U.S. Sues AT&T for Age Discrimination

Yesterday the A.P. ran a news piece announcing that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was suing AT&T for age discrimination.

Headquartered in Texas, AT&T is the country's biggest telecommunications utility company and has almost 300,000 employees.

The lawsuit alleges that AT&T has discriminated against older employees by "denying them the chance to be rehired solely because they left under early retirement plans."

Up to 50,000 AT&T employees have left under the guise of an early retirement program, after which AT&T then deems you ineligible to be rehired.

Are you a computer professional who should be getting overtime pay, but isn't?

If there is one profession that works long hours, it's the computer professional.

It can be hard to tell since California has changed the overtime rules for computer professionals four times since January 1, 2006. And even smart companies like EA, Google, and Yahoo get it wrong.

Employment Law Updates: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 became law earlier this year, and successfully reverses a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision (Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.) in which a woman had sued her employer over wage discrimination. The court ruled that because the company’s initial wage decision had occurred many many years earlier, Ledbetter’s claim was time-barred even if it had an ongoing discriminatory impact on her present pay level.

Nursing Home Operator Settles Workplace Discrimination Suit

The Los Angeles Times reported today that a southern California based healthcare outfit operating nursing homes settled an EEOC-initiated class action lawsuit.

Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc. which has nursing care facilities in 6 states, was alleged to have enforced an “English-only” against Spanish-speaking employees, but not against native speakers of other languages.

“Nine to Five” -- Pop Culture Representations of Workplace Issues

Last night a couple friends and I watched a DVD of one of my favorite movies, “Nine to Five.” I watch it every few months or so, and this past October a friend and I even flew to Los Angeles to see the Broadway musical adaptation in previews before it debuts in New York later this month.

City Budget Shock

Special to Fog City Journal
March 3, 2009

Hats off to the organizers of Monday’s City Budget Town Hall. Hopefully this gathering will help spark a more adequate response to our city’s current budget crisis. At this point, we are all painfully aware of the city’s predicament and the effects of the economic depression on our fiscal situation. The staggering deficit projections have us reeling and almost incapable of understanding how to cope with the sheer size of the hole we need to fill. How are city leaders responding to the crisis?

Worker Protections, Government Oversight and the Role of Private Attorneys

I’m in the midst of preparing a first draft of Kumin Sommers’ human resources policy manual, and I’m struck – if not especially surprised – by the nexus between employer personnel policies and our firm’s work advocating on behalf of workers.

Let’s briefly step back a bit though and put a few things into context…

Producers of American Idol Get Sued for Not Paying Overtime

Former employees of the reality show "American Idol" have recently filed a class action lawsuit, claiming they were not paid overtime, and missed meal and rest breaks.

2009 Amendments Widen the Scope of the ADA

In 2008, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment, which broadens the scope of the ADA so that millions more Americans can qualify for the Act’s protections. As before, a disabled individual is one who has “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities,” a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment.

Conflict Between Copyright and Free Speech

The Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution empowers Congress “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” The First Amendment, on the other hand, limit’s Congress’ power, forbidding it from making laws “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” The inherent conflict between copyright and free speech rights can be described as one between competing property and liberty interests.

The Role of Vengeance in Punishment

On March 19 and 20th, 2009, U.C. Hastings, the 1066 Foundation, and the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal put on the California Correctional Crisis Conference. I will admit that though my legal practice has focused on civil rights, I’d never paid much attention to this issue. I’ve never really questioned my feelings on criminal law, on why we punish those who step across the line we’ve drawn between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. I’ve always been peripherally aware that there are serious problems with the system we’ve built.

Incompetence at Department of Labor's Wage & Hour Division

On Tuesday, March 24, 2009, the New York Times published a fascinating but disturbing article about overwhelming failures at the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division (DOL-WHD). A report by the GAO detailing the results of undercover investigation is to be released on Wednesday.

Will health care reform encourage greater creation of small businesses?

Does employer-based health care coverage unfairly hold captive employees with dreams of quitting their jobs to start their own business?

California Supreme Court hears argument on Marriage Equality this morning

I believe the time is right for the California Supreme Court to throw-out Proposition 8 and the influence of the out-of-state hate-peddlers that financed its deceptive campaign.

Supreme Court Decision issued in Levine v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

Earlier today the United States Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision in Levine v. Wyeth. This is fantastic news for consumers, patients, and victims of pharmaceutical misconduct. The text of the opinion can be found here.

The legal issue under scrutiny was whether approval by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) of a drug’s warning label should preempt state court lawsuits.

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