an update for the week of august 18, 2003
Each week, Workplace Week brings you news and commentary on critical issues affecting employees and advocates.

In this edition: stressed out employees with no vacation time; language discrimination
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
The President Says Everything Will Be Fine, But Where Are the Jobs?: "We're upbeat about the chances for our fellow citizens who are looking for work to be able to find a job. I firmly believe that what we have done was the absolute right course of action in order to help people find a job." Thus says President Bush about the tax cuts he promoted earlier this year.
Note to Employers: Stressed Employees Cost You Money: A new study demonstrates what every employer should already know, but many can forget all too easily: stressed-out workers negatively affect the bottom line. Good workplace morale isn't just a goal to aspire to and a tool in retention efforts, but significantly affects workplace productivity.
Vacation: What Little We Have, We Can't Take: It's the time of year when people around the world (and President Bush) are taking vacation...those who have it and are allowed to take it, that is. The United States lags most industrialized around the world in that vacation is not a legally mandated requirement, and now a number of reports suggest that even those Americans who do get vacation time are reluctant to use it this summer.
this week in the courts
Holly D. v. California Inst. Of Tech.  (Ninth Circuit; No. 01-56050, 01-56189)
Decision Date: August 15, 2003
A plaintiff who contends that she was coerced into performing unwanted sexual acts with her supervisor, by threats that she would be discharged if she failed to comply with his demands, has alleged a tangible employment action under Title VII that, if proved, entitles her to relief against her employer. Although Defendant has established, as a matter of law, the affirmative "reasonable care" defense, and although Title VII does not afford monetary relief against a supervisor, because plaintiff presents different and complex issues of state law California's FEHA, judgments concerning state law claims are vacated and remanded to state court.
Rowland v. Am. Gen. Fin., Inc.  (Fourth Circuit; No. 01-2481)
Decision Date: August 12, 2003
In a Title VII sex discrimination case, the district court abused its discretion in denying plaintiff's request for a mixed-motive jury instruction on her failure to promote claim.
Lawrence v. CNF Transp., Inc.  (Eighth Circuit; No. 02-1520)
Decision Date: August 11, 2003
Evidence was sufficient to find that defendant violated the Equal Pay Act by paying plaintiff less than it paid her male successor, as the jobs they held required equal work, skill and responsibility; evidence showed that wage discrimination was based on sex, but did not support an award of punitive damages.
this week's headlines
what's new at wf
Your Rights: Harassment   New content and links have been added to make this page a comprehensive resource on sexual harassment law.
Say What?  Our "Say What?" feature includes quotations, from both past and present, about workplace issues and current events.
One Percent For Justice
action center
Protect Your Right to Overtime
Demand Fair Judges!
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