Saturday, August 8, 2009

FLRA Nominees Confirmed

Flra Yesterday, the Senate confirmed two nominees to the Federal Labor Relations Authority:  Julia Adkins Clark as General Counsel and Ernest Dubester as Member (and Vice-Chair).  You can see their bios here.

Hat Tip:  Patrick Kavanagh


August 8, 2009 in Labor and Employment News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Twitter Comes to Workplace Prof Blog!

Madmen_fullbody In an effort to continue to build and expand on our virtual labor and employment law community and to be more responsive to our readers' informational needs, I have started a Twitter account under psecundawrkprof.  For those unfamiliar with Twitter, you need to set up your own free account and then click to follow me in order to see my Tweets. 

Not only do I plan to use my Twitter account to link to Workplace Prof blog postings, but I also plan to post shorter bits of information and musings on labor and employment law topics that might not be ideally suited for a full blog post. 

For example, this past week I was at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) annual conference in Palm Beach.  Using the #SEALS code to connect all my and other individuals' Tweets about the SEALS conference, I personally have been tweeting about different panels and speakers that I have heard and on some of their more intriguing thoughts.

As with the blog, please let us know ideas that you have for using Twitter to better connect out broader virtual community.

In addition to myself, Marcia can be followed under marciamccormick. Rick and Jeff don't have accounts yet, but I am sure it is just a matter of time.


August 7, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Unemployment Rate Goes Down (Sort Of)

Pink Slip The Department of Labor has just released the July unemployment numbers, which are looking better than they have for a while.  The overall unemployment rate actually decreased from 9.5% to 9.4%.  The drop is somewhat deceptive, however, as there were still significant (albeit lower) job losses--the change is the result of even more workers giving up their job search.  According to the New York Times:

The American economy shed 247,000 jobs last month, the smallest monthly toll since last August, the government reported on Friday. . . The length of the workweek increased, albeit slightly, for the first time since August, a sign that businesses were not scaling back hours to cut their payroll costs. The government said fewer jobs were lost this spring than it had initially estimated, revising June’s lob losses to 443,000 from 467,000. Hourly earnings rose.

In a reversal, the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent from 9.5 percent, defying expectations of an increase. But economists cautioned that the unemployment rate had only declined because 400,000 people gave up their search for work and left the labor force. 

The White House and economic forecasters still expect unemployment to reach 10 percent or more before it begins to fall back.


August 7, 2009 in Government Reports | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Trans-Inclusive ENDA Introduced in Senate

Senate is reporting that the Employee Non-Discrimination Act was introduced in the Senate today, and that it would protect employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and identity. The Minnesota Independent reports that it is co-sponsored by Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and the newest member of the senate, Al Franken (D. Minn.). The text of the bill is not yet up on Thomas, but when it is, I'll update with a link. The House version (also trans-inclusive) was introduced in June. Originally co-sponsored by 118 representatives, the current number of co-sponsors is 152. The Senate version is not yet up on Thomas, but I'll provide a link when it is.


August 5, 2009 in Beltway Developments | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Trako on the Effects of Migrant Remittances

Iva 1  Iva Trako (2008 Masters U. San Andres Econ. Dep't) has just posted her article The Impact of Remittances on Incentives: The Case of Albania on SSRN.  Her findings, if generalizable to other countries, would be extraordinarily significant to the many countries around the world that rely on migrant remittances for a significant portion of national income.  Here's the abstract of the article:

This paper examines the microeconomic impact of migrant remittances on children’s school attendance and adult labor supply in Albania. Using cross-sectional data provided by the 2005 Living Standard Measurement Survey and a combination of empirical methodologies in order to correct for potential sample selection and endogeneity of remittance receipts, I find that remittances decrease the likelihood of attending school for children between 12-17 years old in recipient households and that remittances decrease the likelihood of participating in the labor force for adults between 22-65 years old. These results suggest that while migration and the resulting remittances have greatly contributed to increase household’s income and to keep many families out of poverty, they seem to act as a disincentive factor and are not likely to be a sustainable mechanism for socio-economic development and long-term growth.


August 5, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

EEOC is Hiring

Here's a press release.  Jobs are listed here; internships are listed here.


