an update for the week of june 19, 2006
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Retaliation Means Retaliation, Says the Supreme Court: A 9-0 decision in favor of employees from the Roberts' Supreme Court? Some didn't think it was possible, but today workers received a break in the case of Burlington Northern v. White. The decision means that a worker who has faced retaliation, but has not been fired, denied a promotion, or subject to an "ultimate employment action," can still bring a retaliation lawsuit as long as the action taken by the employer "would have been materially adverse to a reasonable employee or applicant." Not only can plaintiff Sheila White, who was reassigned to a less desirable position and suspended without pay (but later reinstated with backpay) proceed with her lawsuit under the Supreme Court's ruling, but other employees who have faced retaliation will find it easier to do so as well.
this week in the courts
Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway v. White  (U.S. Supreme Court; No. 05-259)
Decision Date: June 22, 2006
Title VII's anti-retaliation provision does not confine the actions and harms it forbids to those that are related to employment or occur at the workplace. The anti-retaliation provision covers only those employer actions that would have been materially adverse to a reasonable employee or applicant. This requires a retaliation plaintiff to show that the challenged action well might have dissuaded a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.
Decision Date: June 16, 2006
In a dispute involving potential violation of the National Labor Relations Act in a shopping mall owner's maintenance of a permit requirement and exclusion from its premises of certain union handbillers, a question as to whether the owner had the right, under California law, to maintain and enforce an anti-boycott rule is certified to the Supreme Court of California.
Gose v. US Postal Serv.  (Federal Circuit; No. 05-3272)
Decision Date: June 14, 2006
A decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board upholding the removal of petitioner from his position as city carrier with the U.S. Postal Service is reversed pursuant to his claim that the Board erred in its interpretation of a Postal Service regulation that prohibits employees from drinking "in a public place" while in uniform.
Decision Date: June 12, 2006
In a dispute involving the alleged publishing of expert freelance articles in a section of a newspaper reserved solely for the work of union members, confirmation of abitration award in favor of a union is affirmed where the arbitrator reasonably interpreted the collective bargaining agreement at issue.
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