Craig Becker Redux: Beckerian Gag Rules Lives On in Oregon

Yesterday we reported on how the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had been returned to President Obama for reconsideration, giving him an opportunity to make a new appointment, reappoint Becker, or tender Becker a recess appointment good until the next election in 2010. Becker is controversial and opposed by […]

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Becker NLRB Nomination Hits Senate Snag, Returned to President

Before it adjourned for the holidays, the U.S. Senate returned to the president for reconsideration his nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Senator John McCain (R.-Arizona) had threatened to put a hold on the nomination, and Senator Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah) had also strongly objected to Becker’s nomination. Becker, who serves as […]

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Albertsons Settles Discrimination Lawsuits for $8.9 Million

Albertsons, the grocery chain, has settled three race, color and national origin discrimination lawsuits for $8.9 million but denied culpability at the same time. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuits alleged complicity by managers in committing racial and anti-Semitic slurs, epithets and graffiti. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of 168 employees at an […]

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Allstate Hit With $4.5 Million Age Discrimination Judgment

Allstate Insurance Company and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) have settled litigation over age discrimination by the insurer brought by 90 affected employees. As a result, Allstate will fork over $4.5 million to settle all claims in the class-action suit. The judgment arises from Allstate’s having instituted a rehiring freeze at the same time that it […]

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Confusion Reigns Over Whether PSRs Are FLSA Exempt

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dates to 1938 before the advent of pharmaceutical sales representatives (Coke in one variety or another sufficed for drugs back then–just kidding). However, a modern-day court battle is raging over whether PSRs are exempt from FLSA overtime rules. A Connecticut court held recently that they are not exempt since […]

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Supreme Court to Review Ruling on Privacy of Text Messages

In a case that could have far-reaching impact on private employers, the Supreme Court is reviewing a decision that granted privacy protection to text messages sent over a third-party communication system paid for by the employer, in this case, the city of Ontario, Calif., police department. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, in Quon v. Arch […]

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Senate HELP Committee Approves Three EEOC Nominees

The Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has approved the nominations of three Obama appointees to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), including that of proposed Chair Jacqueline Berrien. The others approved were Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic, who upon full Senate Approval will join current member Constance Barker and Acting Chairman Stuart Ishimaru, […]

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OSHA Seeks Public Commentary on Combustible Dust

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed  Rulemaking (ANPR) on developing a standard on combustible dust. OSHA has identified the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and its standard NFPA 652 as the basis for the new OSHA standard. An electronic comment form and instructions are available at www.regulations.gov in Docket […]

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DOL Releases 2010 Agenda: Welcome Back, Ergonomics

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released its agenda for the coming year, and it has a few surprises to spring on American business. First (for discussion’s sake), the DOL wants each paycheck to come with a stub or explanation of hours worked, overtime paid and everything else that went into the computation of the […]

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David Michaels Confirmed by Voice Vote as OSHA Head

The Senate, without a committee confirmation hearing or discussion on the floor, has approved David Michaels as Deputy Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, in other words, the chief of OSHA. Michaels was confirmed along with a host of other nominees in a simple voice vote. Michaels from the beginning was a controversial […]

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