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December 2011 Archives

Huge Dr. Pepper Snapple Age Discrimination Verdict

Plano-based Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) got hit with a massive age discrimination verdict, one that will send shockwaves to other companies, reports Employer Brief.

The lawsuit, originally filed in 2009, alleged that six workers with more than twenty years of tenure, and over the age of 50, were forced out of their jobs. Their allegations were stark; namely, that they had been driven out and eliminated by being put in job positions where they might get injured or voluntarily quit.

As a result of the more strenuous jobs, the workers got all sorts of physical ailments, reports Employer Brief.

Obese Worker Sues for Discrimination

Johnny O. Barton, a worker at Arrington Lumber and Pallet Co. in Tyler, is suing his employer for obesity discrimination, reports the Southeast Texas Record. Barton was with the company for at least eight years, working in the processing department. He was let-go when he apparently took too many days off. The irony is that he was getting treatment for his obesity. Now he has sued.

Texas is one of the many states in the country that does not have an anti-weight-discrimination statute, as noted by FindLaw’s Houston Employment Law Blog.

Nurses Sick Leave Fight at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center

Nurses at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center (Cy-Fair) are protesting their sick leave policy by going to the National Labor Relations Board, reports the Houston Chronicle:

Brenda Landreville, a labor and delivery nurse at the 180-bed hospital and chief negotiator for the nurses’ bargaining unit, said hospital policy allows nurses to be fired after six absences within a calendar year, and that they receive a verbal warning on the third absence.

“It encourages nurses to work when they’re sick,” Landreville said, “exposing fragile hospital patients and our co-workers to illness.”

Obviously, one of Cy-Fair’s administrators, Lisa White, denied any wrong-doing. The hospital’s position is that if you get someone to work in your place, then your absence doesn’t count.

Blockbuster Fined: Not For Late Fees

Blockbuster was fined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to the tune of $2 million to settle an employment discrimination lawsuit, reports Employer Brief.

Blockbuster, based in Dallas, is described as having subjected:

female temporary employees to sexual harassment, retaliating against them for resisting sexual advances and complaining, and subjecting Hispanic temporary employees to national origin and race harassment and other discrimination. The litigation concerned events that occurred in 2004 and 2005 at a distribution center in Gaithersburg, Md.

US Pulls Out of Iraq: Returning Military Service Employees

With the United States pulling out of Iraq, as reported by Reuters, it might be time to think about your returning military service employees.

Military service employees are covered by the Uniformed Services Employment and Re­em­ploy­­ment Rights Act (USERRA). It protects from discrimination those individuals lave a job for U.S. military service. Under the act, an employer must re-employ a service member if:

Macy's Employee and the Transgendered Person in Fitting Room

An employee of Macy's was fired for not letting a teenage transgender person use the women's fitting room at a store in Texas and the fired employee is now taking her complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, reports My San Antonio.

Natalie Johnson, the former Macy's employee, removed a teenage transgender person in the women's dressing area despite the teen's protests, reports ABC News.

Whole Foods Whistleblower Defended by OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rose to the defense of the Whole Foods whistleblower that revealed a failure to address raw sewage spillage in Miami, reports Business Insurance.

The whistleblower, a marketing specialist named Bridget Hobart, sent emails to her supervisor after witnessing Whole Food's sewage back up and spill into the specialty cheese department and the restrooms. She later sent an anonymous tips and more emails to colleagues about the subject. And eventually she was fired for allegedly making false and malicious statements against the store.

Medal of Honor Winner Sues Military Contractor BAE Systems

Dakota L. Meyer, a U.S. Marine that earned a medal of honor for fighting against insurgents in Afghanistan, sued the military contractor BAE Systems OASYS for retaliation and defamation and slander, reports Employer Brief.

President Obama had awarded Sergeant Dakota L. Meyer, United States Marine Corps, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, while serving with Marine Embedded Training Team 2-8 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

Not End of the World: January 31 2012 W-2 Date

Employers have to give each employee their W-2 by January 31, 2012, for individual income tax purposes, reports Employer Brief. Employers are mandated to file a form W-2 for wages paid to each employee for whom income, social security, or medicare taxes were withheld; or, for whom income tax would have been withheld if the employee hadn't claimed more than one withholding allowance.

But getting to proper W-2 procedures requires meeting certain other more basic requirements that an employer must meet. The foremost of this is that the employer must have an Employer Identification Number.

EEOC: Working Hard To Protect the Hardworking Worker

The highest authority in the country for dealing with employment discrimination was extremely busy in 2011. In fact, the busiest it has ever been in terms of charges of discrimination.

Apparently the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity received a record 99,947 charges of discrimination in fiscal year 2011, which ended Sept. 30, the highest number of charges in the agency's 46-year history, reports Employer Brief. Aggrieved workers received more than $364 million in monetary benefits through the EEOC's enforcement. This is also the highest level in the Commission's history.

Nonimmigrant H-1B Texas Physical Therapists Get Wages

The healthcare staffing agency, Jackson Therapy Partners, will be paying $134,073 in back wages to 40 nonimmigrant H-1B employees after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, reports Employer Brief.

Investigations revealed that Jackson Therapy Partners had failed to pay the nonimmigrant H-1B workers the required wage rate for the time between their arrival from the Philippines to when they reported to work. Under H-1B, workers must be paid for all non-productive time caused by their employers, reports Employer Brief.

Houston Metallic Products Age Discrimination Settlement

A Houston manufacturer by the name of Metallic Products Corp. will be paying $60,000 to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), reports the agency’s website.

The lawsuit stemmed from Metallic Product Corporation’s mandatory retirement policy. It required employees to retire before the age of 70. An employee named Jeronimo Vidal was told that before he turned 70 he had to retire; when he did not retire by his birthday, he was fired.