and sensitivity to the aggrieved employee's legitimate concerns for retaliation by the accused.

Seventh Circuit Reaffirms that Use of Gender-Specific Term Does Not Automatically Constitute Harassment

Source: Amy Moor Gaylord, Josh Meeuwse and Melanie Stewart, Franczek Radelet

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed earlier decisions holding that the use of gender-specific terms (e.g., "bitch") in the workplace does not automatically constitute harassment.

Health Care Reform: Critical Next Steps for Employers [Article no longer available]

Source: Steven Friedman and Ilyse Schuman , TNLT

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) presents employers with a number of immediate and critical decisions that they must take.

July 26, 2012

Seyfarth Shaw Study Shows Increase in Wage and Hour Labor Suits

Source: Blog of Legal Times

During the past five years there has been a steady increase in the number of lawsuits filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to research by Seyfarth Shaw.

You Can Be Fired for Being Too Fat, But You Might Collect a Fat Settlement Check, Too

Source: Stacy Zaretsky , Above the Law

Back in September 2011, we mentioned to our readers via Morning Docket that Ronald Kratz II, a 680-pound man, had allegedly been fired because he was too fat.

For Temp Workers, 'Temp' Looking More Permanent

Source: Yuki Noguchi, NPR

While the job market remains sluggish, temporary work is one area that's done very well in the economic recovery.

July 25, 2012

Kids R Us Childcare Company Settles EEOC Pregnancy Bias and Retaliation Suit for $75,00

Source: Press Release, EEOC

After Disclosing Pregnancy, Employee Demoted and Forced to Quit And Relatives Fired, Federal Agency Charged.

Fired obese worker will get $55,000

Source: L.M. Sixel , Houston Chronicle

BAE Systems Tactical Vehicle Systems has agreed to pay $55,000 and provide six months of outplacement services to a morbidly obese employee it fired.

Women Need a Raise in the Minimum Wage

Source: Bryce Covert, Forbes.com

Today marks three years to the day since the last increase in the federal minimum wage.

July 24, 2012

A Year After Dukes, the Impact on Employment Law Still Shaking Out

Source: Meghin Delaney, Law.com

But as the decision reverberates across the country, there's still not a clear long-term impact of Dukes on U.S. labor and employment law.

On Wall St., Gender Bias Runs Deep

Source: Lusita Torregrossa , New York Times

No doubt feminists everywhere, especially in the United States, celebrated July 16 when a 37-year-old female Google executive became the multimillion-dollar chief executive of Yahoo, the high-tech pioneer that has been struggling against its rivals.

Women farm workers win sex harassment case [Article no longer available]

Source: Christina Vega, Miami Herald

DiMare Ruskin will pay a $150,000 EEOC settlement after women tomato-pickers filed complaints that they were sexually harassed.

July 23, 2012

Our Ridiculous Approach to Retirement

Source: Teresa Ghiarducci, New York Times

I WORK on retirement policy, so friends often want to talk about their own retirement plans and prospects.

Job records ordered for 'literacy' discrimination case

Source: Deborah Elkins, VA Lawyers Weekly

The EEOC can obtain five years' worth of job assignment records from a company that deploys as many as 45,000 temporary workers on a weekly basis.

Illegal Aliens Are Not A Protected Class Under Title VII

Source: AU Law Forum , Labour Law Forum

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 clearly prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

July 20, 2012

U.S. Standards on Workplace Noise Trail Those of Other Countries

Source: Cara Buckley , New York Times

Noise levels recorded at nearly a dozen restaurants, gyms and bars in New York City reached heights that, if sustained over as little as two hours, would violate standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to protect workers' hearing.

Court Orders Hawaii HealthCare Professionals and Its Owner to Pay over $190,000 for Age Discrimination

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Owner Referred to Employee as a 'Bag of Bones,' Then Fired Her, Says EEOC.

Sexual harassment lawsuit roils Silicon Valley

Source: Ferrit Nirappal, Huffington Post

The Silicon Valley venture capital firm of Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfied & Byers has been generating buzz for decades, spotting early investment opportunities and making billions with companies like Google and Amazon.

