March 11, 2005
Prof. Green new scholarship
Professor Michael Z. Green, (Texas Wesleyan) has been very busy in the scholarship front. Among his upcoming articles are:
Finding Lawyers for Employees in Discrimination Disputes as a Critical Prescription for Unions to Embrace Racial Justice, 7 Univ. Penn. J. Lab. & Empl. L. 55. The article asserts that unions and employees may be able to agree about seeking racial justince in the unionized and non-unionized workplace by addressing on significant problem - the inability of employees to find legal counsel in employment discrimination disputes.
An Essay Challenging the Racially Biased Selection of Arbitrators for Employment Discrimination Claims, 4 J. of American Arb. (forthcoming 2005). The article attacks the dearth of arbitrators of color involved in handling employment discrimnation claims and suggests the legal challenge to such practices under section 1981.
Addressing Race Discrimination Under Title VII After Forty Years: The Promise of ADR as Interest-Convergence, 48 Howard L.J. (forthcoming 2005). The article discusses the value of ADR for handling Title VII race discrimination claims when merged with concerns of employers about valuing workplace diversity.
Tackling Employment Discrimination with ADR: Does Mediation Offer a Shield for the Haves or Real Opportunity for the Have-Nots?, 26 Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. L. (forthcoming 2005). The article argues for more employers to use mediation in resolving employment discrimination claims.
Recent Congressional Research Service Reports on FLSA Issues
Law Librarian Blog posted a bibliography of recent Congressional Research Service reports today, including the following labor-related reports:
COMPUTER SERVICES PERSONNEL: OVERTIME PAY UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT
Publication Date: 02/07/2005
Author(s): William G. Whittaker, Domestic Social Policy Division
No. of Pages: 7
Document No.: RL30537
TREATMENT OF WORKERS WITH DISABILITIES UNDER SECTION 14(C) OF THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT
Publication Date: 02/09/2005
Author(s): William G. Whittaker, Domestic Social Policy Division
No. of Pages: 37
Document No.: RL30674
RETIREMENT BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Publication Date: 01/21/2005
Author(s): Patrick Purcell, Domestic Social Policy Division
No. of Pages: 13
Document No.: RL30631
Prof. Secunda's on Public Employees Privacy Rights
Prof. Paul Secunda (Mississippi) has published, Lawrence's Quintessential Millian Moment and its Impact on the Doctrine of Unconstitutional Conditions, 50 Vill. L. Rev. 117 (2005). Professor Secunda argues that Lawrence v. Texas’ innovative approach to substantive due process will have beneficial consequences for public employee privacy rights. In particular, he argues that the doctrine of unconstitutional conditions requires a constitutional balancing between the public right to maintain the discipline of the service against an employee’s heightened interests in privacy and intimate association recognized in Lawrence. He uses the example of faculty-student consensual relationship policies at public universities as a model to argue that more emphasis should be given to the personal autonomy rights of employees in the public workplace when employers seek to regulate the private lives of their employees.
March 10, 2005
Report on Language Diversity in the US
The U.S. English Foundation recently issued a report on linguistic diversity in the U.S.
"The report details the languages spoken in the nation, each of the 50 states, 3,141 counties and more than 200 metropolitan areas. Using data gathered from Census 2000, Many Languages, One America provides an extensive look at the breakdown of every language from Abnaki to Zuni in every county from Abbeville County, S.C., to Ziebach County, S.D....
Of the 322 languages spoken in the United States, 93 had more than 10,000 speakers and 38 had more than 100,000 speakers. English was the most common language spoken in every state, although four languages (English, Spanish, Navaho, and Yupik) were most common in at least one U.S. county. In all, 192 languages placed among the 10 most common in at least one county and 60 languages placed in the 10 most common in at least one state."
March 9, 2005
NLRB Recent Developments
The NLRB recently issued its decision in, Family Fare d/b/a Glen’s Market (7‑RC‑22118; 344 NLRB No. 25) Oscoda, MI Feb. 22, 2005.
The Board adopted the hearing officer’s recommendation to overrule the Employer’s objections and certified the Petitioner (Food & Commercial Workers Local 87) as the exclusive collective-bargaining representative of the employees in the appropriate unit. The tally of ballots showed 28 for and 20 against, the Petitioner, with 8 challenged ballots. One of the challenges was resolved by stipulation of the parties before the hearing and as a result, the remaining challenged ballots are not determinative.
