an update for the week of august 7, 2006
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Senate Spits Out Minimum Wage Poison Pill: When I was a child and had difficulty swallowing pills, my mom would mash the pill up in grape jelly and feed it to me on toast or a spoon. Although the jelly was a little gritty, it made it palatable enough for me to choke down the pill. When faced with the same dilemma last week, the Senate decided that increasing the minimum wage a little bit was not sweet enough to make eliminating the estate tax more palatable. And while the medicine I took as a child was necessary for me to take, one way or another, the Senate made the right decision not to choke down the poison pill offered to them by the House of Representatives' flawed tax bill.
this week in the courts
Fasano v. Fed. Reserve Bank of New York  (Third Circuit; No. 05-4661)
Decision Date: August 3, 2006
Federal Reserve Act section 341 (Fifth), as impliedly amended by the ADA and 12 U.S.C. section 1831j, preempts any state employment law that goes beyond the remedies and protections provided by those federal laws. A district court's refusal to find plaintiff's state law employment claims preempted by the Federal Reserve Act is reversed since New Jersey?s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) and Law Against Discrimination (LAD) impose substantive and procedural burdens well beyond those imposed by federal law, and thereby frustrate Congressional intent to provide the Federal Reserve Banks with relatively unfettered employment discretion.
Patton v. Keystone RV Co.  (Seventh Circuit; No. 05-3891)
Decision Date: August 1, 2006
Summary judgment for defendant-employer in a constructive discharge case is reversed and remanded for trial where the alleged touching of an intimate body part sufficed to create the possibility that a reasonable jury could find that plaintiff was subjected to a hostile work environment.
Amlong & Amlong, P.A. v. Denny's, Inc.  (Eleventh Circuit; No. 04-14499)
Decision Date: July 31, 2006
Imposition of 6-figure monetary sanctions against attorneys for their conduct in representing a Title VII plaintiff in a sexual harassment lawsuit is reversed as after referring the sanctions issue to a magistrate judge for an evidentiary hearing, the district court discarded numerous findings of fact and credibility determinations substituted its own findings, without conducting any evidentiary hearing, and the district court also abused its discretion in ordering the attorneys to pay 10% back interest on a portion of the sanctions.
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