by Samantha Serna The Equal Pay Debate gained momentum on April 8, 2014 as President Obama marked the 51st Anniversary of the 1963 Equal Pay Act by signing into law an executive order aimed at addressing unequal pay. The Executive Order, “Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information,” applies certain provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act […]

by Andrea De León On April 1, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (the Board), in Hills and Dales General Hospital,found that policies prohibiting negativity, gossip, and negative representation of the employer violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Under Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA, it is “an unfair labor practice for an employer to […]

by Elan Cameron On March 6, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released additional guidance on religious accommodations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), specifically on issues of religious garb and grooming in the workplace. The guidance requires employers to make exceptions to their usual workplace policies to […]

by John Leddy If you have ever been frustrated by not being able to purchase priority mail envelopes on a weekend or send a package from the post office after the national news, you may be a fan of the Staples pilot program the United States Postal Service (USPS) announced in October of 2013. As […]

by Phoebe Ramsey  There has been a flurry of recent litigation challenging whether church-affiliated hospitals and healthcare systems’ pension plans are covered as “church plans,” and thus exempt from the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), including reporting and disclosure, minimum funding, and fiduciary duty requirements. The plaintiffs in these […]

by Amy Chen Arbitration has often received controversial and mixed responses from companies, trial lawyers, labor leaders, and civil rights advocates. Employers highly value and frequently use this tool to resolve workplace disputes with their employees. Very often, as a condition of their employment, employees must waive their right to litigate and instead use arbitration […]

by Christa Pitts As a recent college graduate from an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) school, I completely identify with the feeling of admiration that college students have for their schools’ athletes.  In many instances, these athletes are campus celebrities–students beg for their autographs and their pictures are plastered everywhere.  But as much as I reveled […]

by Emily Pantoja, Editor-in-Chief Every year, it seems that retailers are opening their doors earlier and earlier for eager Black Friday shoppers braving the crowds. The day after Thanksgiving is a tradition for many people hoping to get the best deals on toys, TVs, and electronics. But for employees who work at these retailers, it […]

Labor and Employment Law Resume Review Workshop On January 12, 2014, the faculty-led practice group concerned with labor and employment law will hold a resume review workshop for American University Washington College of Law students.  Each participant will be matched with a practitioner working in a particular sub-field of labor and employment law pertaining to […]

Effects of the Government Shutdown on Workers, the Economy, and Morale http://ow.ly/pJVDQ

By Joanna Solloway Most of United States is now aware of the federal government shutdown.  Throughout the country, members of Congress hurl insults and blame each other for the current calamity that affects thousands, if not millions, of Americans. While politicians continue their government standoff, much of the country is suffering. The media has drawn […]

by Daniel Clark In response to Kelley v. Conco Companies, in which the California Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal of a same-sex sexual harassment claim for lack of proof that the harassment was “an expression of actual sexual desire or intent,” the state legislature approved and Governor Brown signed S.B. 292, which will revise […]

by Eileen Lohmann, Online Editor On June 24, the United States Supreme Court handed down rulings in two cases involving employment discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, each of which resulted in a five-to-four decision for the employer. First, in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, a […]

 In the recent wave of employment, no minority head coaches were hired by a National Football League (NFL) team, instead, many of the positions were filled by current coordinator positions.  The NFL’s Rooney Rule, established in 2003, requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coach and front office positions.  The Rule was implemented […]

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by Ashlyn Marquez It seems that hundreds of concession stand employees of the Honda Center will have to wait until July 1st to find out if they have lost their jobs. This date marks the expiration of the Honda Center’s contract with Aramark and the starting date of the contract with Anaheim Area Management (“Management”). […]

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by Allison Pearson The April 15 bombings at the Boston Marathon and subsequent manhunt for its perpetrators were national tragedies which left four dead and hundreds injured.  While the unfortunate series of events may seem quite removed from labor law, the bomber’s status as immigrants may have a larger impact than expected in the already […]

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by Ryan Hatley   “Do you like girls?” This was the question that potential National Football League (NFL) draft pick and Colorado tight end Nick Kasa was allegedly asked at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. After Kasa said he was asked about his sexual orientation, at least two other draft prospects came forward and […]

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We are pleased to post these fantastic articles from our forthcoming book 3.1, which will be published to our Digital Commons site in the coming days.  Read, enjoy, and make sure to check back soon for a link to the full book. Cultural Cognition Insights Into Judicial Decisionmaking In Employee Benefits Cases, by Paul M. […]

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By Joanna Solloway CVS has recently implemented a new policy that requires employees to report health information including height, weight, body fat, blood pressure, and other health indicators.  Those employees who refuse to submit such information will be fined $50/month.  Such policies are not uncommon among employers looking to cut healthcare costs.  Some companies already […]

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By Jennifer Riso The Court of Arbitration of Sport recently ruled on the validity of human growth hormone (HGH) testing procedure. In deciding the appeal of Olympic cross-country skier Andrus Veerpalu, the court held that “procedural issues in the testing process invalidated any suspension levied” by the International Ski Federation. The National Football League Players […]