Relying on the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Harborside Healthcare Inc. v. NLRB, 230 F.3d 206, 212 (6th Cir. 2000), the Employer argued that the prounion activities of Deli Manager Vicki Doran and Bakery Manager Matt Kovachevich prior to the election had interfered with employees’ free choice. In overruling the objections, the hearing officer held that even assuming that the department managers were statutory supervisors, their conduct was not objectionable because it was devoid of any threats of reprisal or promises of benefit
In an earlier determination, the Regional Director found that the department managers are statutory supervisors solely because they have authority to evaluate employees, and their independent assessment of an employee’s progress determines how the employee will fare under the reward system. This authority extended only to the employees in each manager’s department. The Board concluded that because there was no evidence in the record that Doran and Kovachevich directed their prounion activities toward any employee over whom they exercised their supervisory authority, their conduct could not reasonably have coerced or interfered with employees’ free choice in the election.
On the aftermath of Boeing CEO's termination as the result of a consensual affair with a female Boeing executive, several newspapers report on issues related to workplace romances. Here is a summary:
The Arizona Republic, Affairs in the workplace getting heightened scrutiny, by Jane M. Von Bergen:
Memo to chief executives: This is probably not the best time to have an affair with an employee.
That's a lesson that Boeing Co. Chief Executive and President Harry Stonecipher, 68, learned the hard way Sunday when he was asked to resign for what the Chicago-based defense and aerospace company said Monday was a breach of its code of conduct.
The breach stemmed from a relationship, said to be consensual, that Boeing said Stonecipher, a married man, had with a female Boeing executive, who was not a direct report.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Some employers try to set rules for love, by Tammy Joyner:
Monday's abrupt ouster of Boeing's top executive illustrates how U.S. companies, pressured by more stringent ethics laws and codes of conduct, may begin clamping down on all sorts of behavior at work.
"The lines are being drawn," said John Challenger, a Chicago-area outplacement executive who tracks workplace trends.
Already reeling from one scandal, the Chicago-based airplane maker and defense contractor may be trying to pre-empt another by forcing out Chief Executive Harry Stonecipher. Stonecipher is the second CEO to leave Boeing in the past 15 months. His predecessor left amid a defense contracting scandal that led to two other executives going to prison.
Overall, however, workplace experts say, corporate America is confused and contradictory on this issue.
"Some companies just don't manage consensual relations at all," said sexual harassment attorney Kathleen Peratis. "They just freak out and don't know what to do."
Stonecipher was not fired for having an extramarital affair, but for potentially embarrassing Boeing. He reportedly sent his lover graphic e-mails that could potentially have become public.
He is the second Boeing CEO to leave in the past 15 months. Given that Stonecipher was hired to clean up Boeing's image after a series of ethical scandals, he has acknowledged the firing was justified.
Labor Relations Asia-Pacific
New book edited by Roger Blanpain, Labour Relations in the Asia-Pacific Countries.
Important issues concerning labour and industrial relations necessarily arise as markets among the countries around the Pacific Ocean become more integrated. With economic activity levels as different as that of the United States and that of Papua New Guinea, and with labour forces ranging in size from that of China to that of the Sultanate of Brunei not to mention a vast spectrum of diverse cultural standards and customs this important regional grouping demands the attention of labour law specialists if trade integration is to proceed amicably and to the benefit of all.
In this valuable book sixteen academics and other professionals in the field present informed and insightful essays on aspects of labour and industrial relations law in ten countries (Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, and the United States) as well as under the ASEAN regime. Among the imperative issues these authors elucidate are the following:
collaboration within the firm to raise productivity; the need for competitiveness among firms; the importance of human relations and social responsibility; the development of social security policy; and
For the table of contents see here.
reducing the risk and absorbing the benefits of integration under conditions of rapid social and industrial change.
These papers were originally presented in 2001 in a report by the Peruvian labour journal An lisis Laboral, in response to a request by the Regional Office of the International Labour Organisation for a study of employment conditions, labour relations, and social security in the APEC countries as seen from a Latin American perspective. It was immediately apparent that many of the papers in this report were of great value to the international labour law community, and accordingly those papers are collected and reprinted here.
March 8, 2005
Senate defeats minimum wage hike proposal:
The Senate defeated dueling proposals Monday to raise the $5.15-an-hour minimum wage one backed by organized labor, the other salted with pro-business provisions in a day of skirmishing that reflected Republican gains in last fall's elections.
Both plans fell well short of the 60 votes needed to advance, and signaled that prospects for raising the federal wage floor, unchanged since 1996, are remote during the current two-year Congress.
"I believe that anyone who works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year should not live in poverty in the richest country in the world," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., arguing for the Democratic proposal to increase the minimum wage by $2.10 over the next 26 months.
Senate Defeats Minimum Wage Increase (by David Espo)