July 18, 2012

Beware of latest EEOC restrictions: Criminal background checks valuable but can create employer liability

Source: Patricia F. Weisberg , Crain's Cleveland Business

Given the increased risks of hiring employees who have bad track records or who appear more likely to become a liability for employers because of a criminal history, criminal background checks have become necessary for many employers today.

DiMare Ruskin to Pay $150,000 and Furnish Nationwide Relief to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Source: Press Release , EEOC

Consent Decree Settles Suit Against Tomato Grower Which Fired Women for Complaining About Abuse, Federal Agency Charged

Cocktail Waitresses, Discrimination and the Entertainer Exemption

Source: The Proactive Employer

Can an employer demote - or even fire - an employee for becoming pregnant or gaining weight?

July 17, 2012

Low-wage workers will rally on 'Day of Action

Source: Lisa Colangelo , New York Daily News

They will join with community leaders and union organizers on July 24.

Why Democrats need labor unions

Source: Julian Zelizer , CNN

The rally is meant to send a message to the Democratic leadership, as well as to Republicans, that many workers feel as if they don't have a voice in the two-party system.

Disability Employment: Are We at the Tipping Point? Disability Employment: Are We at the Tipping Point?

Source: Senator Tom Harkin , Huffington Post

Later this month, when our country marks the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, many of the law's champions will lament that the employment situation for our citizens with disabilities has not improved since the ADA was signed.

July 16, 2012

Newly created jobs go mostly to men

Source: Don Lee, LA Times

Since the recession ended in June 2009, men have gained 80% of the 2.6 million net jobs created in the U.S., including 61% in the last year.

Pam Reeves: Employers should be aware of NLRB social media rulings

Source: Pam Reeves, Knox News

Pamela Reeves is a partner in the Knoxville law firm Reeves, Herbert & Murrian P.A. Because factual situations vary, competent legal counsel should be consulted for individual advice.

San Francisco may pay $762K for emergency dispatcher harrassment, gender discrimination lawsuit

Source: Joshua Sabatini, San Francisco Examiner

Two emergency dispatchers have reached a tentative $762,000 settlement in a lawsuit against San Francisco for employment retaliation.

July 13, 2012

10 Things You Didn't Know Were In The Affordable Care Act

Source: Christian Torres and David Schultz, TNLT

So you think the United States Supreme Court upheld a law that just requires most people to buy health insurance?

EEOC and Family Dollar Stores Sign Mediation Pact

Source: Press Release , EEOC

Agreement Covers 7,200 Stores With More Than 50,000 Team Members Nationwide.

Lawsuit Claims Race Bias at Wet Seal Retail Chain

Source: Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Asserting that the company had a high-level policy of firing and denying pay increases and promotions to African-American employees because they did not fit its "brand image."

July 12, 2012

Why Job Openings Don't Translate Into Jobs

Source: Matthew Phillips, Business Week

More blah news on the unemployment front, this time from the Labor Department's monthly survey on job openings and labor turnover, known as the JOLTS report.

Making work better: industrial organizational psychology

Source: AP, LA Times

Employees are the heart of any business, so recognizing their value and helping them work efficiently is vital to an organization's success.

Labor Department Computers Vulnerable to Leaks: Study

Source: Meera Louis, Business Week

Computer systems used by the U.S. Department of Labor to produce market-sensitive economic data are more likely to be a source of possible leaks...

July 11, 2012

Feds allege Bass Pro job discrimination

Source: Brian Lockhart , CT Post

Bass Pro Shops, the outdoor retailing giant announced last week as the first tenant for the city's Steel Point redevelopment, has been targeted by the federal government for alleged discriminatory hiring practices nationwide.

Unions Fight Scranton Mayor After He Cuts Pay to Minimum Wage

Source: Michael Cooper & Mary Williams Walsh, New York Times

When the city of Scranton, Pa., found itself down to its last $5,000 in the bank last week, its Democratic mayor took a highly unusual step.

