an update for the week of april 3, 2006
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Who Puts These Guys in Charge?: From the "you can't make this stuff up" category: following in the fine tradition (starting with the workplace bully John Bolton) of putting leading critics in charge of the very organization whose work they've devoted their life to eviscerating, the Administration has nominated two individuals to key positions at the EEOC and Department of Labor who have spent their careers fiercely opposing workers' claims. It wouldn't have anything to do with the declining number of claims and reduced amount of litigation coming out of those agencies, would it? Could it really be that the key qualification for playing a leadership role in an organization whose mandate is to protect the rights of workers is to first demonstrate a high level of proficiency in trying to demolish those rights?
this week in the courts
Goodwin v. Bd. of Trs. of the Univ. of Illinois  (Seventh Circuit; No. 05-2961)
Decision Date: March 31, 2006
Summary judgment for defendants in an employment discrimination suit based on race and gender is reversed and remanded where: 1) the plaintiff showed that a similarly situated worker was treated differently under similar circumstances; 2) there was a factual question concerning pretext; and 3) defendants were not estopped from challenging administrative findings of fact.
Garcia v. Johanns  (D.C. Circuit; No. 04-5448 and 05-5002)
Decision Date: March 31, 2006
Grant of a motion to dismiss and denial of class certification in an action alleging racial discrimination in the administration of various federally-funded loan and benefit programs for farmers is affirmed in part and remanded in part as to a failure-to-investigate claim made under the Administrative Procedure Act.
Wallace v. DTG Operations, Inc.  (Eighth Circuit; No. 04-3345)
Decision Date: March 29, 2006
Grant of summary judgment for defendant-employer on a retaliatory discharge claim in a Title VII case is reversed where there existed outstanding questions of material fact regarding the issue of defendant's retaliatory intent.
Belt v. EmCare, Inc.  (Fifth Circuit; No. 05-40370)
Decision Date: March 27, 2006
Summary judgment for plaintiffs, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, in an action seeking back wages and damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is affirmed where a regulation interpreting the professional exemption to FLSA overtime requirements did not speak to the precise question at issue, and an agency's informal interpretive statements excluding plaintiffs from the exemption merited deference.
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