june 16, 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
"Just One" Doesn't Work When Public Employees Treated Unfairly: When I go to a restaurant by myself, one of my pet peeves is to be asked, "just one?" like it's a sign of my own personal failure to be there without another guest. A public employee in Oregon can probably relate -- she just had her own version of "just one" shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court. If you've been treated arbitrarily or irrationally, you better find someone else to join you at the table, says the Court.
Maybe You Should Leave the Spouse at Home: Unfortunately, we live in a world where harassment and retaliation cases haven't gone away, and there are still some pretty egregious ones there. But a couple of suits filed recently caught my eye in that they involve the actions of the employer's spouse. In both cases, powerful people brought their spouses into their workplace to work with them, but their employees allege their boss wasn't doing enough to curb their spouse's egregious behavior. These cases highlight the worst side of nepotism, where bosses don't hold their spouses to the same standards of behavior to which the rest of their employees would be subjected.
this week in the courts
Engquist v. Oregon Dep't of Agric. (U.S. Supreme Court; No. 07-474)
Decision Date: June 9, 2008
The "class-of-one" theory of equal protection does not apply in the context of public employment. Thus, a public employee cannot state a claim under the Equal Protection Clause by alleging that she was arbitrarily treated differently from other similarly situated employees, with no assertion that the different treatment was based on the employee's membership in any particular class.
Holender v. Mut. Indus. North, Inc. (Third Circuit; No. 06-4632)
Decision Date: June 3, 2008
In a case addressing whether documents submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by an employee qualified as a "charge" within the meaning of Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), summary judgment for employer based on a lack of administrative exhaustion is vacated and remanded where: 1) plaintiff submitted an EEOC form containing multiple references to itself as a charge; and 2) he also attached an affidavit which referred to the "instant charge filed on behalf of all persons similarly situated," clearly evincing that he was seeking legal relief.
news and issues
news and issues
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2008 Workplace Fairness