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Workplace Week is a free e-newsletter from Workplace Fairness covering news and court cases that affect employees and their advocates. If you have trouble viewing this email, you can view this e-newsletter online.

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Topic of the Week Blogs In the Courts In the News
issue 201 jan. 21, 2015

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In the News more

5 surprising jobs that pay minimum wage

Obama's myRA retirement accounts are now a reality

Gov. Brown Tackling California's $72B Retiree Health Liability

After legal defeats, an uncertain future for low-wage home care

How Companies Like Walmart Are Fighting to Keep Workplace Injuries Secret

Apple, Google, other tech firms to pay $415M in wage case

Trying to Solve the Great Wage Slowdown

Group Urges New York City to End Credit Checks by Employers

Workers Get Help Climbing the Career Ladder

Obama Wants Home Care Workers to Get Minimum Wage, But a Federal Judge Is Standing in the Way

Labor issues at Microsoft prompt talk of policy changes

Construction Jobs Are Getting Safer-but Not for Latinos

Justices push back on whether judicial review is needed

Feds, Florida reach deal on construction industry rip-off

Labor at a Crossroads: Can Broadened Civil Rights Law Offer Workers a True Right to Organize?

Topic of the Week more

The Devil Inside

Bullies with nothing to show for their efforts, a dream come true in the workplace. But it is going to take each and every one of us being ready to stick our necks out when we see people trying to take advantage of one another. read more

BLOGS: Today’s Workplacemore

Today I will accompany U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, representing low-wage workers\' voices at President Barack Obama\'s sixth State of the Union. While I am honored, I go with a conflicted heart. read more

The federal government is trying to do a better job tracking workplace injuries, which would make it easier for workers to show that they were injured on the job and get some compensation. But-of course-industry lobby groups are fighting hard to prevent accountability. read more

On Sunday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) unveiled several new proposals, including a call to raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour in the city and $10.50 an hour for workers in the rest of the state. read more

Liz Shuler

It's Past Time We Invested in Young Workers

January 17, 2015 | Liz Shuler

Free, high-quality public higher education. Expanded apprenticeship programs. Jobs that pay living wages. Workplaces that are free of discrimination. Strong union rights. Don't those sound great? read more

Five years ago today an earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people and leaving another 1.5 million homeless. The disaster was followed by a string of tropical storms and a cholera epidemic that killed at least 8,000 people. read more

When Ellen Costello started out in the financial industry, she was often the only woman in the room. "Especially the times I was in the capital markets business, there were very few women," she told ThinkProgress. read more

Leo Gerard

Put Working People First

January 13, 2015 | Leo Gerard

The jobs report Friday set off cheering: a quarter million positions added in December; unemployment declining to 5.6 percent. This good news arrived amid a booming stock market and a third-quarter GDP report showing the strongest growth in 11 years. read more

Kenneth Quinnell

Five Causes of Wage Stagnation in the United States

January 13, 2015 | Kenneth Quinnell

A series of recent reports from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) make clear the case for why wages have stagnated in the United States. read more

The unemployment rate edged down to 5.6 percent in December from 5.7 percent in November (revised from an earlier reported 5.8 percent), the Labor Department reported today. read more

Some 1 million workers could lose their employer-provided health insurance under a Republican bill (H.R. 30) passed by the House (252-172, with 12 Democrats crossing the aisle) today. read more

In the Courts more

Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset

First Circuit; 13-1336 Decision Date: January 20, 2015

In this employment action, plaintiff-workers were fired a few months after a newly elected governor took over the Puerto Rico executive mansion. Plaintiffs allege that they were terminated solely because they affiliated with rival political parties, which amounts to political discrimination prohibited by the First Amendment. Summary judgment disposal of plaintiffs' political discrimination claim is affirmed, where: 1) there is no evidence that defendants had knowledge of plaintiffs' particular political affiliations; and 2) plaintiffs do not offer any generalized statistical evidence showing how many employees affiliated with the governor's party were retained after the layoffs as compared to non-party employees, whether terminated plaintiffs were replaced by party-affiliated employees, or other relevant statistical evidence. read more

Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. v. Secretary of Labor

Third Circuit; 13-4547 Decision Date: January 15, 2015

In this case, the Administrative Review Board of the United States Department of Labor held that petitioner-railroad violated an anti-retaliation provision (49 U.S.C. section 20109(c)(2)) of the Federal Railroad Safety Act when it suspended one of its employees for excessive absenteeism, on grounds that the provision prohibits railroads from disciplining employees for following order or a treatment plan of a treating physician. Petition challenging the decision and order of the Review Board is granted, and the case is remanded with instructions that the proceedings be dismissed, where the physician's order that the employee was following related to treatment for an off-duty injury, but under section 20109(c)(2), only physicians' orders stemming from on-duty injuries are covered. read more

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