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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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issue 213 apr. 15, 2015

THIS WEEK: Here in the Washington, DC area, we're still waiting for the cherry blossoms to bloom. But you don't have to wait for your practice to bloom when you partner with us. Our deluxe listings and advertising will shower you in April with potential clients, and our websites and web content keep your website as fresh as spring flowers!

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In the News more

How much each state spends on aid to poor workers

Why the federal government still sometimes doesn't obey its own minimum wage laws

Study: When companies pay low wages, taxpayers end up with the rest of the bill

Seattle council approves paid parental leave for city workers

Working, but Needing Public Assistance Anyway

McMugging the middle class: How corporate welfare conquered the American economy

Amazon sued in California over docked wages for warehouse workers.

What corporate America should do for low-wage workers

Rally Backs Fines For Employers Paying Less Than $15 An Hour

California Bill Would Extend Health Insurance to Undocumented Immigrants

Workers Who Clean Our Government Offices Say They're Being Ripped Off

D.C. home health-care workers file class-action suit alleging wage theft

Anita Hill speaks: How to avoid the next Ellen Pao case

Signs of hope for American workers

Starbucks to give workers a full ride for college

Topic of the Week more

Getting Reengaged At Work

With 70% of the workforce not engaged at work, here are four ways to say "I do" all over again. read more

BLOGS: Today’s Workplacemore

When you're choosing a cellular plan, your first thought probably isn't about the technicians, customers service representatives and retail store personnel that make the mobile magic happen. read more

When was the last time you heard a reporter refer to CEO pay as a "labor cost," despite the fact that for many companies these massive payouts are much bigger than the amount any prevailing wage law might increase worker pay? When was the last time you heard other common costs such as buying machines to build products or raising investment capital, as a similar type of burden? read more

A mother with a newborn baby in Canada has the right to receive paid family leave. So do mothers in France, Brazil, Australia, Pakistan, Venezuela even Russia. But not those in the United States. Our country is one of only five in the world, and the only developed nation, that does not require paid family leave. read more

After Ellen Pao, a former partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins and currently interim CEO of Reddit, lost her discrimination lawsuit against her former employer two weeks ago, some worried that the outcome would discourage other women from bringing lawsuits against the industry. read more

Last month, Assembly member Marie Waldron (R-San Diego) introduced AB 500, which would allow employers to hire workers who have successfully completed a drug rehabilitation program following conviction of a non-violent felony as independent contractors rather than employees for a period of two years. read more

In the Courts more

Santangelo v. New York Life Insurance Co.

First Circuit; 14-1912 Decision Date: April 6, 2015

Plaintiff was a life insurance agent with defendant insurance company for more than forty years before his termination, and he now contends that he was an "employee" and that in firing him, defendant engaged in age discrimination in violation of both state and federal law. Summary judgment in favor of defendant on all claims is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiff's state law age discrimination claims were time-barred; 2) no reasonable jury could conclude that defendant engaged in age discrimination under federal law in terminating plaintiff's agent contract; and 3) no reasonable jury could conclude that the termination breached plaintiff's contract with defendant or violated any of his common law rights. read more

Aponte-Ramos v. Alvarez-Rubio

First Circuit; 14-1050 Decision Date: April 3, 2015

Plaintiffs, current and former employees of defendant Puerto Rico State Insurance Fund Corporation (SIFC), allege that SIFC and its high level administrators selectively enforced Puerto Rico's merit principle against them in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed, where plaintiffs failed to identify similarly situated individuals treated differently by defendants. read more

Antonio v. SSA Security, Inc

Fourth Circuit; 13-1031 Decision Date: April 3, 2015

In this case, plaintiffs seek to hold defendant SSA Security responsible for a residential arson that was allegedly committed by one of its security guards. The district court granted summary judgment to SSA on plaintiffs' negligence-based claims and on their claim under the Maryland Security Guards Act (MSGA), concluding that the MSGA merely codified and did not expand the common-law doctrine of respondeat superior with regard to security companies. The judgment is affirmed, where MSGA section 19-501 does not impose liability beyond the common law principles of respondeat superior such that an employer would be responsible for the off-duty criminal acts of an employee, even if the employee planned any part of the off-duty criminal acts while he or she was on duty. read more

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