an update for the week of february 27, 2006
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Missing in the Equation: the American Middle Class: It's hard to find someone among the working poor who doesn't want to have at least a middle-class lifestyle. Even those who don't necessarily yearn to be wealthy would prefer to make enough that they can live comfortably and support their families. Yet what is billed to be the ticket to the middle-class life -- building marketable skills through education -- may not be what it's cracked up to be. In this country, we're moving to embrace an economic model that omits the middle class as part of the equation. Where does that leave all the people who want to have a decent life, but find out they've been misled about their eventual ability to do so?
this week in the courts
Arbaugh v. Y & H Corp.  (U.S. Supreme Court; No. 04?944)
Decision Date: February 22, 2006
The threshold number of employees for application of Title VII to an employer is an element of a plaintiff's claim for relief, not a jurisdictional issue.
Quiles-Quiles v. Henderson  (First Circuit; No. 05-1591)
Decision Date: February 21, 2006
In a suit against the U.S. Postmaster General by a former postal employee under the Rehabilitation Act, judgment as a matter of law for defendant was reversed and the original damage award of the statutory maximum was reinstated after a finding that the jury's verdict was reasonable in light of the available evidence.
Battle v. United Parcel Serv., Inc.  (Eighth Circuit; No. 04-4123, 04-4128)
Decision Date: February 21, 2006
Denial of defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law on plaintiff's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state law claims is affirmed where: 1) the record supported a jury's finding that plaintiff was disabled for ADA purposes with regards to his depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders; 2) evidence supported a finding that defendant failed to engage in a good-faith interactive process with plaintiff regarding reasonable accommodation; and 3) evidence showed a reasonable accommodation was available.
Ash v. Tyson Foods, Inc.  (U.S. Supreme Court; No. 05?379)
Decision Date: February 21, 2006
A judgment in an employment racial discrimination suit is vacated where the court of appeals erred in: 1) holding that modifiers or qualifications are necessary in all instances to render a disputed term probative of bias; and 2) in articulating a standard for determining whether the asserted nondiscriminatory reasons for defendant's hiring decisions were pretextual.
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