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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 208 mar. 11, 2015

THIS WEEK: Will this winter ever end? Even when you can't brave the weather, your online marketing strategy will be on the job 24/7 when you partner with Workplace Fairness.

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In the News more

Why Retailers Are Suddenly Desperate to Keep Their Least-Valuable Workers

Bill Proposes Boosting Minimum Wage For Tipped Workers

Papa John's franchisee ordered to pay New York City workers more than $2 million

Workplace Injuries Are Adding To Income Inequality: Labor Department

Workplace Injuries Are Adding To Income Inequality: Labor Department

The workers' compensation system is broken - and it's driving people into poverty

Apple to hire own security and put them on payroll

Perception is not reality: Public Employees and "Perceived Speech"

Laws that decimate unions may be inevitable. Here's how labor can survive.

Why it's nearly impossible for you to sue your credit card company

Right to work for less: Gov. Scott Walker wants to lower worker pay in Wisconsin

Apple-Google $415 Million No-Poaching Accord Wins Approval

What's Behind Restaurant Workers' Faster-Rising Paychecks?

Jail exploits detainees, lawsuit says

Oakland's minimum wage gets big hike starting Monday

Topic of the Week more

Talking About My Generation: Managing Different Ages at Work

From old timers to twenty-somethings, managing today's multigenerational workplace can be a huge challenge. read more

BLOGS: Today’s Workplacemore

David Tindell

Union benefits that could save your home

March 10, 2015 | David Tindell

One out of every 200 homes will be foreclosed according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. For a city the size of Washington, DC, that's as much as 3,000 homes per year. And what does foreclosure look like? 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

Dave Johnson

How Our Trade Policies Kill Jobs

March 9, 2015 | Dave Johnson

Trade is great. We all trade. A lot of us trade labor for money that buys other things. A farmer trades corn for money that buys other things, and so on. No one is "against trade." read more

On Friday, Germany passed a law that will require companies to give 30 percent of supervisory board positions to women. The quota will apply to the country's 100 biggest companies by next year, where women currently hold just 18.6 percent of board director seats. read more

Carmen Berkley

Black Equality Doesn't End in February

March 3, 2015 | Carmen Berkley

Black History Month is more than just acknowledgement in a newspaper or a special program at your children's school. It's an opportunity to reflect on how far black people in the United States have come in their struggle for justice and equal rights, while not forgetting the scores of women and men whose lives have been destroyed by our biased judicial system. read more

There is an enormous amount of political debate over various pieces of legislation that are supposed to be massive job killers. For example, Republicans lambasted President Obama's increase in taxes on the wealthy back in 2013 as a job killer. They endlessly have condemned the Affordable Care Act as a job killer. The same is true for proposals to raise the minimum wage. read more

Betzaida Cruz Cardona is 32-weeks pregnant, unemployed, and homeless. But just a few months ago, she had a job she was willing and able to do that paid her rent. read more

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer tries to stay far away from the gender-based stereotypes plaguing the tech industry. read more

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is no friend to labor, but this week his policies helped one of the most vulnerable segments of workers. read more

"America's legacy of racism and racial injustice has been and continues to be a fundamental obstacle to workers' efforts to act together to build better lives for all of us," says the AFL-CIO Executive Council in a statement announcing the creation of a Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice. read more

In the Courts more

Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association

U.S. Supreme Court; 13-1041 Decision Date: March 9, 2015

In this case, in 2006 the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (the Department) issued an opinion letter finding that mortgage-loan officers fell within the administrative except to overtime pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and in 2010 the Department withdrew the 2006 opinion letter without notice or an opportunity to comment and issued an Administrator's Interpretation concluding that mortgage-loan officers do not qualify for the administrative exception. Respondent filed suit contending that the Administrator's Interpretation was procedurally invalid under the D.C. Circuit's decision in Paralyzed Veterans of Am. v. D.C. Arena L.P, which holds that an agency must use the Administrative Procedure Act's (APA) notice-and-comment procedures when it wishes to issue a new interpretation of a regulation that deviates significantly from a previously adopted interpretation. The district court granted summary judgment to the Department, but the D.C. Circuit applied Paralyzed Veterans and reversed. The judgment of the circuit court is reversed, where: 1) the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine is contrary to the clear test of the APA's rule making provisions and improperly imposes on agencies an obligation beyond the APA's maximum procedural requirements; and 2) APA section 4 specifically exempts interpretive rules from notice-and-comment requirements. read more

Ayala v. Shinseki

First Circuit; 13-2260 Decision Date: March 6, 2015

In this case, plaintiff filed a civil action pursuant to Title VII's anti-retaliation provision (24 U.S.C. section 2000e-3(a)) against defendant Department of Veterans Affairs, her former employer. The district court ruled that plaintiff's Title VII retaliation claims were time-barred and entered partial summary judgment in favor of defendant. The judgment is affirmed, where, since both employment actions challenged by plaintiff constitute discrete acts, the continuing violation doctrine does not apply to plaintiff's claims, and thus her claims are time-barred. read more

Werkheiser v. Pocono Township

Third Circuit; 13-3646 Decision Date: March 3, 2015

In this case involving First Amendment retaliation, plaintiff alleges that he was denied reappointment to his position as Roadmaster with the Township as a result of speech he expressed in his capacity as an elected official concerning the Board of Supervisors' overpayment for administrative duties. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on grounds that they were entitled to qualified immunity as to plaintiff's federal claim against them. The judgment of the district court denying defendants' motion to dismiss and finding that plaintiff had established a constitutional violation is vacated and remanded, where: 1) well-reasoned decisions on both sides render the law sufficiently unclear at the time of defendants' actions so as to shield them from liability; 2) the law was not clearly established that the kind of retaliation defendants engaged in against plaintiff violated his First Amendment rights; 3) elected officials who are retaliated against by their peers have limited recourse under the First Amendment when the actions taken against them do not interfere with the ability to perform their elected duties; and 4) it is debatable whether a reasonable official in defendants' position would have under that retaliating against plaintiff by denying him reappointment would violate his constitutional rights. read more

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