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By Ezinwanyi Ukegbu On March 14, 2013, the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a comprehensive report on the major obstacles that hinder equal employment opportunity for African Americans in the federal workforce.  The agency’s internal African American work group produced this report after engaging in discussions and dialogues from 2010 to 2012 with EEOC […]

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By Nicholas Devyatkin In a remarkable development, Cambodian workers have won back pay from Wal-Mart. Similar to their brethren in the United States, they have used direct protest action and public pressure, rather than traditional union collective bargaining, to force the hand of Wal-Mart. In September, 2012, The workers were told that the Kingsland apparel […]

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By Jay Shannon Voss Lighting, a Nebraska based supplier of lighting products, announced on March 19th that it will settle a religious dicsrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Commision’s suit alleged that company personnal refused to hire Edward Wolfe at its Tulsa location due to his religious beliefs, in […]

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By Vince Bruni In his 2013 State of the Union Address, President Obama made news by calling for an increase to the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour. The issue has been one of contention for years. After the President’s speech, law makers, splitting mostly down party lines, both supported and opposed the idea. […]

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By Heather Lothrop Currently, only New York State has legislation that requires domestic workers to be given meal breaks, paid for overtime, paid rest days, and protection against racial and sexual harassment. While these rights are expected in most professions, domestic workers often do not receive these protections from their employers. The employers are not […]

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By Katrin Schulz On February 28, food service workers, community food activists, anti-hunger activists, and students joined in solidarity at the African American Civil War Memorial to demand real food and real jobs.  The “Real Food, Real Jobs” march and rally, organized by UNITEDHERE! Local 23, was held to raise awareness of two interconnected issues […]

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By Emily Kaiser Ongoing negotiations between major U.S. business and labor interests have reflected the polarizing nature of immigration reform, while also suggesting areas of potential compromise, as lawmakers work to draft legislation that can win support from both sides of the aisle.  Representatives of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the A.F.L.-C.I.O. have held […]

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By Eileen Lohmann On February 28, 2013, union leaders and elected officials in Miami Gardens, Florida, called for comprehensive immigration reform, expressing their support of the AFL-CIO’s immigration reform campaign.  Chair of the AFL-CIO’s Immigration Committee and executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, María Elena Durazo explained the union movement’s immigration […]

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by Christy Wu Recently, the Office of Management and Budget issued guidance to agencies to reduce costs in contract spending, signaling the reality that federal contractors must tighten their belts under sequestration. Yet contracting employers have been guided by federal advice which has not always been clear or consistent. The House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, chaired by […]

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by John Marsella An amicus brief filed by 286 companies and business groups, including: Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, EBay, Nike, and many others, sheds light on employers’ view of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). DOMA was enacted in Congress in 1996 and signed by President Clinton. Section 3 of DOMA defines marriage as a […]

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The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) is meant to alleviate some of the “work, life” problems that arise every day in families across the country. FMLA is a federal law that requires employers to provide employees leave for qualified medical and family reasons, without risk to the employees job. The law sought […]

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By Danielle Gonnella One of America’s largest retailers and private employers with 1.4 million employees, Wal-Mart, may face some troubles staffing its stores this holiday season. Wal-Mart workers are in the midst of record-setting “Black Friday” protests that could culminate in thousands of strikes over a nine-day span in areas such as Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Oklahoma, […]

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By Basim Motiwala This past September, employees at Hostess Brands came together and overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer by the company that seeks to cut wages and benefits by as much as 32%.  The contractual dispute led to the workers deciding to begin a strike on November 9, 2012 against the well-known maker of Wonder […]

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By Michael C. Fallings Former NBA superstar and current business mogul, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, faces allegations of age discrimination and wrongful termination by his former employee, Lanita Thomas.  Thomas, who worked almost eight years for Johnson as his personal flight attendant on his private jet, states that Johnson fired her after she was “15 minutes […]

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By Lorna Lunney Less than a month after a major $3 million dollar gender discrimination suit filed against the NBA, the issue is now at the forefront of the NFL with a case filed against Detroit Lions Inc..  Kimberly Doverspike, 49, filed a complaint on October 31 in the Wayne Circuit Court with claims of […]

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By Joanna Solloway In the midst of the presidential elections, AFL-CIO announced that workers at First Transit Region 3 overwhelmingly voted to form their own union with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 757.  The honorable objective of this new union is to give a stronger voice to Region 3 in efforts to promote collective […]

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By Allison Pearson Labor unions raise no shortage of controversies in the current American economy.  Some commentators have postulated that labor unions helped President Obama secure a second term by tipping the polls in his favor in Ohio. At the same time, however, an August 2012 Gallup Poll shows that public of approval of labor […]

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By Staffer Angela Bouliakis Currently, federal law prohibiting job discrimination includes: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), which protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from […]

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Fitting into this election season’s discussion of women’s rights, the NBA is facing a three million dollar gender discrimination suit. Longtime NBA employee Brynn Cone is suing the National Basketball Association, Inc., NBA Entertainment, Inc., and NBA Properties, Inc., alleging she was underpaid, under-promoted, and ultimately forced out of the organization because of her gender, […]

