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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 229 aug. 5, 2015

THIS WEEK: Are you doing all you can do to reach the workers out there who need your help? At our website, we've had 1.75 million workers seeking more information about their rights in the past year, and our website and website clients have already reached over 50,000 more in 2015.

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In the News more

Minimum wage could go to $15 per hour

Supreme Court upholds right-to-work for state workers

Will there ever be an organics label for worker rights?

Department of Justice investigates fraud in disabled work program

Democrats Want To Extend Civil Rights Protections To Unpaid Interns

Companies have found something to give their workers instead of raises

Philadelphia nursing agency workers get $745,000 in unpaid wages

This San Francisco Cafe Is Just Fine With The $15 Minimum Wage

The Supreme Court: Too liberal?

The Insecure World of Freelancing

Dirty Work

How Do You Make Sure Generous Paid Leave Doesn't Backfire on Women? Focus on Men.

D.C. Circuit Backs NLRB on Hospital Discipline Cases

Applications for US Unemployment Aid Plummet to 42-Year Low

How a Group of Dim Sum Makers Won $4 Million in Back Pay

Topic of the Week more

Fill the Void: 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

Sydney Robinson

We Need a National Whistleblower Appreciation Day

July 29, 2015 | Sydney Robinson

On July 30th, employee advocates across the country will be urging their members of Congress to declare July 30th National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. July 30th is an apt choice for such a day, as it was on that day in 1778 that the Continental Congress passed the first ever law protecting brave employees who wanted to keep our country free of fraud and crime. But America has a long way to go before those who blow the whistle are always lauded or considered heroes. read more

Lauren Williams

Twitter Regrets Throwing Frat-Themed Employee Party

July 29, 2015 | Lauren Williams

Twitter threw a summer soiree to rival all soirees Tuesday. The microblogging site hosted a college-frat-party themed happy hour for its San Francisco employees complete with beer pong, a keg, those iconic red Solo cups synonymous with underage drinking, and a proud banner that read "TW?TT?R ?R?T H?VS?." read more

Beaudette Deetlefs, who goes by Bella, thought being an au pair in the United States would be a great opportunity. The agency she applied to told her she'd travel with her host family on vacation, earn enough to put money into savings, and be treated like a member of the family. read more

Are you an employee? It seems like a simple question that must have a simple answer for most people. But definitions in different laws and rulings enforcing the laws vary. And that variation provides an opening for a growing number of employers to cheat governments of taxes and workers of income, benefits and protections by misclassifying their employees, especially as "independent contractors." read more

Plans to dismember the A&P supermarket chain were revealed in a federal bankruptcy court in New York this week, with dire results predicted for more than 15,000 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union. read more

In the Courts more

Laurent v. PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP

Second Circuit; No. 14-1179 Decision Date: July 23, 2015

In a lawsuit against an accounting company and its retirement plan, alleging that the plan violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the district court's denial of defendants' motion to dismiss is affirmed where the plan's definition of "normal retirement age" as five years of service violates the statute not because five years of service is not an "age" but because it bears no plausible relation to "normal retirement." read more

Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom

Second Circuit; No. 14-3845 Decision Date: July 23, 2015

In a putative class action against law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Tower Legal Staffing, Inc. for violations of the overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. sections 201 et seq. (FLSA), arising out of plaintiff's work as a contract attorney in North Carolina, the district court's dismissal of the action is vacated where, although state not federal law informs FLSA's definition of "practice of law", and North Carolina has the greatest interest in this litigation, the district court erred in its conclusion that by undertaking the document review plaintiff was allegedly hired to conduct, plaintiff was necessarily "practicing law" within the meaning of North Carolina law. read more

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