August 12, 2005
Hair Salons Sued Over Alleged Language Ban
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the operators of 22 Supercuts hair salons in the Chicago area barred Hispanic employees from speaking Spanish to one another even while on break, a federal lawsuit alleged Thursday.
The suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accused the owners of the stores, Primps L.L.C. and Management Advantage Group Inc., of discriminating on the basis of national origin with their "English only" rule.
Sutter Health's Lockout Ruled an Unfair Labor Practice
Sacbee, the online division of The Sacramento Bee, is reporting that the NLRB's general counsel has determined that eight Bay Area Sutter Health centers violated federal labor law by locking out union employees for four days following their one-day strike last December.
Birmingham to Spend Millions to Fix ADA Violations
The Associated Press is reporting that Birmingham officials have reached an agreement with the DOL to spend millions of dollars to bring city facilities into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A DOL inspection in December found more than one thousand violations of ADA guidelines at 53 city buildings.
August 11, 2005
Whirlpool Corp. Agrees to Pay $850,000 in Back Wages to Settle Discrimination Claims
The Department of Labor is reporting that Whirlpool has enter into a consent decree that settles the DOL's allegations that Whirlpool engaged in hiring discrimination from March 1, 1997 to February 28, 1998. The company admits no liability. In addition to paying the back wages, Whirlpool will hire 48 of the rejected African-American applicants.
New Census Bureau Report Shows New York Leads in Wages, Los Angeles in Number of Businesses
The US Census just released the 2003 County Business Patterns. Findings include:
"New York County (Manhattan), N.Y., had the highest payroll per employee among the nation's largest counties, while Los Angeles County, Calif., had the highest number of business establishments, according to 2003 County Business Patterns, released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The updated report contains a variety of information on businesses in more than 1,000 industries from the national level down to states and more than 3,100 counties. It provides data on the number of establishments, number of employees and quarterly and annual payroll based on the 2002 North American Industry Classification System."
- Joe Hodnicki
Casebeer and Minda's Work Law in American Society
Work Law in American Society
Kenneth Casebeer and Gary Minda
Carolina Academic Press, 2005
$100, Student $80
Teacher's Manual forthcoming
Book Description: Written in the traditions of legal realism, law and society, and materials analysis, Work Law in American Society offers law students a paradigm-shifting introduction to the field of labor and employment law. This casebook is different from others of the genre in that it focuses on both individual and collective law and legal power in our society. Organized around the legal contests facing people who work within a democratically established market economy, this book deals with contemporary conflicts within finance-driven and internationalized divisions of social labor in increasingly multi-cultural workforces. It is meant to facilitate student speculation on the many relationships of legal practices within, and to, democracy.
- Joe Hodnicki
August 10, 2005
Edited Videotape Evidence Fails to Establish Just Cause
BNA is reporting on In re United Parcel Service, 121 LA 207 (2005), where Arbitrator Aaron S. Wolff held that videotape evidence of surveillance of driver purportedly showing him wasting time does not establish that his discharge was with just cause, where tapes were edited, they do not show his movements throughout day, and they do not show whether he was doing work other than deliveries—such as sorting packages—when he was parked, or just loitering.
August 9, 2005
Recent Noteworthy NLRB Decisions
Confidentially rule constitutes unlawful interference
BNA is reporting on an NLRB decision where the employer violated LMRA by maintaining, in its employee reference guide, confidentiality rule that prohibited release of "any information" concerning "its partners," where employer refers to its employees as "partners," and rule could be reasonably construed by employees to restrict discussion of wages and other terms and conditions of employment with their fellow employees and with union. Cintas Corp. 344 NLRB No. 118, 177 LRRM 1269 (June 30, 2005)
ADA does not require unilateral abrogation of seniority systems
Employer violated LMRA when it unilaterally transferred employee from second shift to first shift based on letter from doctor stating that employee was taking medication at night that might cause him to endanger his co-workers, where, pursuant to US Airways Inc. v. Barnett, 535 U.S. 391, 12 AD Cases 1729 (2002), Americans with Disabilities Act does not require employer to assign employee to particular position when assignment would violate employer's established seniority system, employer maintained seniority system governing shift assignments, another employee on second shift had more seniority, employer did not notify or bargain with union before implementing transfer, and bargaining with union to comply with LMRA will not result in violation of ADA. Industria Lechera De Puerto Rico Inc. (Indulac Inc.), 344 NLRB No. 133, 177 LRRM 1260 (June 30, 2005).
August 8, 2005
BLS Report on Computer and Internet Use at Work
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released Computer and Internet Use at Work in 2003. From the press release:
"In October 2003, 77 million persons used a computer at work, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. These workers accounted for 55.5 percent of total employment. About 2 of every 5 employed individuals connected to the Internet or used e-mail while on the job. These proportions were slightly higher than those measured in the prior survey conducted in September 2001."