an update for the week of july 24, 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
Will Wal-Mart Ever Pay its Fair Share?: Those seeking to hold Wal-Mart just a little bit more accountable to its workers and the rest of its taxpayers were dealt a blow this week, as a federal judge in Maryland threw out the state's Fair Share law. The court ruled that efforts to make Wal-Mart either pay more for health care or make a commensurate payment to the state treasury violated ERISA, a federal law regulating employer benefits. Will this development stop the state "Fair Share" movement in its tracks? Or will Wal-Mart's argument eventually prove to be a loser before a higher court? One thing we can probably count on in these uncertain times is that Wal-Mart will employ some PR maneuver to make America think it's paying its fair share, even when those in the know....know better.
this week in the courts
Killian v. Yorozu Auto. Tennessee, Inc.  (Sixth Circuit; No. 04-6202)
Decision Date: July 20, 2006
In the context of a Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) action, enrollment in school after a diligent job search does not constitute a failure to mitigate damages for purposes of formulating an award of front pay.
Hughes v. Stottlemyre  (Eighth Circuit; No. 05-2774)
Decision Date: July 19, 2006
Dismissal of a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 brought by a demoted highway patrol officer claiming that defendants violated his First Amendment rights by retaliating against him for opposing proposed changes in patrol policy is reversed in part as to certain defendants where plaintiff had made out a prima facie showing of retaliation, and the district court erred in granting summary judgment on a basis not raised by defendants.
Comer v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  (Sixth Circuit; No. 05-1761)
Decision Date: July 19, 2006
A conditional order approving notice to prospective co-plaintiffs in a suit under 29 U.S.C. section 216(b) is not appealable. An appeal from an order granting a motion by plaintiffs, former Wal-Mart assistant store managers (ASMs), to approve notice to advise certain ASMs recently employed by the retailer in a particular region of their rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and to provide them an opportunity to opt into plaintiffs' lawsuit, is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
Smith v. Castaways Family Diner  (Seventh Circuit; No. 05-3467)
Decision Date: July 18, 2006
Summary judgment in a discrimination and retaliation case under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is reversed and remanded where the district court erred in excluding two individuals who manage the restaurant from its tally of employees for purposes of concluding that the restaurant was not an "employer" under the Act because it did not have fifteen employees for the requisite period.
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