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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 218 may. 20, 2015

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In the News more

Fast-Food Workers Photograph What Life Is Like When You Make Less Than $15 an Hour.

The best indication of what a federal $12 minimum wage could mean for poor places comes from Puerto Rico

The Economy Is Still Terrible for Young People

Minimum-wage increase helps workers, employers (Check Facebook for link)

SEIU wants FTC to probe franchisors' practices

OSHA cites Dollar General in Bear for safety violations

People have no idea what inequality actually looks like

Fair trade: Obama must be supportive of American workers

Cops: Minimum-wage protest may bring 5,000 to McDonald's HQ

Unionizing Benefits Adjunct Faculty, Students and Society

Stressed out by student debt

Labor bill that would fine big corporations paying low wages regains hope


Facebook has a new answer to income inequality

These are the things people who are forced to work long hours miss the most

Topic of the Week more

Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes--Leading Change at Work

For most of us, change at work is tough. This week: three Do's and one Don't for making a change that will be more successful. read more

BLOGS: Today’s Workplacemore

During a meeting of the Michigan House Committee on Commerce and Trade, Republican lawmakers sneakily introduced a substitute bill replacing HB 4052. The new legislation, sponsored by Rep. Earl Poleski (R), overrides all local ordinances governing employers' relationships with their employees. read more

According to a fall 2014 poll by Pew Research center, 77 percent of women and 63 percent of men agree that "this country needs to continue making changes to give men and women equality in the workplace." read more

On May 7, 2015, OSHA obtained a preliminary injunction in a Section 11(c) whistleblower case barring Lear Corporation from further retaliating against the whistleblower, Kimberly King. The injunction is a significant win for whistleblowers because the court's order broadly construes the scope of protected whistleblowing to include disclosures to the media, and it signals OSHA's stepped up enforcement of whistleblower protection laws. read more

Facebook issued new employee benefit guidelines that raise minimum pay to $15 and extends leave for third-party contract employees who work behind the scenes on the social network's campuses. read more

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that he is taking advantage of a state law to raise minimum wages without the involvement of the legislature. He's not the only governor with that power; others could also follow suit. read more

In the Courts more

Williams v. Superior Court (Marshalls of CA, LLC)

California Court of Appeal; No. B259967 Decision Date: May 15, 2015

In a representative action against a retail employer under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), alleging employer failed to provide its employees with meal and rest breaks or premium pay in lieu thereof, provide accurate wage statements, reimburse employees for necessary business-related expenses, and pay all earned wages during employment, plaintiff's action for a writ of mandate compelling the superior court to vacate its discovery order and enter a new order granting plaintiff's motion to compel production a list of all nonexempt employees who worked for employer beginning on March 22, 2012, is denied where the trial court's measured approach to discovery was reasonable. read more

Mercier v. US

Federal Circuit; No. 14-5074 Decision Date: May 15, 2015

In a suit brought by nurses employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, claiming entitlement to overtime pay under 38 U.S.C. section 7453(e)(1), the Court of Federal Claims final decision dismissing the complaint is reversed where the court erred in requiring that the nurses' overtime be officially ordered or approved by express direction to be compensable. read more

Brown v. Nucor Corp.

Fourth Circuit; No. 13-1779 Decision Date: May 11, 2015

In a case concerning the certification of a class of black steel workers who allege endemic racial discrimination at a South Carolina plant owned by defendants, alleging discriminatory job promotion practices and a racially hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. section 1981, the district court's second denial of class certification is again reversed and remanded where it misapprehended the reach of the Supreme Court's decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct. 2541 (2011), where: 1) statistics indicate that promotions at Nucor depended in part on whether an individual was black or white; 2) substantial anecdotal evidence suggests discrimination in specific promotions decisions in multiple plant departments; and 3) there is also significant evidence that those promotions decisions were made in the context of a racially hostile work environment. read more

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