an update for the week of september 2, 2003
Each week, Workplace Week brings you news and commentary on critical issues affecting employees and advocates.

In this edition: bipolar decisions on behalf of bipolar plaintiffs; Labor Day woes
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Labor Day: Little to Celebrate, Much to Do: Labor Day gives us all a chance each year (in the midst of last-gasp summer vacations and family barbecues) to reflect on the state of the American workplace, and the role each of us play in working to improve it. It also gives workplace reporters and pundits a chance to assess where we're at, and political leaders a chance to score points with the working public.
Hygiene Policy: Good Policy Solution or a Big Can of (Smelly) Worms?: Enacting a new "you must smell nice at work" commandment was one Tennessee town's solution to a problem that has plagued nearly every single one of us at some point in our lives: what to do about a person whose body odor makes it difficult to maintain the required level of proximity? But is passing a new law going to resolve the problem, or simply affect how harshly the offender is treated?
Forty Years Later, the Dream Still Lives: This past weekend, thousands flocked to Washington, DC to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. While turnout for the commemorative ceremony was lower than organizers had hoped for, the principles espoused by 1963 March organizers and Dr. King's speech still strongly resonate in those battling today for workplace equality.
this week in the courts
Doebele v. Sprint/Unified Mgmt. Co. ?(Tenth Circuit; No. 01-3372)
Decision Date: August 28, 2003
District court did not err in concluding an ADA plaintiff failed to show her impairments affected her ability to care for herself, sleep, or learn; plaintiff raised a fact issue as to whether her supervisors discriminated against her by regarding her as unable to perform the activity of working due to her mental impairments.
Che v. Massachusetts Bay Transp. Auth. ?(First Circuit; No. 02-2078/9)
Decision Date: August 26, 2003
Lack of temporal proximity between plaintiff's filing of discrimination lawsuits against his employer and his alleged retaliatory demotion did not preclude his prima facie case; denial of plaintiff's requested jury instruction on punitive damages is reversed.
Russell v. TG Missouri Corp. ?(Eighth Circuit; No. 02-3273)
Decision Date: August 26, 2003
No genuine issues exist as to whether employer failed to act in good faith to reasonably accommodate an ADA plaintiff's disability, so summary judgment for employer is affirmed; employer's stated reasons for plaintiff's discharge - job abandonment and insubordination - were not pretexts for discrimination based on her disability under Title VII.
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