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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 206 feb. 25, 2015

THIS WEEK: With the fierce winter weather in some parts of the country, you may not be able to get to your office. But by partnering with Workplace Fairness, your marketing plan will never take a snow day.

Our deluxe listings and advertising are on the job matching you with potential clients, regardless of the weather, and our websites and web content provide informative reading to those learning more about their rights while stuck at home.

If you would like to learn more about the services we offer, please contact us at [email protected] or call 240-772-1205.

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In the News more

Elder scare: Low pay afflicts America's fastest-growing job

Home care workers rally for higher wages

In Walmart pay hike, biz groups find new ammo to fight federal mandate

Local activists say Wal-Mart wage increases a step in the right direction toward a living wage for all

In Service Sector, No Rest for the Working

U.S. Oil Workers Reject Shell's Contract Offer Prolonging Strike

Wal-Mart May Be Cheap, but It Would Rather Give Up Money Than Power

Legally Married, but Their Boss Disagrees

What Wal-Mart's Pay Raise May Mean For Other Workers

4 reasons Walmart is the most-hated retailer in America

Hanford tank farm workers say not enough done to protect, help them

Walmart Pitched Minimum Wage Hike As Boon To Its Workers.

General Mills sees 'no merit' in age discrimination lawsuit

Female domestic workers emerge from the shadows to fight abusive employers

Schnurman: RadioShack the latest case of workers getting squeezed when money's short.

Topic of the Week more

Waiting to Exhale

Are you working harder than ever before? There is nothing like the memories of laid off coworkers leaving the office with all of their personal items in a cardboard box to serve as a painful memory that's still too fresh in most of our minds. Workaholics? read more

BLOGS: Today’s Workplacemore

Tipped workers in New York state have won a major victory, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state's Hospitality Wage Board announce that their minimum wage, which had been frozen at $5 an hour, will be increased to $7.50 an hour starting December 31. read more

Six years ago today, President Obama signed his first piece of legislation - the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to extend the time period in which an employee could file a claim for pay discrimination. The Act overruled the United States Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber, which Ledbetter said allowed her employer to pay her unfairly "long enough to make it legal." read more

A new AFL-CIO report released today finds that four nations that would be major players under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are out of compliance with international labor standards and, therefore, with the commitments they would undertake under the TPP. read more

Accepting the Oscar for best supporting actress, Patricia Arquette gave a shout out to equal pay. read more

Bryce Covert

Walmart Will Raise Its Minimum Wage To $10 An Hour

February 19, 2015 | Bryce Covert

On Thursday, Walmart announced that it will raise all of its full-time and part-time employees' pay to at least $9 an hour starting in April. The lowest wage will rise to $10 an hour by February of next year. read more

In a win for local workers, last week Illinois's Cook County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed what workers' advocates say is one of the strongest ordinances to combat wage theft to date in the U.S. read more

Paternity leave, on the other hand, is not as widespread: 70 countries guarantee paid leave for fathers after the birth of their children, compared to 182 that ensure maternity leave. read more

There are least 43 million U.S. workers who cannot earn a single paid sick day and have to decide between losing wages or even risking their jobs to take care of their own illness or a sick family member. read more

The city of Philadelphia is set to become the 17th city (along with three states) that requires paid sick leave after Mayor Michael Nutter (D) signed legislation passed yesterday by the City Council. read more

Franchise operators at Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches in Baltimore are proving true to the national chain's anti-union reputation with an aggressive counter-attack against local labor organizing, including a decision in late January to fire an outspoken union supporter, say advocates for the Jimmy John's Workers Union, an affiliate of the radical union Industrial Workers of the World. read more

In the Courts more

Soto-Feliciano v. Villa Cofresi Hotels, Inc.

First Circuit; 13-2296 Decision Date: February 20, 2015

In this employment discrimination case, plaintiff alleges that he was fired because of his age and in retaliation for his efforts to assert his rights against this alleged discrimination. Summary judgment for the defendants is reversed, where: 1) plaintiff has put forth a sufficient prima facie case of age discrimination to survive summary judgment; 2) a rational jury could reasonably infer that, based on the evidence, defendants fired plaintiff due to his age and not some other nondiscriminatory pretext; 3) plaintiff has shown inconsistencies in defendants' case sufficient to support an inference of pretext; and 4) a rational jury could find for plaintiff on his retaliation claim. read more

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Freeman

Fourth Circuit; 13-2365 Decision Date: February 20, 2015

In this case, defendant Freeman conducted background checks on its job applicants, which plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges had an unlawful disparate impact on black and male job applicants. Judgment of the district court granting summary judgment to Freeman after excluding the EEOC's expert testimony as unreliable under Federal Rule of Evidence 702 is affirmed, where: 1) the district court properly excluded the EEOC's expert testimony as unreliable given the sheer number of mistakes, omissions, and fallacies in the expert's analysis, which rendered it outside the range where experts might reasonably differ; and 2) without this testimony, the agency failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination. read more

McBride v. International Longshoremen's Association

Third Circuit; 13-4260 Decision Date: February 19, 2015

In this case, appellant Union challenges the district court's order denying its motion for relief from judgment under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure rule 60(b)(5), arguing that the court mistakenly classified appellee Knight as a prevailing party and wrongly awarded him attorneys fees, including costs and post-judgment fees. In the underlying case involving due process and free speech claims brought by Knight, the district court found in favor of Knight, deciding that the Union violated Knight's due process rights. The judgment of the district court awarding Knight attorney's fees is affirmed, where the district court did not abuse its discretion in based its decision to define Knight as a "prevailing party" on his due process and free speech successes from the first hearing in 2006 rather than his defeat in 2013, as under the common benefit doctrine, the district court was required to make such determination based on the point in time that Knight vindicated his Title I rights in a way that was significant to the union members at-large. read more

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