Hawaiian Airlines Responds to Pilots Union Media Campaign

June 04, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) and Hawaiian Airlines have been negotiating toward a new pilots’ contract for approximately two years. Recently, ALPA has engaged in an extensive media campaign alleging that Hawaiian Airlines hasn’t made up for past wage cuts during the period the company was in bankruptcy several years ago.

Contrary to ALPA’s rhetoric in the media and to the rest of the airline industry, Hawaiian pilots didn’t take wage cuts in 2003 or when the airline was in bankruptcy in 2005. According to a company spokesperson, the pilots didn’t lose their pension benefits, either: Senior pilots retained full pension benefits while junior ones kept past accruals and now participate in the richest defined contribution plan in the airline industry.

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Categories: Hawaii

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South Carolina’s Verification Rules for Private Employers Take Effect July 1

May 15, 2009 - by: HR Hero 1 COMMENTS

Last summer, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford signed legislation that requires private employers to verify the employment eligibility of new employees. On July 1, 2009, these rules will take effect for private employers with 100 or more employees.

Under the new verification laws, employers that are required by federal law to complete and maintain federal employment eligibility forms or documents (Form I-9s) have two options. First, they can use the E-verify federal work authorization program to verify all new employees’ information and work authorizations within five business days of their hire. E-Verify is a free online federal system that allows employers to electronically compare employee information taken from a Form I-9 against the records in the databases of the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.

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Categories: DHS / South Carolina

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Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission Adopts Draft of Paid Sick Leave Rules

April 13, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

On April 1, 2009, the Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission (ERC) adopted a draft of the City of Milwaukee Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Administrative Rules. These rules establish the standards and procedures the ERC will use for both the implementation and the enforcement of the ordinance by the ERC should the current legal challenge to the ordinance by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce fail.

As a result of the filing of this legal challenge, there is a temporary injunction in place prohibiting the city of Milwaukee from implementing the ordinance. It appears the city is proceeding on creating and approving the administrative rules as required under the ordinance so that they will be in place should the legal challenge fail or the injunction be lifted.

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Categories: Wisconsin

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Utah Supreme Court Issues Major Workers’ Comp Ruling

March 06, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

In a very recent decision handed down by the Utah Supreme Court, the court has substantially limited the protections afforded to employers under the workers’ compensation statute.

This decision involved an industrial accident at a Chevron refinery near Salt Lake City. According to the facts of the written opinion, Chevron tried a new, less expensive method of neutralizing spent toxic sludge that backfired, causing a number of workers in the vicinity to fall ill.

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Oklahoma Immigration Law Passes Test

February 13, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Oklahoma’s immigration law, House Bill 1804, contains a number of employment provisions, including limitations on terminating employees while knowingly retaining unauthorized workers and requiring verification of employees’ legal work status. On February 11, 2009, Tulsa District Court Judge Jefferson D. Sellers ruled that the immigration law’s employment provisions don’t violate the Oklahoma Constitution.

Oklahoma employers should keep in mind that in June 2008, an Oklahoma City federal court held that the Oklahoma immigration law’s employment provisions shouldn’t be enforced because they violated federal law. That ruling is presently on appeal to the federal court of appeals in Denver.

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Categories: Immigration / Oklahoma

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Major Decision in Title VII Retaliation Case

January 26, 2009 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled today (Jan. 26, 2009) that the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 apply to employees who voluntarily cooperate with an employer’s internal investigations, even if the employee didn’t initiate the investigation and has filed no formal charge.

In the case, Vicky Crawford was asked to participate in an ongoing internal sexual harassment investigation. During the investigation, Crawford alleged that she herself had been sexually harassed in the workplace, and months later, she was discharged. Crawford claimed she was fired in retaliation for her statements during the investigation and filed suit against Metro Nashville Schools.

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Wal-Mart Agrees to Major Class-Action Settlement

December 30, 2008 - by: HR Hero 5 COMMENTS

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has announced that it will pay a minimum of $352 million to settle wage and hour lawsuits across the country, possibly the largest such settlement ever. The 63 wage and hour class-action lawsuits that are being settled have been pending for several years, according to a statement from the company.

Each of the settlements is subject to approval by the trial court. The total settlement amount will depend on the amount of claims submitted by class members, according to the company statement. The total will be at least $352 million and no more than $640 million. Also, as part of the settlements, Wal-Mart has agreed to continue to use electronic systems and other measures to maintain compliance with wage and hour laws.

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Lawsuit Challenges Milwaukee Paid Leave Ordinance

December 23, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

On Monday, Dec. 22, 2008, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Association of Commerce (MMAC) filed a lawsuit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court asking the court to find that the Milwaukee Sick Leave Ordinance, passed through referendum in November and set for enforcement beginning in February, is invalid and unenforceable.

The MMAC is also requesting that the court grant its request for a temporary and permanent injunction prohibiting the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin from enforcing the ordinance. A hearing on this injunction request is set for January 29, 2009.

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Categories: Wisconsin

“Day Without a Gay” Nationwide Protest May Result in Work Shortage

December 09, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Some gay rights advocates are calling for “A Day Without a Gay” protest and boycott across the United States on Wednesday, December 10, to show opposition to California’s Proposition 8 and to show the power of the gay and lesbian community. Organizers are encouraging people to strike by “calling in gay” to work, taking the day off, or shutting down their business. Instead of working, they’re urging supporters to spend the day participating in volunteer activities. They’re also encouraging people not to buy anything or spend any money.

So what should you do if employees “call in gay” tomorrow? Can you tell them they’re fired if they don’t show up? You should think twice before doing that. Remember that many state laws, including California’s, prohibit employers from discriminating against employees because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or their association with a homosexual person. Thus, you need to treat employees who call in gay the same as all other employees. If you decide to enforce your attendance policy, make sure you do so in a fair and consistent manner, regardless of the employee’s sexual orientation (or other protected status).

Categories: California

California Supreme Court to Look at Same-Sex Marriage

November 20, 2008 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Despite the passage of Proposition 8 earlier this month, the issue of same-sex marriage is still very much alive in California. The California Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will address the issues raised by the initiative at the request of advocates on both sides:

(1) Was Proposition 8 legally valid, or must it be stricken? The court agreed November 19 to review whether the measure illegally allows a majority to restrict a minority group’s rights and whether it unconstitutionally limits judicial authority.

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Categories: California

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