december 10, 2007
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.
today's workplace: the employee rights blog
Wait, Now Hurry Up: OSHA Changes Afoot: It seems to have finally occurred to the Department of Labor that there is about to be a change in administrations in a few months. It's otherwise hard to explain why, after 7 1/2 years, DOL is suddenly and stealthily trying to make it harder for you to be protected from toxic chemicals in the workplace. If DOL could sneak in a new regulation before there's a new president, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao can continue to boost her legacy of harming the very workers her job it is to protect. Comment
Get a Raise Today? Minimum Wage Goes Up Again: Did you get a raise today? You might have, if you work for the minimum wage, or live in a state where the state minimum wage is tied to an increase in the federal minimum wage. Today, the federal minimum wage rose to $6.55 an hour, from $5.85. This also trigged an increase in some states which have minimum wages higher than the federal law. I guess any increase is better than nothing, but it still isn't worth more than it was in the 1950s when adjusted for inflation, and still isn't enough to keep families out of poverty. Yet there are still those who wrongly insist that raising the minimum wage costs us jobs and interferes with free enterprise -- go figure. Comment
Workplace Fairness Receives Major Donation from Consumer Lawsuit: Wondering why you've been hearing more from Workplace Fairness lately? One very big reason is a donation that we recently received as part of a consumer class action lawsuit. We owe some very huge thanks to Dworken & Bernstein Co., L.P.A., and Grange Insurance, whose settlement has made it possible for Workplace Fairness to resume staffed operations and carry out its mission to educate workers in a more comprehensive and effective way. Comment
this week in the courts
Cox v. Ocean View Hotel Corp. ?(Ninth Circuit; No. 06-15903)
Decision Date: July 23, 2008
In an employment discrimination case involving an employment agreement containing a mandatory arbitration clause, denial of defendant-employer's motion to compel arbitration and partial summary judgment for plaintiff is reversed where: 1) for purposes of a breach-of-agreement theory, plaintiff did not properly initiate arbitration under the terms of his employment agreement via a letter he sent; and 2) the district court improperly granted summary judgment in plaintiff's favor on the issue of waiver.
Adams v. Rice ?(D.C. Circuit; No. 07-5101)
Decision Date: July 18, 2008
In a suit brought under the Rehabilitation Act after plaintiff passed her civil service examination but was disqualified because she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, summary judgment for the defendant is reversed where: 1) the court finds that sexual relations qualify as a major life activity under the act; 2) that plaintiff's breast cancer qualifies as a disability because it amounted to a physical impairment that substantially limited her in a major life activity; 3) the court rejects the government's argument that an employer cannot be held liable unless it knows not only about the history of impairment but also how that impairment substantially limited a major life activity
Hall v. Nalco Co. ?(Seventh Circuit; No. 06-3684)
Decision Date: July 16, 2008
In a Title VII sex discrimination suit alleging plaintiff was fired for taking time off from work to undergo in vitro fertilization after being diagnosed with infertility, summary judgment for defendant-employer is reversed where, contrary to the ruling below, plaintiff stated a cognizable sex discrimination claim under the language of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Title VII because adverse employment actions taken on account of childbearing capacity affect only women, even though infertility affects both sexes.
Nelson v. Univ. of Texas ?(Fifth Circuit; No. 07-10660)
Decision Date: July 10, 2008
In a suit brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act after plaintiff was terminated for absenteeism even though defendant had approved his request for leave, dismissal of plaintiff's action under Eleventh Amendment immunity is reversed and the case remanded where reinstatement is an acceptable form of prospective relief that comes within the exception to Eleventh Amendment immunity.
Brady v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ?(Second Circuit; No. 06-5486)
Decision Date: July 2, 2008
In the context of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) failure-to-accommodate claims and the general rule that it is the responsibility of the individual with a disability to inform the employer that an accommodation is needed, the circuit court rules that an employer has a duty reasonably to accommodate an employee's disability if the disability is obvious?which is to say, if the employer knew or reasonably should have known that the employee was disabled.
news and issues
news and issues
The Working Class - Workplace Fairness E-newsletter for Class-Action Attorneys and Class Members
Workplace Week is published biweekly by Workplace Fairness, a nonprofit organization that helps people understand, protect, and strengthen employee rights. Tell a friend about Workplace Week by clicking here.
? 2008 Workplace Fairness