an update for the week of july 3, 2006
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Leaving the Office Time-Space Continuum Behind at Warp Speed: Working 9 to 5: it's a movie, it's a song, but could it soon be a thing of the past? What a few years ago might have seemed unfathomable is now being actively explored, as employers consider whether to discard regular work schedules and fixed office locations in favor of more creative solutions. While it may be a while before showing up at the same office at the same time every day is a complete anomaly, it's also more than just science fiction at this point, which is probably a positive development for American workers.
this week in the courts
Buck v. Hampton Sch. Dist.  (Third Circuit; No. 05-2373)
Decision Date: June 30, 2006
Title VII and its accompanying regulations require a plaintiff bringing employment discrimination claims to verify her "charge" before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), before an employer receives notice of, or is required to respond to, the charge. However, the verification requirement is not jurisdictional, and where an employer responds to the merits of a charge without raising the plaintiff's failure to verify her charge before the EEOC, it has waived its right to assert that defense in later federal court proceedings.
Decision Date: June 28, 2006
Preliminary injunction requiring mining company to permit the United Mine Workers of America to investigate the Sago Mine explosion is upheld where: 1) defendant's insufficient notice argument was waived, and notice was actually sufficient; 2) the UMWA's uncontested designation of representation for two anonymous miners supported the injunction; 3) no legal limitation exists in the statute or regulations regarding who may represent miners; and 4) the injunction does not violate the mine's common law property rights.
Nat'l Treasury Employees Union v. Chertoff  (D.C. Circuit; No. 05-5436)
Decision Date: June 27, 2006
Regulations establishing a human resources management system involving Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees are held to have failed to "ensure that employees may...bargain collectively," as the Homeland Security Act (HSA) requires, in two respects: 1) the Department's attempt to reserve to itself the right to unilaterally abrogate lawfully negotiated and executed agreements was plainly unlawful; and 2) the regulations violated the HSA insofar as they limited the scope of bargaining to employee-specific personnel matters.
Taylor v. Rice  (D.C. Circuit; No. 05-5257)
Decision Date: June 27, 2006
Summary judgment for the secretary of state on plaintiff's claim that the State Department violated the Rehabilitation Act when it refused to hire him as a Foreign Service Officer because he was HIV-positive is reversed where defendant was not entitled to summary judgment on either of the asserted defenses of "direct threat" or "undue hardship," or on a theory that plaintiff's pulmonary condition rendered him unqualified for the Foreign Service.
Your Rights in the Workplace
action center
Wal-Mart: Bad for Workers, Bad for America
Stop Genetic Discrimination
Workplace Week is published weekly by Workplace Fairness, a nonprofit organization that helps people understand, protect, and strengthen employee rights. Workplace Fairness wants to hear from you. Tell a friend about Workplace Week by clicking here.
© 2006 Workplace Fairness