an update for the week of april 21, 2004
Each week, Workplace Week brings you news and commentary on critical issues affecting employees and advocates.

In this edition: new overtime regulations released; key sex discrimination ruling in Merrill Lynch case

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today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Mixed Bag on Overtime in Final Version of Administration Proposal: Today the Administration released its long-awaited overtime proposal, which is sure to satisfy hardly anyone at this point. Those who have fought the implementation of this proposal long and hard are still convinced that it will harm many more workers than it benefits, while those looking for the hard line the Administration took in the original proposal are unlikely to welcome some of the concessions made in this final product. Will the proposal accomplish its desired goals of modernizing outdated law and reducing the amount of litigation? Probably not, given the rancor generated already in this battle and the questions remaining to be answered. It also remains to be seen whether the changes will influence the presidential election: will the concessions win back votes for the Bush Administration?
this week in the courts
White v. Burlington N. & Santa Fe Ry. Co.  (Sixth Circuit; No. 00-6780, 01-5024)
Decision Date: April 14, 2004
The standard limiting Title VII's reach to ultimate employment decisions is rejected; a 37-day suspension without pay constitutes an adverse employment action regardless of whether the suspension is followed by a reinstatement with back pay. Because a plaintiff seeking punitive damages under Title VII must prove more than merely intentional discrimination, the case is remanded.
Rivera v. NIBCO, Inc.  (Ninth Circuit; No. 02-16532)
Decision Date: April 13, 2004
Protective order denying discovery to inquire into plaintiffs' immigration status is affirmed. District court properly found such discovery would unduly burden plaintiffs; defendant had the opportunity to examine their status upon hiring, and their status is irrelevant to the question of liability.
EEOC v. Warfield-Rohr Casket Co., Inc.  (Fourth Circuit; No. 03-1648)
Decision Date: April 8, 2004
District court erred in granting summary judgment to defendant-employer in this ADEA action. The evidence does not conclusively show that the employee would have been terminated had his age not been considered.
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