RCC Consultants Will Pay $45,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: Press Release , EEOC

Company Revoked Conditional Job Offer After Discovering Candidate Had Vision Problems, Federal Agency Charged.

July 10, 2012

Racial discrimination lawsuit against Humana reinstated

Source: Judy Greenwald , Business Insurance

A federal appeals court has reinstated a putative class action racial discrimination case brought by a former Humana Inc. employee in a technical legal ruling.

Racial discrimination lawsuit against Humana reinstated

Source: Judy Greenwald , Business Insurance

A federal appeals court has reinstated a putative class action racial discrimination case brought by a former Humana Inc. employee in a technical legal ruling.

Kleiner Perkins loses key argument in Ellen Pao sex discrimination case

Source: Peter Delevet , Mercury News

The judge in a sex discrimination lawsuit that's riveted Silicon Valley ruled Monday that venerable venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers can't force a junior partner to take her complaint to binding arbitration.

July 9, 2012

Department of Homeland Security Announces Work Authorization Program for Certain Illegal Immigrants

Source: Workplace Resource Center , Jackson Lewis LLP

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has announced that certain young people who were brought to the United States as children and who are not presently authorized to remain in the United States ("DREAMers") will be considered for work authorization.

Is taking work home overtime?

Source: Kelly Yamanouchi , The Columbus Dispatch

In age of smartphones, remote access to PCs, hourly employees say they are due extra pay.

Raising Minimum Wage: A Help Or Harm?

Source: NPR Staff, NPR

Back in 1912, Massachusetts became the first place in America to introduce a minimum wage, but it would take another quarter century before a national minimum wage was set.

July 6, 2012

NLRB's Acting General Counsel Addresses Controversial Complaint Regarding At-Will Employment Language and Other Employee Handbook Provisions

Source: Scott J. Witlin, National Law Review

On June 11, 2012, NLRB Acting General Counsel, Lafe Solomon, addressed the Connecticut Bar Association, specifically discussing the issuance a complaint in February by Region 28 alleging a multitude of violations arising from the various rules contained in the company's employee handbook.

CIA cracks down on sexual harassment in its ranks [Article no longer available]

Source: Ken Dilanian, LA Times

Spy agency reacts to complaints of sexual harassment by women working in CIA war zones. Former officers say trysts are part of the agency's culture.

Sexual Orientation and Civil Rights

Source: Richard Lyon , Huffington Post

At its recent annual meeting in New Orleans, the Southern Baptist Convention overwhelmingly adopted a resolution declaring that marriage equality is not a civil right

July 5, 2012

How to Ask for a Leave of Absence

Source: Jessica Harper , US News & World Report

Tips to consider when asking for extended time off from work.

Can you be fired for what you post on Facebook?

Source: Josh Eidelson , Herald Bulletin

On a Saturday morning in October 2010, Mariana Cole-Rivera, a domestic violence advocate at the group Hispanics United of Buffalo, began the Facebook thread that would get her fired.

B.J. Con/Sew to Pay $75,000 to Settle EEOC Lawsuit for Harassent

Source: Press Release , EEOC

Hispanic Employee Had to Quit to Escape Harassment, Federal Agency Charged.

July 3, 2012

Transsexuals have few legal remedies

Source: Eric Weddie, Wall Street Journal

Laws from the federal level down to the city of Lafayette do little to protect employment, housing and health rights of transsexuals.

BP to Pay $5.4. Million on Gender Bias Complaints

Source: AP, New York Times

The oil company BP and its contractors have agreed to pay up to $5.4 million to resolve complaints that some women weren't considered for temporary jobs.

Obligatory use of E-Verify could lead to discrimination

Source: EFE, Fox News

Defenders of Hispanics in South Carolina warn that the law obliging companies to check the immigration status of new employees will spark discrimination against the community.

July 2, 2012

Minor adjustments: Complying with federal teen labor rules

Source: The HR Specialist , Business Management

It wasn't fun and games when stuffed-toy retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop was recently cited for child labor violations.

Courts Weigh in on FMLA Limits

Source: Michael P. Maslanka, FMLA

What's up with the Family and Medical Leave Act?