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By Jennifer Girard Boeing’s recently opened plant in North Charleston, South Carolina is being targeted by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) to unionize its workers. But IAM faces an uphill battle. The South Carolina plant, Boeing’s second U.S. final assembly line, opened in July 2011 amidst controversy. In March 2010, the […]

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By Eileen Lohmann On November 6, the people of the United States will choose between two fundamentally different presidential candidates, and in an economic climate in which the rate of unemployment is 7.8 percent, each candidate has offered his own solution to create jobs and grow the economy. President Barack Obama’s plan to revitalize the […]

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By Josh Tucker This November, Michigan voters will not only be electing its local and national representatives, but will also be voting on six different state proposals, five of them potential amendments to the Michigan Constitution. Proposal 2, specifically, would constitutionally recognize Michigan public and private employees’ right to organize into labor unions and bargain […]

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written by Articles Editor Emily Kaiser The manufacturer under fire for a recent explosion at an Apple iPad factory now faces a new controversy: the revelation of minors working in a Chinese facility that manufactures components for Nintendo’s yet-to-be-released Wii U game console.  Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest supplier of technology products, found […]

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In the past, Wal-Mart has been criticized for labor violations in their factories in China. Starting in October, Wal-Mart has started to have problems with workers here in the United States. Workers in the retail stores and in warehouses associated with Wal-Mart have gone on strike earlier this month to improve their rights as Wal-Mart […]

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Maybe this election year will finally put a stake through the heart of efforts by corporations and extremist right-wing millionaires to silence the voice of California’s working families in the political arena. This year, it’s called Prop. 32 and it’s a near-clone of 2005’s Prop. 75 and 1998’s Prop. 226, which voters defeated by 53% to 47%. Both times, huge mobilizations by […]

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Last Wednesday the NBA managed to shake up the sports world a full month before the start of the season when it released an outline of its new anti-flopping rules.  According to the policy outline released by the NBA: “Flopping” will be defined as any physical act that appears to have been intended to cause […]

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Today was supposed to be a magical day – the first day of the National Hockey League (“NHL”) season.  Instead of watching the B’s take on the Flyers tonight, this hockey fan will be spending the evening watching the Birds and the Yanks battle it out in the Bronx, as the NHL is heading into […]

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As the 22nd day of the lockout approached, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced the cancellation of the first two weeks, totaling 82 games, of the regular season.  This is the second time in seven years that the NHL has cancelled games as a result of labor negotiations.  This year, the lockout is the result […]

Just as the NFL just got the real officials back, the NHL has cancelled all of its preseason games. Hockey fans are groaning around North America as talks between the owners and the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) make little progress toward ending the lockout. The league locked the players out on September 16, […]

I am neither a Packers nor a Seahawks fan, so the Monday night game that was the turning point in labor negotiations between the National Football League (“NFL”) and the referees (“refs”) didn’t cause me to lose any sleep.  (The Redskins can lose all on their own, thank you).  What did, was the refusal of […]

Disruptive Innovation: Because Exploitation Doesn’t Sound as Sexy by Michael Poupore Last month, a federal judge in San Francisco agreed to hear a lawsuit claiming unfair competition and violation of consumer-protection laws by ridesharing giant Uber. The complaint alleges that Uber misleads consumers by charging a 20% gratuity fee and keeping the money for itself. […]

EEOC Files First Lawsuits to Protect Rights of Transgender Workers by Kathryn Kimball In September, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the first lawsuits seeking to protect the rights of transgender workers under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The two cases are similar but were filed in different federal courts – one in […]

Hello Labor and Employment Staff Members! I hope your semester is off to a wonderful start! The Editorial Board just had its first meeting this week, and here are some upcoming events and deadlines for those interested. We are looking for members who want to be come involved with LEF. First off, we are looking […]

Employees need not be compensated for donning and doffing protective gear they are required to wear by their employers. Petitioner and others filed a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) seeking backpay for time spent putting on and taking off pieces of protective gear that they assert respondent requires workers to wear […]

According to the National Labor Relations Board, implementing a “no gossip policy” that prohibits employees from gossiping about their employer, other employees, or customers, and subsequently firing an employee for violating that policy, is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Nine months after Laurus Technical Institute implemented a no gossip policy in […]

College football players are currently regarded by the NCAA as “student-athletes” and at most Division I programs, they are given stipends and scholarships for their participation; however, the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) would prefer for the football players to be regarded as “employees.” In a recent NLRB Chicago Regional Board hearing, CAPA argued that […]

Class action waivers in arbitration agreements are strictly enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), even in circumstances where an individual’s arbitration costs surpass the potential recovery. Due to the tremendous disparity in the costs of individual arbitration compared with minimal financial recovery, Italian Colors Restaurant and merchants filed a class action suit against American […]

Dicta in this criminal case concerning a heroin death questions the applicability of a penalty enhancement provision in the Controlled Substance Act; the dicta includes a section explicating on causation that Title VII retaliation claims must be proven by a “but-for” causation standard, therefore refining the holding in University of Texas Southwest Medical Center v. […]

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