an update for the week of october 20, 2003
Each week, Workplace Week brings you news and commentary on critical issues affecting employees and advocates.

In this edition: Genetic Non-Discrimination bill passes Senate; Take Action Now: potential votes this week on Pickering nomination and Class Action Fairness Act.
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
It's About Health Benefits, Stupid!: Every day it seems we hear about a new strike, and more often than not, the issue is not primarily wage increases any more. The central issue of many labor negotiations right now involves health benefits, and whether workers can rely on their employers to have most of their health care expenses covered by employer-provided health insurance plans, or whether cutbacks are going to enforce employees to assume a large share of rising health care costs. And whether workers are unionized or not, health care benefits are extremely important, and are likely to be the result of many more negotiations between employees or employers.
A Bill For People With D.N.A.: Senate Passes Genetic Non-Discrimination Bill: It is rare to find unanimity in the U.S. Senate, and almost unheard of to find unanimity on a bill that benefits workers more than businesses and insurers. Yet it happened today in the Senate, which unanimously (in a 95-0 vote) passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (S 1053), a bill that would bar employers and insurance companies from discriminating against people based on their genetic histories. And what may be the most virtually unprecedented development of all: the bill is also supported by the Bush administration. Even that might not be enough to guarantee action in the House of Representatives, this year, however, and that's a real shame.
this week in the courts
Kenney v. Swift  (Eighth Circuit; No. 01-3240)
Decision Date: October 17, 2003
In a Title VII failure-to-hire action, summary judgment to defendant is reversed where the district court improperly made credibility determinations and plaintiff's statements were sufficient to support a jury finding that defendant's stated nondiscriminatory reason for not hiring plaintiff was a pretext.
One Percent For Justice
action center
Stop Genetic Discrimination
Oppose the Class Action "Fairness" Act
Demand Fair Judges!
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