an update for the week of may 23, 2005
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
The Filibuster is Safe, But Is the American Worker?: The constitutional chaos known as the "nuclear option" was averted at the last possible minute Monday evening when a group of 7 moderate Democrats and 7 moderate Republicans in the Senate coalesced around a solution. The filibuster is safe, for now at least. While the greater harm to our democracy may have been averted, workers still have much to fear from the three judges whose nominations will now move forward: Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, and Bill Pryor.
Is It the End of the AFL-CIO as We Know It?: The reports are increasingly alarming: there's a major disagreement these days amongst the leading unions in the AFL-CIO, which could lead to a major schism as the labor federation turns 50 this year. Will major internal reforms and/or the election of a new AFL-CIO leader be enough to prevent a major breakup from happening? No one seems to be terribly clear on how it's all going to work out, and whether the next few months will lead to the establishment of a new separate organization comprised of the leading dissidents. What is clear, however, is that unions are more needed than ever, so it's extremely critical that whatever happens ultimately strengthens the labor movement, rather than marginalizes it into oblivion.
this week in the courts
Ingle v. Circuit City  (Ninth Circuit; No. 04-55927)
Decision Date: May 18, 2005
In an employment dispute, denial of defendant's petition to compel arbitration is affirmed where the parties' arbitration agreement was procedurally and substantively unconscionable under California contract law, and thus unenforceable.
George v. Leavitt  (D.C. Circuit; No. 03-5356)
Decision Date: May 17, 2005
In an employment discrimination suit, judgment in favor of defendant is reversed where plaintiff has proffered evidence by which a reasonable jury could conclude that defendant's stated reasons for her discharge are a pretext for discrimination.
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