an update for the week of january 12, 2004
Each week, Workplace Week brings you news and commentary on critical issues affecting employees and advocates. This is the first issue of 2004.

In this edition: new immigration proposal draws fire; jobs picture bleak.
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Bush's Immigration Plan Draws Fire From Both Sides: In this election year, there's a new immigration proposal on the table, submitted by the Bush Administration. This proposal is of special concern to undocumented workers residing in the United States, as it would be an amnesty program of sorts that would permit them to legalize their employment status while they work in the United States. However, the proposal is already under heavy fire from both the left and the right and both Democrats and Republicans. Some feel it doesn't go far enough, while others believe it goes too far. While it is unlikely that any significant immigration reforms will be passed in an election year, debate on the proposal will certainly spark debate on the plight of undocumented workers, and could possibly lead to some creative yet feasible solutions for a very complicated policy issue.
this week in the courts
United Rentals (N. Am.), Inc. v. Keizer  (Sixth Circuit; No. 02-1580)
Decision Date: January 7, 2004
Defendant did not violate the non-compete provisions of his employment agreement with plaintiff. For a competing business to "operate" in a proscribed geographic area, it must be physically located in that area; merely conducting business within the proscribed area is insufficient.
Fiori v. Truck Drivers, Local 170  (First Circuit; No. 03-1242)
Decision Date: January 7, 2004
Jury did not err in concluding that the libel caused plaintiff's election loss. Trial judge's refusal to grant defendant's request for an instruction forbidding the jury to consider election loss as a basis for economic damages is itself no basis for reversal.
Hill v. Lockheed Martin Logistics Mgmt., Inc.  (Fourth Circuit; No. 01-1359)
Decision Date: January 5, 2004
To survive summary judgment, an aggrieved employee who rests a Title VII or ADEA discrimination claim upon the discriminatory motivations of a subordinate employee must present sufficient evidence that the subordinate possessed such authority as to be viewed as the one principally responsible for the decision or as the actual decisionmaker for the employer.
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