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Topic of the Week Blogs In the Courts In the News
issue 202 jan. 28, 2015

THIS WEEK: Like what you heard in last night's State of the Union address? Workplace Fairness is your source to educate workers about their minimum wage, paid sick leave, and overtime rights. It doesn't stop there: partner with us to educate workers through your own website and help them find attorneys who care about their rights, through our 0123 products and services.

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In the News more

Thousands of nursing home workers across the city and Long Island could walk out if contract talks fall through this week

Ruby Tuesday accused of employment discrimination. Against men.

Supreme Court sends back 'misapplied' retiree health-benefit case

Teachers Take Union Dues to Supreme Court

Federal regulators allege sex discrimination at Ruby Tuesday

Report: Fast food industry could survive $15 minimum wage

Breaking down who earns the minimum wage.

Higher Minimum Wage Wouldn't Hurt Fast Food, Report Says

McDonald's Is Being Sued Over a 'Racist' Franchise

Immigrant advocates praise Cuomo 'Dream Act' proposal

How is Obama proposing to help the middle class?

Lowe's $10M Settlement Provides 3 Lessons For Firms Working With Independent Contractors

Obama Pushes 'The Right Thing' For Workers: Paid Leave, Minimum Wage, Pay Equity

Seattle takes step to hire more workers from distressed areas

Minimum Wage for Cashiers

Topic of the Week more

Game Change: Positive Politics at Work

Politics isn't limited to politicians. 56% of us believe that playing politics is necessary for getting ahead at work. Which reminds me of a quiz that I often give when giving a speech. I ask an audience to tell me what comes to mind when I say, "office p read more

BLOGS: Today’s Workplacemore

Jamie Cole's plan was to use saved up vacation and sick time to take a eight weeks paid off after the birth of her child. Instead, she says she was forced onto unpaid leave much earlier than she wanted. read more

California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock explaining why he wants to keep the minimum wage at a poverty level out of compassion and concern for workers. read more

Jonathan Tasini

The President Vs. TPP: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

January 22, 2015 | Jonathan Tasini

It's pretty simple: you can't advance a progressive agenda, or even one you call "liberal", that claims to want to combat inequality AND go all out to ram through the Trans Pacific Partnership using the odious "Fast track" authority. read more

"President Obama eloquently and forcefully advocated for working families throughout his State of the Union Address," last night. read more

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

In the Courts more

Jones v. Southpeak Interactive Corporation of Delaware

Fourth Circuit; 13-2399 Decision Date: January 26, 2015

In this case, defendant video game publishing company fired plaintiff, its chief financial officer, after she raised concerns about a misstatement on one of the companies filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A jury found that the company and two of its top officers violated the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it illegal for publicly traded companies to retaliate against employees who report potentially unlawful conduct. Judgment of the district court awarding the chief financial officer more than $500,000 in back pay and emotional distress damages is affirmed, where: 1) the Sarbanes-Oxley Act retaliatory discharge claims are subject to the four-year statute of limitations under 28 U.S.C. section 1658(a), and not the two-year limitations under section 1658(b)(1); 2) the administrative complaint in this case satisfies the exhaustion requirement; and 3) emotional distress damages are available under the statute. read more

M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett

U.S. Supreme Court; 13-1010 Decision Date: January 26, 2015

In this case, plaintiff retired employees sued defendant, their former employer, asserting that certain expired collective-bargaining agreements created a right to lifetime contribution-free healthcare benefits for retirees, their surviving spouses, and their dependents. The Sixth Circuit sided with the retirees, arguing under International Union, United Auto, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of Am. v. Yard-Man, Inc. that retiree healthcare benefits are unlikely to be left up to future negotiations. The judgment of the Sixth Circuit is vacated and the case is remanded, where Yard-Man inferences are inconsistent with ordinary principles of contract law, given that: 1) retiree healthcare benefits are not a form of deferred compensation; 2) requiring a contract to include a specific durational clause for retiree healthcare benefits to prevent vesting conflicts with the principle of contract law that the written agreement is presumed to encompass the whole agreement of the parties; and 3) when a contract is silent as to the duration of retiree benefits, a court may not infer that the parties intended those benefits to vest for life. read more

Heffernan v. City of Paterson

Third Circuit; 14-1610 Decision Date: January 22, 2015

In this case, plaintiff police officer asserts that he was subject to unconstitutional retaliation under the First Amendment when he was demoted after being observed obtaining a local mayoral candidate's campaign sign at the request of his mother. Summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiff has failed to come forward with evidence that he actually exercised his First Amendment rights; and 2) claims of retaliation based only on the perceived exercise of First Amendment rights are foreclosed by Fogarty v. Boles. read more

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