an update for the week of july 18, 2005
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Now Where's the Good News? Coffee and Doughnuts Just Don't Cut It: Anyone who knows anything about the enforcement of legal standards in the workplace knows that immigrant workers, especially those who are undocumented, are exploited by employers who do not comply with legal requirements governing wages, dangerous conditions and uncompensated workplace injuries, discrimination, and other labor laws. Workers who attempt to remedy such abuse routinely face physical and immigration-related threats and retaliation. So what should the government's role be when it comes to addressing these problems? Can we agree on what it shouldn't be: making that situation worse by exploiting the same fears and vulnerabilities as unscrupulous employers? Yet that's exactly what the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency recently did in North Carolina.
Barely Staying Afloat? Just Get Another Job: With all of the evidence that wages have been more or less stagnant, especially for low-wage workers, over the last several years, the question then arises: how come our economy is as sound as it is? Who has the money to buy any of the consumer goods that are being produced for the masses? One explanation which is increasingly gaining credence is that workers who are just barely getting by are being forced to take second jobs. What happens when this development moves from being a growing trend to a societal expectation? Should the American value of "those who work hard get ahead" mean that only those who work 60 or 70 hours a week deserve to make it?
this week in the courts
Tisdale v. Fed. Express Corp.  (Sixth Circuit; No. 03-6605)
Decision Date: July 14, 2005
A jury verdict in favor of plaintiff's claim of retaliation is affirmed over defendant-employer's challenges to the district court's 1) denial of its motion to strike evidence for discovery abuse, and 2)denial of its motion for judgment as a matter of law on the grounds that the administrative remedy was unexhausted.
Russell v. City of Kansas City  (Eighth Circuit; No. 04-1654)
Decision Date: July 12, 2005
In an action alleging race and gender discrimination, summary judgment in favor of defendant-employer is reversed where plaintiff produced sufficient evidence to show that the defendant's stated reason for her discipline was a pretext for race and gender discrimination.
Get the facts! Short-Changed: America's workers are giving more and getting less
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