an update for the week of december 10, 2007
"Workplace Week" returns to biweekly publication with this issue. "Workplace Week" is a free e-newsletter from Workplace Fairness covering the latest news stories and court cases affecting employees and their advocates, plus our award-winning blog.
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
We're Back!: After about a nine-month hiatus, Today's Workplace is back.
What About Worst Employees?: It's the time of the year where reporters break out that oft-used story generator: the yearly list. When it's too hard to put together a real story, it's always possible to pull a bunch of unrelated items together, give it a theme, and call it your 2007 list. I can't say I blame them -- I've been known to do the same thing myself. But when CNN decided to publish a story called "Worst Employees of the Year," you can imagine why my blood was boiling.
Happy Anniversary, ADEA: Recently, a very important anniversary passed -- with far too little fanfare. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) just turned 40 -- the very age of those it operates to protect. While race and gender discrimination cases may get more publicity, the ADEA is a steady workhorse. We will all grow older, and with the demographic and economic shifts that are keeping people in the workforce longer, there are and will continue to be a vast number of people who will need its quiet protection to ensure their careers are not prematurely stunted or ended by discrimination and stereotyping.
this week in the courts
Downey v. Strain (Fifth Circuit; No. 06-30613)
Decision Date: December 12, 2007
In an action claiming that defendant-sheriff violated plaintiff's rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), judgment pursuant a jury verdict for plaintiff is affirmed where: 1) FMLA regulations requiring employers to provide individualized notice to employees when the employers designate a period of leave as FMLA leave are valid as enforced in this case; 2) defendant waived his right to appeal the jury's conclusion that his failure to comply with the regulations caused plaintiff prejudice; and 3) there was no abuse of discretion in awarding plaintiff two years of front pay.
Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Inc. (Ninth Circuit; No. 04-16688, 04-16720)
Decision Date: December 11, 2007
In a class action suit by women employees against Wal-Mart alleging sexual discrimination under Title VII, certification of plaintiffs' class with minor modifications is affirmed where there was no abuse of discretion in a conclusion that it would be better to handle this case as a class action instead of clogging the federal courts with innumerable individual suits litigating the same issues repeatedly.
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? 2007 Workplace Fairness