an update for the week of february 18, 2004
Each week, Workplace Week brings you news and commentary on critical issues affecting employees and advocates.

In this edition: FAIRNESS on the Congressional agenda; furor over administration's outsourcing comments continues
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
New Civil Rights Bill Contains Some Important Legal Fixes:
A bill recently introduced before Congress is designed to fix some of the most persistent problems faced by those bringing employment discrimination lawsuits, and will correct some of the most damaging U.S. Supreme Court decisions in recent years. On February 10, FAIRNESS: the Civil Rights Act of 2004, was introduced before Congress. While the bill faces an uncertain future in this session of Congress, it sets the stage for repairing some of the erosion to major civil rights legislation suffered in recent years.
this week in the courts
Mihos v. Swift  (First Circuit; No. 02-2521, 03-1038, 03-1090)
Decision Date: February 13, 2004
District court erred in dismissing the damages claim brought by a Turnpike Authority employee fired in retaliation for voting against toll increases. If true, his allegations establish a violation of First Amendment rights such that defendant is not entitled to qualified immunity.
Schaefer v. Indiana Michigan Power Co.  (Sixth Circuit; No. 02-1401)
Decision Date: February 13, 2004
Summary judgment was improperly granted to defendant-employer on alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Issues of material fact persist regarding whether plaintiff is a bona fide administrative employee and therefore exempt under the Act.
US v. City of New York  (Second Circuit; No. 02-6102)
Decision Date: February 13, 2004
Plaintiffs, welfare recipients obliged to participate in New York City's Work Experience Program, are employees within the meaning of Title VII, and thus are entitled to Title VII's protections against sexual and racial harassment.
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