february 11, 2008
Workplace Week is a free bi-weekly 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.
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Were the Panda Super Bowl Ads Racist?: Now here's a ready-made blog post for me: mix pandas with Super Bowl advertising, and then throw in societal attitudes about racism, which have been examined more than once here at Today's Workplace (and are certainly at the heart of Workplace Fairness's mission). At the intersection of all these things, you have the reaction to SalesGenie.com's Super Bowl ad. Was it racist? Should it have been pulled and/or never made in the first place? I'm not sure I have any answers, but it certainly provides all of us with an opportunity to constantly examine our own attitudes.
Election Has Workplace Implications: It's an election year. If this has escaped your notice, you either 1) don't live in the United States; or 2) must never watch television, read a newspaper, or use the Internet (and since you're reading this, the latter is probably not true.) In the primaries, both major parties and many candidates (even though the field has narrowed considerably recently) have bombarded the public with their messages until anyone but the most extreme political junkie is thoroughly sick of it by now (and it's only February.) So it shouldn't be a surprise that news articles are already circulating that tie the candidates to specific workplace trends and policies.
this week in the courts
Imwalle v. Reliance Med. Prods., Inc. (Sixth Circuit; No. 06-4619)
Decision Date: February 8, 2008
In an action claiming, inter alia, unlawful retaliation when 62-year-old plaintiff was fired three months after he filed a charge with the EEOC that alleged both age and national-origin discrimination, a judgment and an award of attorney's fees, costs, and interest for plaintiff are affirmed over claims that: 1) plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of retaliation or prove that defendant's proffered reason for terminating him was a pretext to hide retaliation; 2) a paralegal's fees and expenses to attend certain depositions were unnecessary and unreasonable; 3) billing descriptions were insufficient; and 4) plaintiff had only limited success on his various claims. Read more...
Billings v. Town of Grafton (First Circuit; No. 06-2145)
Decision Date: February 7, 2008
In an action raising claims of a hostile work environment and retaliation in violation of Title VII and state law, summary judgment for defendants is vacated in part where the district court erred in ruling, as a matter of law, that: 1) town administrator's alleged staring at plaintiff's breasts did not make her workplace atmosphere hostile; 2) plaintiff's transfer to another secretarial position within the town, among other things, after she complained of the administrator's behavior did not amount to a materially adverse employment action; and 3) those actions were not motivated by retaliatory animus.
Mickey v. Zeidler Tool & Die Co. (Sixth Circuit; No. 06-1960)
Decision Date: January 31, 2008
In an action brought under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and state law, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed in part as to age discrimination claims, but reversed in part as to retaliation claims where plaintiff established a prima facie case as to both his federal and state retaliation claims, and rebutted defendants' asserted nondiscriminatory reasons for his termination with evidence of pretext.
news and issues
news and issues
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