an update for the week of november 17, 2003
Each week, Workplace Week brings you news and commentary on critical issues affecting employees and advocates.

In this edition: unions continue battling increased health care costs and the effect of Wal-Mart, and new age discrimination cases.

BREAKING NEWS: House leadership may be wavering on protecting overtime:
Get the Story: Congress Prepares for Final Spending Battles
Take Action: Keep Pressuring the House to Oppose Proposed Overtime Changes
Laugh a Little: Congress Raises Executive Minimum Wage to $565.15/Hr
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Labor Strikes: Effective Strategy or Outmoded Process? And Does It Matter with Wal-Mart Around?: A traditional strike, where employees refuse to work until a satisfactory labor contract has been reached between their union and their employer, has always been one of the most effective weapons that a union has to encourage an employer to accede to union demands. A recent news article, however, in analyzing the current grocery workers' strike in Southern California, notes the decline in the number of strikes in recent years, and questions whether unions will be able to continue using strikes effectively. And regardless of how the SoCal strike ends, is the real winner going to be non-unionized Wal-Mart, who by planning to open new SuperCenters with groceries in Southern California, appears to be driving down wages and benefits industry-wide?
this week in the courts
Grosjean v. First Energy Corp.  (Sixth Circuit; No. 02-3361)
Decision Date: November 13, 2003
Summary judgment to defendant affirmed where plaintiff failed to make his prima facie case of age discrimination because he was not replaced by a person significantly younger than himself.
Smith v. City of Jackson, Mississippi  (Fifth Circuit; No. 02-60850)
Decision Date: November 13, 2003
This appeal presents an issue of first impression regarding whether a disparate impact theory of liability is available to plaintiffs suing for age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. The district court ruled that, as a matter of law, claims of disparate impact cannot be brought under the Act. The Fifth Circuit agrees with the district court and several other circuits which have disallowed disparate impact claims.
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