August 4, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Attempt to Force US Employees to Arbitrate in Mumbai Fails

Scales-red Tresa Baldas at the National Law Journal has this interesting story involving the law of arbitration and foreign jurisdictions over American workers:

Foreigners working in the United States who claim they were cheated out of their tax refunds have won the right to have their employment dispute heard in American courts, defeating efforts by India's largest conglomerate to force arbitration overseas.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on July 31 denied a bid by Tata America International Corp. to compel arbitration and dismiss the class action that alleges Tata's non-citizen U.S. employees are required to sign over their federal and state tax refund checks to the company. Tata America and its parent corporations, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. and Tata Sons Ltd., have argued that the dispute should be arbitrated in India rather than here, claiming the plaintiffs had entered into written agreements to arbitrate disputes in Mumbai.

Apparently, the court decided that "there was no mutual agreement between the employee and employer to arbitrate legal disputes, so the claim will be litigated in the United States."

The case is Vedachalan v. Tata America International Corp. (9th Cir. July 31, 2009).


August 4, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Wage & Hour Perils of Furloughs

Furlough Michael Fox at Jottings by an Employer's Lawyer and Richard Tuschman at Florida Employment Law Blog have pointed out that furloughs present wage-and-hour risks.  The Department of Labor has issued this  timely FAQ: Regarding Furloughs and Other Reductions in Pay and Hours Worked Issues.


August 3, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Litigation Strategies for LGBT Workers

Lit Katie R. Eyer (Salmanson Goldshaw) has just posted on SSRN her article Protecting Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Workers: Strategies for Bringing Employment Claims on Behalf of Members of the LGBT Community in the Absence of Clear Statutory Protections.  Here's the abstract:

In the absence of an explicit federal statute and in the many states that do not yet have statutes that protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people can be at risk for unfair treatment on the job. In 'Protecting Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Workers: Strategies for Bringing Employment Claims on Behalf of Members of the LGBT Community in the Absence of Clear Statutory Protections,' Katie Eyer outlines several strategies - such as citing anti-discrimination protections for sex, religion or disability discrimination, relying on local ordinances and bringing common law claims - that may be used to remedy discrimination in states where explicit protections for sexual and/or gender minorities do not yet exist.


August 3, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

ENDA Prospects

Enda Jillian Weiss estimates that 204 members of the House of Representatives have committed to supporting ENDA.  Here's a list of uncommitted House members.  Jillian has launched a Facebook campaign to help persuade the uncommitted members of the virtues of ENDA.


August 3, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Bloggers at SEALS

Palm All four Workplace Prof Blog bloggers are at the conference of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools this week, so blogging may be a bit lighter than usual. We'll try to keep up.  It's great to see each other in person.


August 3, 2009 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

A New Twist on Dana

NLRB The recent UNITE HERE! Split that we wrote about recently has spurred an interesting twist on the Dana Corp. procedures.  That case carved out a 45-day window for employees to seek a decertification election or vote to election a rival union following an employer’s voluntary recognition of a union through a card check.

Recently, as reported by BNA’s Daily Labor Report (subscription required) food services employees at the Tampa Airport chose UNITE HERE to represent them by card check, which the employer recognized.  At the same time, the local of that union was in the process of disaffiliating from the national to form with other locals the new Workers United union.  During the 45-day Dana window, the new Workers United local filed for an election, which it ultimately won.  Although it has not challenged the results yet, UNITE HERE! argues that the petition was an improper raid.

I’m not sure why a raid, even if this is what happened (Workers United asserts that it did all the initial organizing work), is improper under the Dana rule, but I’m honestly not sure.  I guess we’ll see eventually.

Hat Tip:  Dennis Walsh


August 3, 2009 in Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

FMLA Podcasts

FMLAJeff Nowak, a labor and employment attorney at Franczek Radelet (a labor and employment boutique in Chicago), directs our attention to an FMLA resource web site which he created and update along with his colleagues.  He writes:

The site, which is "recent" and therefore a work in progress, provides resources to attorneys on the FMLA.  Notably, we recently began running on the site a monthly "FMLA Insights Podcast," where we address a common FMLA situation in a brief podcast, which you can listen to from our Web site, or download to your computer or audio player.   From what I can tell, these are the only FMLA podcasts of their kind available on the Internet, so I thought they might be a good resource for your readers.  Moreover, I would appreciate your constructive feedback if you care to listen to them!

 Here are the links to Jeff's June and July FMLA podcasts:

June 2009: "We didn't designate a leave of absence as FMLA Leave ... now what?"

July 2009: "Can we require a doctor's note for each FMLA absence?" 

Great resource. Check them out!


August 3, 2009 in Labor Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)