an update for the week of july 17, 2006
WF's new report, Summertime, and the Working Isn't Easy, takes a close look at the employment issues that make work especially hot for some employees during the summertime.
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
In the Stifling Heat, Let's Remember the Workers: As heat grips most of the United States, we're all looking for ways to keep cool. Those who work in office buildings may take for granted the ability to work in a comfortable office environment, fearing only the moment in which they must leave their offices and face the heat. But there are many workers who can't beat the heat right now. When public officials focus on seniors and children being most vulnerable, they neglect to mention those workers who put their lives at risk merely by continuing to do their jobs.
this week in the courts
Decision Date: July 14, 2006
Petition for review of NLRB decision that petitioner threatened employees with job loss and facility closure on account of union activities and failed to consider and hire a group of union members is affirmed where the decision was supported by substantial evidence.
Consolidation Coal v. Williams  (Fourth Circuit; No. 05-2108)
Decision Date: July 13, 2006
Award of black lung benefits to respondent under the Federal Coal Mine Health & Safety Act of 1969 is affirmed over claims that: 1) respondent's second claim for benefits was untimely; 2) the ALJ was biased against petitioner and coal mine companies in general; 3) the ALJ abused its discretion in making certain discovery and evidentiary rulings; and (4) the ALJ improperly credited the opinions of experts in awarding benefits to respondent.
Decision Date: July 12, 2006
Grant of summary judgment for employer in a sex discrimination and retaliation suit under Title VII is affirmed as to the discrimination claim, but reversed as to the retaliation claim where a reasonable jury could conclude as a result of circumstantial evidence that the accusations of sexual harassment in a letter signed by defendant were a cause of her being fired.
Hines v. Barnhart  (Fourth Circuit; No. 05-1299)
Decision Date: July 11, 2006
Reversal of Social Security Administration's denial of claim for disability benefits, based on Sickle Cell Disease, is affirmed where the SSA ALJ applied an improper standard to disregard the treating physician's opinion that plaintiff was fully disabled.
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