an update for the week of august 20, 2004
Attention shoppers! Don't miss our red-light specials in aisle 5!
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Costco: Paragon of Corporate Virtue, or a Company that Discriminates Against Women?: Until this week, if you've heard much about Costco Wholesale at all, especially in the context of how the company treats its workers, it was probably positive news. Costco, the big box wholesale warehouse retailer, was getting plenty of good press in the past few years as the anti-Wal-Mart, the company doing right by its workers by paying them higher wages and giving them more benefits and workplace flexibility. However, the positive Costco image took a huge nosedive on Tuesday with the filing of a class action lawsuit on behalf of female employees, who claim they have suffered discrimination in pay and promotions. This places Costco in much the same boat as Wal-Mart, who is also facing a sex discrimination class action, with several of the same lawyers involved in both lawsuits. Only time will tell whether Costco will be able to restore the progressive image it has carefully cultivated.
this week in the courts
Decision Date: August 11, 2004
In a discrimination case, the district court's decision to grant summary judgment in favor of defendant is reversed where defendant did not meet its burden to prove that there was an accord and satisfaction. Also, the enforcement of a settlement agreement is reversed where the agreement's terms are in conflict with a previous arbitration award.
Nike, Inc. v. McCarthy  (Ninth Circuit; No. 03-35818)
Decision Date: August 9, 2004
Plaintiff's promotion is an "advancement" which renders a noncompete agreement enforceable under Oregon law. The noncompete agreement is further upheld on grounds that plaintiff has a legitimate interest in enforcing the agreement due to a substantial risk that defendant could potentially divert sales based on confidential information acquired with plaintiff.
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