Judges normally make rulings on discrimination suits, rather than cause them. But a Nevada judge is turning that truism on its ear. The judge has been charged with creating a hostile work environment and treating courtroom staff like personal servants. In turn, she alleges that the real problem is discrimination based on her physical condition.
According to testimony in a judiciary hearing, Judge Elizabeth Halverson requires employees – specifically her bailiff and court reporters — to perform personal services for her ranging from foot rubs and back massages to covering her with her “blankie” for naps. Halverson’s former bailiff says the judge’s treatment left him feeling like a houseboy. When he complained, the bailiff was asked, “Do you want to worship me from near or afar?”
The unexpected veto to House Bill 5105 by Governor M. Jodi Rell kills a plan to raise the state minimum wage from the current level of $7.65 per hour to $8.00 in 2009 and $8.25 in 2010. A related act, Senate Bill 55, that would have increased the tip credit, was also vetoed.
The Connecticut minimum wage bill passed both the House and Senate with large majorities. The vote was 106 to 45 for the bill in the House. The Senate passed the proposed increase by more than a 2-to-1 margin, with 25 for the measure and only 11 votes against it.
It’s entirely possible that the Governor’s veto will be overturned by the legislature. In order to overturn the Governor’s veto, proponents of the bill would require 101 votes in the House and 24 votes in the Senate. If the General Assembly considers this measure in a special session, and there are no defectors, they will overrule the veto. (more…)
The DOL insists that the changes in union reporting rules are unrelated to recent convictions of union officials.
On May 12, the US DOL issued a notice of proposed rulemaking under the authority of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, or LMRDA. The law protects the access of labor union members to vital information, especially regarding union finances and spending.
A Florida teacher was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for slavery. According to testimony in a Fort Lauderdale court, Maude Paulin forced a Haitian girl to work without pay seven days per week for more than seven years.
While many employers including Target, Wal-mart, Starbucks, Walgreens and others have reached settlements involving minimum wage violations, few come close to the level of abuse in this case.
The prosecution showed that while Paulin was a respected middle-school teacher by day, by night she kept a young teen – the same age as her students—in primitive conditions, forcing the girl to work long hours and sleep on the floor. Still, the employer maintains that she wants only good things for the worker.
In the first class action lawsuit ever under USERRA, on April 17, 2008 the DOJ
Reached an agreement that American Airlines will pay 353 pilots a total of $345,773 for the loss of vacation and sick leave benefits while on military duty. In addition, American agreed to provide additional sick leave worth about $215,000.
American Airlines is the nation’s largest commercial air carrier. Not coincidentally, American recently announced that it will charge every passenger $15 for the first checked bag on each domestic flight.