april 21, 2008
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Moonlighting -- Not Just a Bruce Willis TV Show: It used to be that one job was enough. If you worked 40 hours a week, you spent the rest of your time with your family and friends, engaged in your community, and were able to have a balanced life. And if you had to work more than 40 hours, you were either paid handsomely for your level of commitment, or at the very least, expected to be loyal to your employer. But it just doesn't work like that anymore -- more and more people are working extra jobs, not because they want to, but out of necessity. But all that moonlighting has consequences that nobody is really talking about.
Changes Proposed to FMLA Would Hurt Workers: As discussed in a prior post, the Department of Labor has proposed changes to the FMLA in a last-ditch effort to satisfy business interests before there is a change in administrations, which could, depending on who is elected, stall business-friendly changes for a considerable period of time. Here's a look at some of the specific changes proposed.
Will FMLA Changes Squeak By in this Administration?: One of the workplace priorities for the business community during the Bush Administration has been to scale back the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). However, in the waning days of the administration, there still have not been significant changes, which has been a source of frustration to some. There is now a last-ditch effort to move forward some business-friendly changes to the FMLA, while there is still the ability to do so, should a Democratic candidate be elected President in November. As you can imagine, most of the "clarifying" changes attempt to tilt the balance in the employer's direction. Pro-worker groups are mobilizing to stop the worst of the changes from taking effect, by soliciting comments by the end of the comment period on April 11.
this week in the courts
Zimmer v. Cooperneff Advisors, Inc. (Third Circuit; No. 05-1119)
Decision Date: April 14, 2008
Denial of a motion to compel arbitration on grounds that the arbitration clause in an employment agreement was unconscionable and employer had waived its right to compel arbitration is vacated and remanded where: 1) employee was highly-educated with various employment opportunities, and accepted an employment offer without first examining the terms of an underlying employment contract which he signed; and 2) in light of the absence of findings as to prejudice, the district court should consider and make findings as to all relevant factors of demonstrating prejudice.
Howser v. ABB, Inc. (Eighth Circuit; No. 06-3403)
Decision Date: March 27, 2008
In an action against employer for an alleged violation of FLSA in denying compensation for the time which employee spent at medical appointments, summary judgment for employee is affirmed over claims that: 1) employee failed to present sufficient evidence showing attendance of medical appointment at the direction of the company; 2) a waiver of FLSA rights when employee chose to take an unpaid excused absence for the time missed; and 3) even if FLSA rights are non-waivable, employee is not entitled to the full amount of time away from work.
Grace v. USCAR (Sixth Circuit; No. 06-2509)
Decision Date: March 26, 2008
Dismissal of plaintiff's Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and federal and state gender discrimination claims against defendants is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) defendants were joint employers for purposes of the FMLA and plaintiff was eligible for unpaid leave; 2) plaintiff raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether defendants violated her rights under the FMLA; 3) defendants were entitled to summary judgment on the merits of the Title VII gender discrimination claims; and 4) contrary to plaintiff's contention, her state-law gender discrimination claim was not dismissed with prejudice.
news and issues
news and issues
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2008 Workplace Fairness