Law firms hit with discrimination suits

Source: Catherine Ho, Washington Post

Law firms that saw a flood of work defending corporations against such claims are finding they're not immune to the same types of lawsuits they're used to handling for clients.

June 29, 2012

Dealing with a Bad Boss

Source: John Beeson , Harvard Business Review

It's often said there's nothing certain in life except death and taxes.

Job screening policy casts too wide a net

Source: Janet Portman , Chicago Tribune

Q: We are about to hire a resident manager. We've always had a policy of asking whether applicants have ever been arrested or convicted.

What the Supreme Court's Health-Law Ruling Means for Consumers

Source: Louise Radnofsky , Wall Street Journal

The Supreme Court said Congress was acting within its powers under the Constitution when it required most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty.

June 28, 2012

Outsourcing Becomes Toxic in U.S. Presidential Campaign

Source: Heather Timmons, New York Times

Outsourcing has never been a popular term in the Western countries that lose jobs to emerging markets, but it has become positively toxic in the current United States presidential campaign.

Employee harassment suit against university to reach Supreme Court [Article no longer available]

Source: Evie Lichtenwalter , BSU Daily News

A harassment lawsuit brought against the university and four university employees in 2006 was granted writ of certiorari was granted on Monday.

EEOC Cracking Down on Not Hiring Convicted Criminals [Article no longer available]

Source: Andrew Lu , Reuters

As a business owner, it probably goes without saying that you know you can't base employment decisions on characteristics like someone's race, sex, or national origin.

June 26, 2012

Laws may keep obesity bias out of hiring

Source: Jim Patterson , Futurity.org

Two US cities could provide a national model for combating workplace discrimination because of obesity, according to a new paper.

FedEx Freight to Pay $115,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Company Hired Unqualified Man Over Three Qualified Women for Human Resources Position, Federal Agency Charged.

Supreme Court Decision on Arizona Immigration Law

Source: John Schwartz, New York Times

On Monday, the Supreme Court handed down a split decision on Arizona's 2010 immigration law.

June 25, 2012

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms Board finding that charge nurses are employees under the Act

Source: Office of Public Affairs , NLRB

In a published opinion that issued on Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has enforced a Board Order finding that a Michigan long-term care and rehabilitation center unlawfully refused to bargain with a unit of charge nurses.

St. Louis Restaurant Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Source: Press Release , EEOC

A St. Louis restaurant will pay $23,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

Supreme Court Upholds Key Part of Arizona Law

Source: Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal

The Supreme Court upheld a key part of Arizona's tough immigration law but struck down others as intrusions on federal sovereignty.

June 22, 2012

Transgender Rights in the Workplace Are Still Unclear

Source: Julie Turkewitz, The Atlantic

In fall 2007, Vandy Beth Glenn was a bill editor working beneath the gilded gold dome of the Georgia capitol building.

Equal Pay Plaintiffs' Burden of Proof

Source: Peter Coy and Elizabeth Dwoskin , Business Week

Lilly Ledbetter discovered she was underpaid one spring evening in 1998 at the start of her overnight shift as a manager at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber

Supreme Court curbs union abuse

Source: Jennifer Rubin , Washington Post

It's not been a good year for Big Labor. The Keystone XL pipeline got nixed. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) survived the recall, and now the Supreme Court has gotten serious about the First Amendment.

June 21, 2012

Legal Recruiting Firm Sues Former Employee, Citing Non-Compete Clause

Source: BLT

A legal recruiting firm has accused one of its former account executives of violating the firm's non-compete clause in their employment agreement.

U.S. Push on Illegal Bias Against Hiring Those With Criminal Records

Source: Robb Mandelbaum, New York Times

Many small businesses did not know it was illegal to impose a ban on hiring anybody with a criminal record. "I was not aware of that one," said Brian Hamilton, who owns four car dealerships in Nebraska.

EEOC Appellate Briefs Now Online

Source: Press Release , EEOC

Appellate Court and Amicus Briefs Available in Searchable Database on EEOC Website.

