August 25, 2005
Foreman Not a Supervisor
BNA is reporting on a recent NLRB decision. In Pacific Beach Corp., 344 NLRB No. 140, 177 LRRM 1289 (July 29, 2005), the Board denied the Union's challenge to maintenance foreman's ballot on ground that he is supervisor, even though he initialed employees' vacation request forms, was involved in scheduling employees' work, could ask employees to work overtime, received work requests from other departments and distributed those requests among employees, and checked to see if employees were doing their work properly and directed them to redo it if done incorrectly, where only his supervisor could approve vacation and time-off requests, he worked from "boilerplate" schedule and made weekly changes according to his supervisor's instructions, he did not have authority to require overtime, and mere distribution of routine tasks and monitoring the way each task was performed does not rise to level of supervisory status, absent evidence that qualifications and abilities are weighed.
August 24, 2005
Employment Dispute Impedes Cancer Research Project
According to Law.com, Dr. Young Ko sued Johns Hopkins and four colleagues in June claiming she was discriminated against and her research was impeded because she is an Asian woman with a successful project. The plaintiff also alleges that her colleagues stole her research. The Johns Hopkins researcher has been able to eliminate advanced liver cancer in lab animals using an inexpensive drug named 3-bromopyruvate.
Johns Hopkins denies the allegations, stating in court papers that it declined to renew Ko's three-year contract "in view of her lack of collegiality, cooperation, insubordination, and her hostile and insulting attacks directed at ... senior faculty members."
Meanwhile human trials based on Dr. Ko's discovery are on hold. Not a good thing.
- Joe Hodnicki
August 23, 2005
Professor Finkin Inducted into College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
Professor Matthew Finkin, the Albert J. Harno Professor of Law at the University of Illinois, was formally inducted earlier this month as a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. This honor is reserved for the nation’s elite in the field of labor and employment law and only bestowed on individuals who have demonstrated a long and prolific contribution to the practice of labor and employment law
Professor Finkin, an internationally renowned scholar in labor law, has taught courses in labor and employment law at the UI College of Law since 1988. Read more about it.
August 22, 2005
Will Organized Labor's Center of Gravity Shift to China?
BusinessWeek Online is reporting on the development of a grassroots labor movement in China. See Waking Up To Their Rights.
See also the Business Week interview with Lee Cheuk Yan, General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.
NBER Report on Work Disability Reporting
Work Disability is a Pain in the *****, Especially in England, The Netherlands, and the United States by James Banks, Arie Kapteyn, James P. Smith, Arthur van Soest - 11558
Abstract: This paper investigates the role of pain in determining self-reported work disability in the US, the UK and The Netherlands. Even if identical questions are asked, cross-country differences in reported work disability remain substantial. In the US and the Netherlands, respondent evaluations of work limitations of hypothetical persons described in pain vignettes are used to identify the extent to which differences in self-reports between countries or socio-economic groups are due to systematic variation in the response scales.
- Joe Hodnicki