December 31, 2004
Ruling on O'Neal's suspension
U.S. District Court Judge George B. Daniels, upheld the arbitrator's decision in the dispute bteween the NBA and Jermaine O'Neal of the Indiana Pacers. According to the judge,
According to the NYT (Judge's Ruling Favors O'Neal):
The league went to court after arbitrator Roger Kaplan said O'Neal's penalty should be cut to 15 games, citing the player's ``character, community involvement and citizenship.''
The NBA challenged Kaplan's authority to hear an appeal of Stern's punishment.
``We are puzzled with Judge Daniels' ruling because the Collective Bargaining Agreement states that an appeal of a suspension for 'conduct on the playing court' may be made only to the Commissioner, not to an arbitrator, and Jermaine O'Neal's actions took place entirely on the playing court,'' the NBA said in a statement Thursday. ...
``Fighting with or striking a fan has never been characterized as conduct on the playing court,'' Daniels said, reading from a written ruling. ``Striking a fan is inexcusable, and appropriately considered something different and much more serious.''
December 30, 2004
Illegal Workers Abuses
Around the metropolitan area, tens of thousands of retail, restaurant and factory workers are paid far below minimum wage, said Andrew Friedman of the activist group Make the Road By Walking.
December 29, 2004
Religion at Work
The All Times Union reports on an interesting case involving religious discrimnation out of Albany, N.Y. Here is the beginning of the article:
"To some people, Patricia Freund's job might sound perfect. But she doesn't think so.
Monday through Friday, she arrives at her spartan office at the State Liquor Authority at 8 a.m., and, for her entire 7-hour shift, does no work.
She spends the morning reading one of the novels she brings from her Argyle home -- until lunch-time, when she steps from the back office she shares with no one and that her boss never visits.
After the break, she returns to her desk and opens "A Distant Mirror," about the calamitous 14th century, because she has just finished "Bury Me Standing," a story about the journey of gypsies. Besides an occasional daydream, the novels help her pass the hours until quitting time at 4 p.m. Then she quietly slips out the back door, having done nothing productive for the $82,789 she is paid annually. With benefits, her job costs taxpayers more than $100,000 a year.
In a normal week, she speaks to no one, except maybe a janitor, and receives no assignments from her boss, Edward F. Kelly, chairman of the liquor authority, she says."
The employee involved argues that the reason for the treatmet she is receiving is that,
she has been outspoken about beliefs that public employees should keep their religious lives separate from their work lives. Her downfall, she says, came after she questioned why co-workers, particularly supervisors, attend the governor's annual prayer breakfast, an event she went to in 2000 and found offensive.
A couple of months ago, The New York Times Magazine featured an article (Faith At Work, by Rusell Shorto) which notes that religion could become the next big workplace issue.
December 28, 2004
Union Organizing Conference
The New York Law School Labor & Employment Law Program will co-host with NYLS’s Information Institute for Law & Justice Action Center, the Next Wave Organizing Conference, this coming January 27 and 28, 2005.
Here is the conference announcement:
Workplaces once were unionized or open shops, and workers either were or were not represented by a union. Today the situation has changed dramatically. Unions are organizing in new ways and workers are also finding alternative forms for organizing themselves.
On January 27 and 28, 2005, New York Law School’s Labor & Employment Law Program, Justice Action Center, and Institute for Information Law & Policy will present the Next Wave Organizing conference to examine how workers organize in the 21st Century and how new tools and techniques can be harnessed to improve organizing.
The Conference will convene students; union and other worker organizers; scholars in labor and employment law, industrial relations, economics, and political science; as well as technologists to discuss the future of worker organizing and organizing, generally. Panelists will address: What societal changes have led to next-wave organizing? Have next-wave organizers targeted new groups of workers, identified new goals for their organizing, and found new sources of leverage? How does technology help organizers, particularly organizers of low-wage workers, to increase their organizations’ leverage and how might they use technology even more effectively? Do next-wave organizations directly affect labor market outcomes, like wages, hours, and working conditions, in the way that traditional unions do? If not, should that be their goal and how can they accomplish that goal.
December 27, 2004
IRRA Annual Meeting
Lots of interesting papers and panels at the upcoming meeting of the Labor & Employment Relations Association (previsously known as the IRRA).
Here is a link to the program - Annual 2005 Annual Meeting, January 6-9 2005.