June 20, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Major Decision on Overtime Pay

Source: Robert Brody & Rebecca Goldberg, Brody & Associates

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that pharmaceutical sales representatives are not entitled to overtime pay.

New Interactive NLRB Webpage Provides Examples of Employee Section 7 Rights Under NLRA

Source: Stefan Marculewicz , Labor Relations Counsel

The National Labor Relations Board has created a new webpage that explains an employee's section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and allows the user to click on various Board cases that address protected concerted activity.

Johns Hopkins Home Health Care to Pay $160,000 to Settle Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: Press Release , EEOC

EEOC Charged Health Care Provider Failed to Accommodate Employee with Breast Cancer, then Fired Her.

June 19, 2012

U.S. Unions: Uncivil On Civil Rights

Source: Harry Alford & F. Vincent Vernuccio, Forbes

As union membership in the private sector continues to plummet, organized labor is pursuing desperate measures to reverse its fortunes.

The Volks Decision: What Does It Mean For Employers?

Source: Arthur Sapper, EHS Today

In November 2006, OSHA issued citations to Volks Constructor alleging failures to record some workplace injuries between January 2002 and April 2006.

NLRB launches webpage describing Protected Concerted Activity

Source: Office of Public Affairs , NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board today made public a webpage that describes the rights of employees to act together for their mutual aid and protection, even if they are not in a union.

June 18, 2012

Transforming Work Fears Into Career Confidence

Source: Terri Cole, Huffington Post

Have you ever stopped to think about your level of fear in your job?

State Of The Unions: Labor And The Middle Class

Source: NPR Staff, NPR

For many full-time employees in the United States, the five-day work week, paid overtime and holidays are expected benefits.

Dukes v. Wal-Mart One Year Later: Where Do Women Stand?

Source: Martha Burk, Huffington Post

In the year since, the ruling has been touted as a godsend for corporations.

June 15, 2012

New Schedules Push Graveyard Shift Off The Clock

Source: Tracy Samilton, NPR

As car companies struggle to meet growing demand, the third shift is making a comeback. But many factories running on three shifts are doing it differently from in the past.

Fed lawsuit: Lighting store required workers to be Christian

Source: Douglas Stanglin, USA Today

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed suit against a Tulsa lighting store charging that the company required prospective workers to be Christian, the Tulsa World reports.

New rules make it harder to get unemployment benefits

Source: Tami Luhby, CNN Money

Millions of jobless Americans now have another hurdle to pass before collecting federal unemployment benefits.

June 14, 2012

Whirlpool Settles EEOC Race and Sexual Harassment Lawsuit for One Million Dollars

Source: Press Release, EEOC

$25 million awarded steelworker in racial suit [Article no longer available]

Source: Phil Fairbanks, Buffalo News

A federal court jury awarded Turley $25 million in damages Tuesday after finding his former employers and their executives liable for a culture of racial discrimination that one of his lawyers said was reminiscent of the 1950s.

Fired at 71, NY lifeguard settles age-bias lawsuit

Source: AP, CBC News

A New York lifeguard who was fired at age 71 has settled an age-discrimination lawsuit for $65,000.

June 13, 2012

Can my boss delay a promised raise?

Source: Suzzane Lucas , CBS News

I'm a 24-year-old female, and I work in clothing retail, (I've worked in retail since I was 16).

NYPD kicks out Orthodox Jew recruit for refusing to trim beard

Source: Yukio Strachan, Digital Journal

Former recruit Fishel Litzman dreamed of being a NYPD police officer.

Motherhood Still a Cause of Pay Inequality

Source: Eduardo Porter, New York Times

Women have made huge strides in the job market since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963.

June 12, 2012

The Gen Y workplace myth

Source: Steve Tobak , CBS News

Strange as it sounds, I'm a Gen Yer in a baby boomer's body.

Plaintiffs still pound Walmart

Source: Michael Kirkland, UPI

If you thought the Walmart sex discrimination fight was over when the U.S. Supreme Court broke the massive class action suit last year, you thought wrongly.

