an update for the week of october 9, 2006
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
People Make Mistakes, and Some are Doozies: We're all human and make mistakes during our lives. Some are obviously bigger than others, and have the ability to haunt us for considerable lengths of time. A recent workplace mistake that no one in Ottawa County, Michigan is likely to forget anytime soon was delicately described as "a missing "L" in the word public," which necessitated the reprinting of 170,000 ballots for the upcoming election and cost the county $40,000. Meanwhile, some innovative Minnesota programs focus on improving employees' English skills in the workplace and are designed to prevent more embarrassing and costly workplace mistakes.
this week in the courts
Decision Date: October 5, 2006
A judgment for plaintiffs in a workplace First Amendment case is reversed where, under the balancing test of Pickering v. Bd. of Educ., the interest of defendant-hospital in promoting the efficiency of the public service it performs by means of its uniform non-adornment policy outweighs the interest of its Integrated Services employees such as plaintiff in wearing a "Union Yes" button on their uniforms while on duty at the hospital.
Decision Date: October 3, 2006
Petition for review of a final order affirming violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act regarding a trench collapse and the death of an employee at a construction site is denied where there was sufficient evidence showing that petitioner failed to instruct its employees in proper safety measures and made no effort to ensure that employees did not enter the trench on the day of the collapse.
Nair v. Principi  (Seventh Circuit; No. 05-3673)
Decision Date: October 2, 2006
Summary judgment for defendant in a case brought by a nurse alleging retaliation and a Title VII hostile work environment based on national origin against the veterans hospital that employed her is affirmed where there was no basis in the record for attributing the reasons for the alleged conduct to defendant's national origin or foreignness, and the hospital did not negligently fail to take proper preventive or corrective measures in response to co-worker comments to defendant regarding her complaints to the EEOC.
The Good, the Bad, and Wal-Mart
action center
Wal-Mart: Bad for Workers, Bad for America
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