an update for the week of november 20, 2006
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Okay, Workers Won, So What Now?: Those of us more than a little giddy about the election results, and what it could mean for workers, still haven't come down to earth yet after the November 7 election. But now the hard part is coming -- and you thought the hard part was getting the entrenched incumbents out of office. Now that Democrats have the majority in both houses of Congress (albeit with a Republican president), what can we expect to see from those legislators whose pro-worker agenda helped get them elected?
this week in the courts
Equal Employment Opportunity Comm'n v. Dial Corp. ?(Eighth Circuit; No. 05-4183, 05-4311)
Decision Date: November 17, 2006
A judgment for the EEOC in its sex discrimination action against a producer of canned meats under Title VII brought on behalf of women who had applied for work but were not hired is affirmed with regard to a denial of judgment as a matter of law for defendant, the trial court's findings of disparate impact, and an award of back pay and benefits to all claimants except one, whose claim is remanded for further proceedings.
Henderson v. Walled Lake Consol. Sch. ?(Sixth Circuit; No. 05-1814)
Decision Date: November 16, 2006
In a suit alleging plaintiff was subjected to sexual harassment by her high school soccer coach raising both state and federal law claims, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where, despite the troubled coach's harmful conduct, the record evidence did not substantiate any of the legal claims asserted against the school district and school administration defendants as they acted reasonably when they received notice of his misconduct.

Erickson v. WI Dep't of Corr. ?(Seventh Circuit; No. 05-4516)
Decision Date: November 14, 2006
Denial of defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law in a Title VII case alleging a hostile work environment after a sexual assault by an inmate on a corrections employee is affirmed where defendant did nothing in response to plaintiff's concerns about the presence of the inmate in her office after hours, and a reasonable jury could find that lack of response to be unreasonable.
Mendelsohn v. Sprint/United Mgmt. Co. ?(Tenth Circuit; No. 05-3150)
Decision Date: November 2, 2006
In a suit against a former employer alleging unlawful discrimination on the basis of age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) during a company-wide reduction in force (RIF), denial of a motion for new trial after a jury verdict for defendant is reversed where the district court abused its discretion in excluding testimonial evidence from other former employees who alleged similar discrimination during the same RIF.

Decision Date: October 31, 2006
In a public-enforcement age-discrimination lawsuit against a sheriff's department, Kentucky, and a retirement system alleging that defendants' disability-retirement-benefits plan for state and county employees violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), summary judgment for defendants is reversed where: 1) the EEOC established a prima facie violation of the ADEA, because the plan at issue is facially discriminatory on the basis of age; and 2) when an employment policy or benefit plan such as the one at issue is facially discriminatory, a plaintiff challenging that policy does not need additional proof of discriminatory animus in order to establish a prima facie disparate-treatment claim.
The Good, the Bad, and Wal-Mart
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Wal-Mart: Bad for Workers, Bad for America
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? 2006 Workplace Fairness