G.M. Says Pension Talks With Union Are Possible

Source: Bill Vlasic, New York Times

General Motors may seek a deal with the United Auto Workers to offer pension buyouts to union retirees similar to offers made recently to 42,000 white-collar retirees

June 11, 2012

Stevens Transport to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Dallas Trucking Company Refused to Hire Paraplegic Applicant for Management Position, Federal Agency Charged.

A Transition in the Law [Article no longer available]

Source: Karina Sc, Business West

New Prohibitions Against Gender-identity Discrimination.

Federal ban on job bias still eludes gay rights groups

Source: Curtis Tate, McClatchy

One longstanding policy goal remains elusive: a federal law to ban discrimination against gay workers.

June 8, 2012

My Workplace is Filthy. Should I Call OSHA? [Article no longer available]

Source: Edward Tan, Reuters

Most employers strive to keep their offices clean and safe.

Workers Lost Ground During Recession As Bosses Gained

Source: David J. Lynch, Business Week

The U.S. economy's anemic rebound from the worst recession in six decades is pummeling workers while leaving bosses almost unscathed.

Organized labor took big hits in California and Wisconsin elections

Source: Alana Semuels, LA Times

Los Angeles will be one of the next major battlegrounds for unions beginning June 18, when the leadership of 1.6 million public-sector workers is up for grabs.

June 7, 2012

US Labor Board: Some Limits on Employee Social Media Use Are Illegal

Source: Grant Gross, IDG News, PC World

It is illegal for U.S. employers to issue broad-based prohibitions of employee discussions about their workplaces on social media, according to a new memo from the acting general counsel of the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Bill Pushes for Increase in Wages

Source: Rebecca Berg, New York Times

Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr. tried to give new vitality to the issue of the federal minimum wage on Wednesday, coming at the debate with a fresh angle.

What Wisconsin's Recall Means For Labor Unions

Source: Scott Newman, NPR

The Wisconsin recall election might have failed, but it succeeded in sending an ominous message to pro-labor forces across the nation -- especially in the Midwest, where a handful of legislatures are pushing to roll back collective bargaining and other union rights.

June 6, 2012

My company fires pregnant women: Is it legal?

Source: Suzzane Lucas , CBS News

I have been employed with my company for 7 years now.

EEOC Seeks Public Input in Developing Strategic Enforcement Plan

Source: Press Release, EEOC

In February 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved a Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012 - 2016.

WSU to pay $650K to settle discrimination lawsuit

Source: Nicholas Geranios, Seattle Times

Washington State University has agreed to pay $650,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit brought by two former employees of Chinese descent.

June 5, 2012

Workers: State blocks unemployment benefits

Source: John Kennedy , Palm Beach Post

With Florida's unemployment rate at a three-year low of 8.7 percent, Gov. Rick Scott says his policies are helping drive the state's economy on the "path to recovery."

Turning Our Backs on Unions

Source: Joe Nocera, New York Times

"The Great Divergence" by Timothy Noah is a book about income inequality, and if you're thinking, "Do we really need another book about income inequality?" the answer is yes. We need this one.

Fighting for Equal Pay and the Paycheck Fairness Act

Source: Office of the Press Secretary , Whitehouse.gov

Today, the President continues to advocate for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive bill that strengthens the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work.

June 4, 2012

Unequal Treatment: EEOC Targets Blanket Leave of Absence and Attendance Policies for ADA Violations

Source: Inside Counsel

Jeff Nowak was quoted extensively in the article, "Unequal Treatment: EEOC Targets Blanket Leave of Absence and Attendance Policies for ADA Violations" published in the June 2012 issues of InsideCounsel.

Discrimination lawsuits double as definition of 'disability' expands

Source: Luke Rosiak, Washington Post

The number of employment discrimination lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has nearly doubled in the past five years and seen a sharp increase in recent months.

Garney Construction and Georgia Power to Pay $49,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Lawsuit

Source: Press Release, EEOC

Contractor Withdrew Job Offer to Applicant with Epilepsy Because of Construction Contract with Electric Utility Company.

June 1, 2012