Wal-Mart employees in Okla. file lawsuit

Sean Murphy, Associated Press | BusinessWeek

Two employees of Wal-Mart and a former worker have filed a lawsuit alleging the retailer retaliated against workers who file workers' compensation claims. Molly Self and Tammy Mathes allege that after filing claims for on-the-job injuries, the company either reduced their hours, cut their pay or demoted them. Janna Balak claims she was forced to resign as a condition of her settlement of a workers' compensation claim. The women are seeking class-action status for their suit. They claim many Wal-Mart employees are afraid to file workers' compensation claims for fear of retaliation. They also allege in the suit that understaffing at the stores creates an environment "where workplace injuries are inevitable." Read the full story.


More stories for July 8, 2005:

Reality show writers claim exploitation

Eminent complaints

In police class, blue comes in many colors

Women's job choices: good but not perfect

Ex-McDonald's manager wins AIDS bias suit

Thursday's most popular story:

Investor class warfare

The Workplace Fairness blog:

Justice O'Connor to retire: what does it mean for workers?
Reality show writers claim exploitation

Richard Verrier | Los Angeles Times

Stepping up its organizing campaign against reality TV producers, the union representing Hollywood writers Thursday unveiled a lawsuit filed by a dozen scribes who alleged that they were denied overtime and meal breaks and ordered to falsify time cards. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks class-action status. It is the latest effort by the Writers Guild of America, West, to keep up the pressure on production companies and networks involved in the burgeoning reality TV arena. Read the full story.
Eminent complaints

Greg LeRoy | TomPaine.com

When governments use eminent domain to assemble land for a redevelopment project, they frequently ladle on many other subsidies--the average state allows jobs to be subsidized 30 different ways. The total value of such packages routinely exceeds $100,000 per job created. Yet a mountain of evidence demonstrates that subsidized companies fail to deliver on projected economic benefits. Many have failed to create or retain as many jobs as they promised. Others pay poverty wages or fail to provide health care. Some have not created any new jobs, or actually laid people off. Some are even outsourcing jobs offshore. At the root of the problem is a corporate-controlled definition of "competition" that obscures cause and effect. Read the full story.
In police class, blue comes in many colors

Jennifer 8. Lee | New York Times

When 1,600 recruits become police officers next week, they will make up the first graduating class in the history of the New York City Police Department that is majority minority; less than half the men and women are white. The difference is seen by many as a significant marker in the department's slow racial evolution. But the racial breakdown is only one facet of the class. Looking closely at it provides a real-time snapshot of the force and its relationship to the city. Those in the department and those who watch it agree the shift to such a class presents a moment to take stock of a department that has not always reflected the racial makeup of the city it polices. Read the full story.
Women's job choices: good but not perfect

Jane Eisner | Philadelphia Inquirer

For full-time women lawyers, only 76 cents on the dollar that men earn. Of those who make partner, only 16.3 percent are women. Time was, I'd read those numbers, draw from a deep well of righteous indignation and personal experience to spew forth about the inherent discriminatory practices that drive women away from law and other important careers. Now I don't know how to react. Are we witnessing a kinder, gentler version of the prejudice that has relegated so many women to second-class careers? Or can this begin some sober reassessment of gender roles and advancement in the workplace that acknowledges the trade-offs many women choose to make? Read the full story.
Ex-McDonald's manager wins AIDS bias suit

Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press | Washington Post

A jury ruled Thursday that McDonald's Corp. discriminated against a restaurant manager who claimed he was forced out of his job after the company learned he had AIDS. The jury awarded Russell Rich of Akron $490,000 in damages in the second trial on his claim against the fast-food chain. Rich won $5 million in a 2001 trial but that verdict was overturned on appeal, based on faulty jury instructions from the judge. Rich started working the cash register at a franchised McDonald's at age 13 and put in 21 years with the hamburger giant, eventually becoming manager of a restaurant. Then, he contends, he was pressured to resign in 1997 because he has AIDS. Read the full story.


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