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February 2011 Archives

Governor's fight to dismantle public unions may spread to other states

The governor of Wisconsin has introduced a budget bill for the state that also strips public sector unions of most of their collective bargaining rights. Republican Governor Scott Walker says that the budget bill is necessary to fix the state's deficit, but others accuse the governor of using the bill as a smokescreen for union busting.

EEOC looks into possible discrimination against unemployed job-seekers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is currently investigating whether employers and recruiters are discriminating against unemployed job applicants and, if so, whether it is an illegal practice. According to The Wall Street Journal, the EEOC has been receiving reports of job ads that say that currently unemployed people need not apply as they will not be considered.

New law protects whistleblowers in FDA-regulated food businesses

A new law signed by President Obama last month, the Food Safety and Modernization Act, protects food industry workers from retaliation for reporting what they believe to be health violations. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, whistleblowers cannot be fired, demoted or denied promotions for reporting anything they reasonably believe violates the Food Safety Act.

NLRB says employers cannot overly restrict employee speech online

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and a private employer settled a case involving social media and employment law, one that may begin to define the rules for what employees can say online and how employers may or may not restrict that speech. The case settled last week involved a woman who was fired from an ambulance company after she posted negative comments about her boss on the social networking website, Facebook.  

Former U.S. border patrol agent files wrongful termination lawsuit

A former U.S. Border Patrol agent who was fired for his views on illegal immigration and the drug war has filed a lawsuit against his former employer alleging wrongful termination. According to WestLaw News & Insight, the lawsuit was filed jointly with the American Civil Liberties Union and claims that the U.S. Border Patrol violated the former agent's First Amendment rights of free speech. The lawsuit names as defendant the chief patrol agent for the El Paso sector.

Sex discrimination lawsuit filed against Toshiba

A senior human resources manager employed by a U.S. unit of Toshiba Corp has filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against her employer. The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of all current and former female workers of Toshiba in the U.S. The employee, Elaine Cyphers, has also filed a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Supreme Court Rules Retaliation Protection Extends to Family Members

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a women's fired fiancé could pursue a retaliation claim against the company that formerly employed them both. The court's unanimous ruling expanded protections to close family and friends of workers who file discrimination claims against their employer.