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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 215 apr. 29, 2015

THIS WEEK: Did you survive "Mobilegeddon" unscathed? On April 21, Google started looking at websites to determine whether they work on mobile devices. But if your website doesn't pass Google's test, then prepare for it to be downgraded in mobile search results, which could affect one-third or more of your traffic.

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In the News more

Poll: Most Americans believe fast food workers should be able to unionize

Business Bid to Curb Consumer Suits Gets Top U.S. Court Look

Americans greet the decline of union rolls with a shrug

This Year's May Day Rallies Continue Tradition of Protests for Workers Rights

Who actually makes the minimum wage in America today?

What's in a $12 minimum wage?

Why the retirement savings crisis is also a women's crisis

Minnesota House passes lower minimum wage for tip workers

Battling a Damaging Workplace Trend

Claims Hovering Near 15-Year Low Signal U.S. Payroll Rebound

What if Walmart raised its minimum wage to $70,000 a year?

Food workers, janitors walk out on U.S. Senate

One-third have almost no retirement savings

Robert Reich: America's "flexible" economy is making workers' lives hell

Prominent whistle-blower lawyer takes aim at Silicon Valley

Topic of the Week more

Sweating the Small Stuff: Avoiding Job Hunting Mistakes

You know the phrase, "don't sweat the small stuff"? It applies great in life, but when it comes to job interviews, the little stuff often has a huge impact on getting hired. read more

BLOGS: Today’s Workplacemore

Jonathan Tasini

$357 Billion: The Clock Ticks

April 29, 2015 | Jonathan Tasini

Just a moment to pause and update everyone: going back to 1968, workers have lost more than $357 billion because of the robbery due to the stagnant minimum wage. read more

Driscoll's may be the U.S.'s most recognizable brand name on strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry cartons. Its conventional and organic berries can be found year-round everywhere from Sam's Club to Whole Foods. read more

Leo Gerard

The Words of Dead Workers

April 28, 2015 | Leo Gerard

To give voice to 35 workers killed on the job over the past 35 years at a massive refinery in Texas City, hundreds of surviving family members, co-workers and friends gathered there last month to erect white crosses marked with their names. read more

Last week, the Florida legislature passed a bill banning discrimination against pregnant women at work as well as in public places like restaurants or hotels. read more

Mike Hall

Get Ready for DC Labor and Film Fests

April 25, 2015 | Mike Hall

The second annual DC LaborFest begins Friday, May 1, and runs the entire month and includes the 15th annual DC Labor FilmFest, as well as labor arts, including music, theater, poetry, books, art and history. read more

April 24 is the two-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh that killed more than 1,130 garment workers. The AFL-CIO Solidarity Center's Tula Connell reports that in the months after the 2013 tragedy, global outrage spurred much-needed changes, including the closing of dozens of unsafe factories, the adoption of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety and, most significantly, the formation and recognition of workers' unions by the Bangladeshi government. read more

The top 10 banks alone bring in some $100 billion in annual profits, and a significant amount of that revenue is generated from sometimes unethical and questionable tactics that working families have a hard time fighting back against. read more

Heavy machinery manufacturer Caterpillar gave its CEO a 14 percent raise last year, in a $17.1 million package of cash, stock, and other compensation that is hard to justify in light of the famed brand's actual performance. read more

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against the Maryland Insurance Administration, which regulates the state's insurance companies, for willfully paying female employees less than men who were doing the same work. read more

A key component of any union drive is workers' recognition that their problems on the job are shared rather than unique ones, and that they therefore must be solved by collective action. read more

In the Courts more

Flethez v. San Bernardino Co. Employees Retirement Assn.

California Court of Appeal; D066959 Decision Date: April 22, 2015

In a petition for writ of mandamus seeking retroactive disability retirement benefits, the trial court's judgment, granting the petition and award of Civil Code section 3287(a) prejudgment interest on the retroactive benefits, is reversed where the trial court erred by awarding prejudgment interest on retroactive disability benefits before payments of those benefits were due and before his right to recover those payments became vested under section 3287(a). read more

Freight Drivers and Helpers Local Union 557 Pension Fund v. Penske Logistics LLC

Fourth Circuit; 14-1464 Decision Date: April 21, 2015

A party to an arbitration proceeding under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 (MPPAA) can obtain review of the arbitration order, as provided in 29 U.S.C. section 1401(b)(2), by commencing an action by filing a complaint. Here, the amended complaint related back to the filing date of the original complaint, thus rendering it timely. read more

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