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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 211 apr. 1, 2015

THIS WEEK: As March nears its end, is your marketing going out like a lamb, when it should be like a lion? Our deluxe listings and advertising will shower you in April with potential clients, and our websites and web content are not fooling around!

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In the News more

NLRB joint employer cases against McDonald's set to begin

Why Is it So Hard to Find Jobs for Disabled Workers?

Justice Dept. sues a university for firing a professor who switched gender

Losing a job is always terrible. For workers over 50, it's worse.

Experts: Sex bias case will embolden women despite verdict

Mandatory sick leave moves forward in Capitol

As Job Rate Rises, Older Workers Are Often Left Behind

Walmart Would Really Rather Not Pay That $151M That Court Says It Owes Employees

Justices say pregnant workers can seek accommodations

Yes, You Should Ask for a Raise

Supreme Court Sides With Pregnant Workers

Justices revive case claiming UPS discriminated against pregnant worker

Wal-Mart wants U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Pa's. wage case

Where Have All Our Wages Gone?

America Needs Labor Unions

Topic of the Week more

Source Code: Effective Business Communications

Everyone at work seems to be overwhelmed today. With all of our bulging inboxes, it's so darned important for every one of us to learn how to communicate more efficiently and effectively. read more

BLOGS: Today’s Workplacemore

The Supreme Court decision in Young v. UPS is an important victory for Peggy Young. Young brought suit because, she needed a restriction on lifting packages over 21 pounds during her pregnancy, but UPS refused her. read more

Sucker punched by massive, illegally subsidized imports, American steel producers laid off thousands of workers in bedrock communities from Ohio and Illinois to Texas and Alabama. That's in just the past three months. read more

Updates have been made to our pages on Pregnancy Discrimination, Family Responsibilities Discrimination, and Gender Identity Discrimination. We've also added a new page with information about the rapidly growing body of State and Local Paid Sick Leave laws. read more

Nearly two dozen major corporations have joined together in recent years in an effort to gut workers' compensation laws in the states. Walmart, Lowe's, Macy's, Kohl's, Sysco Food Services and others formed the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers' Compensation (ARAWC) in 2013, and the organization already has had success in Tennessee. read more

The United States is one of just three countries in the world that doesn't require paid maternity leave. Just 12 percent of people who work in the private sector are offered paid family leave. That's one of many major hurdles women, particularly mothers, face in the workplace. read more

A fundamental change has taken place in the American workplace, and we are only now beginning to realize just how monumental it is. read more

Workers who get cheated out of their due pay in central Florida will have a much easier time recovering what they're owed after Osceola County approved a tough new wage theft law, making it the latest in a string of local governments to take on increased responsibility for enforcing federal wage and hour laws. read more

Men out-earned women in every specialty except orthopedics, with the gap ranging from $3,792 in chronic care to $17,290 for nurse anesthetists. read more

The massive push toward subcontracting and supply chains I wrote about in my prior post didn't happen overnight, and it certainly won't be fixed overnight either. read more

A judge at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) yesterday found T-Mobile U.S. guilty of engaging in nationwide labor law violations against workers. The unprecedented ruling comes after a rare move last year by the NLRB consolidating multiple complaints against T-Mobile U.S. for illegal actions and policies in Albuquerque, N.M.; Wichita, Kan.; Charleston, S.C., and New York City. read more

Without aggressive action, the right-to-work tsunami will sweep more states. To defeat it, the first step is committing to fight back, rather than resigning ourselves to what some say is inevitable. read more

In the Courts more

Protect Our Benefits v. City and County of San Francisco

California Court of Appeal; A140095 Decision Date: March 27, 2015

In November 2011, City and County of San Francisco voters passed Proposition C, an initiative measure that, among other things, amended the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco to condition the payment of supplemental cost of living allowance (supplemental COLA) to retired employees of the City and County on the retirement fund being "fully funded" based on the market value of the assets for the previous year. Petitioner, a political action committee representing the interests of retired City employees, appeals from a superior court order denying its petition for writ of mandate seeking to invalidate Proposition C as an impairment of a vested contractual pension right under the contract clauses of the federal and state Constitutions. The judgment is affirmed and part and reversed in part, where: 1) with respect to current City employees and employees who retired after the supplemental COLA first went into effect in November 1996, the full funding requirement cannot stand; and 2) with respect to employees who retired prior to November 1996, they had no vested contractual right in the supplemental COLA and consequently, the 2011 amendment may be applied to their pensions. read more

Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.

U.S. Supreme Court; 12-1226 Decision Date: March 25, 2015

When plaintiff became pregnant, she was told by her employer, defendant United Parcel Service, that she could not work while under a pregnancy lifting restriction due to the nature of her job as a part-time driver handling packages. Plaintiff alleges that defendant acted unlawfully in refusing to accommodate her pregnancy-related lifting restriction. Plaintiff further alleges that defendant had, pursuant to its internal policies, accommodated several individuals whose disabilities created work restrictions similar to hers. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant, and the Fourth Circuit affirmed. The judgment is vacated and the case is remanded, where: 1) the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires that employers provide similar accommodations as they do to any other persons who are similar in their ability or inability to work; 2) a pregnant worker demonstrating disparate treatment may make out a prima facie case under the McDonnell Douglas framework by showing that she belongs to the protected class, that she sought accommodation, that the employer did not accommodate her, and that the employer did accommodate others similarly situated in their ability to work; 3) there is a genuine dispute as to whether defendant provided more favorable treatment to at least some employees whose situation cannot reasonably be distinguished from plaintiff's; 4) plaintiff introduced evidence that defendant had three separate accommodation policies, and taken together, these policies significantly burdened pregnant women; and 5) the Fourth Circuit did not consider the combined effects of these policies, nor did it consider the strength of defendant's justifications for each when combined. read more

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