an update for the week of july 21, 2003
Each week, Workplace Week brings you news and commentary on critical issues affecting employees and advocates.

In this edition: recession and pension woes, and disability discrimination.
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Dustup in the Ways & Means Committee: Pension Reform Gets Ugly: It wasn't quite the WWE, but things got testy in a very partisan way before the House Ways & Means Committee on Friday (7/18), as legislative passions became aroused in a manner very atypical of pension reform discussions. While there weren't any fistfights, arrests, or censures, it wasn't for lack of trying, as both Republicans and Democrats did their best to paint the other side guilty of egregious breaches of House protocol.
The Recession's Over, So Where's My Job?: You might not have noticed, but the U.S. economic recession is over, and it ended twenty months ago. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, an independent research group that tracks the business cycle, the recession was over in November 2001. However, as one economist wryly noted, "Most households, most individuals, will really not believe that it is a recovery until we see that job growth as part of the picture."
this week in the courts
Ocheltree v. Scollon Prods., Inc.  (Fourth Circuit; No. 01-1648)
Decision Date: July 18, 2003
In a Title VII sex-based harassment action, because there is no evidence that the employer had the knowledge required for liability in punitive damages, the award of punitive damages is reversed, however compensatory damages are affirmed.
Venturelli v. ARC Comty. Servs., Inc.  (Seventh Circuit; No. 02-2294)
Decision Date: July 16, 2003
A suit alleging unlawful discrimination under Title VII as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was not actionable where plaintiff could not prove discrimination under either the direct or indirect method.
Ollie v. Titan Tire Corp.  (Eighth Circuit; No. 02-3190/3881/3192)
Decision Date: July 15, 2003
Evidence in an ADA case was sufficient to show than employer perceived plaintiff as disabled and incapable of performing all jobs at its plant, and the district court did not err in 1) awarding plaintiff two years of front pay, or 2) finding plaintiff's evidence would not support an award of punitive damages.
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