Thursday, March 29, 2007

Southwest Airlines Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Southwest Airlines has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit, which was filed by female workers at Oakland International Airport in California.

On behalf of the plaintiff, EEOC said the male employee made sexually suggestive comments to coworker Adriana Martin and other female employees beginning in November 2002. The man was termed as "serial harasser".

Southwest denied the allegations but agreed to pay $100,000 to settle the suit.

In addition, Southwest agreed to revise its harassment policy, provide employees a copy of the policy and require supervisors and managers at the airline's provisioning department in Oakland to undergo at least two hours of anti-harassment and retaliation training.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Eight Female Workers Sue California Youth Facility For Sexual Harassment

Eight women filed a lawsuit yesterday, claiming they were subjected to rampant sexual harassment by male inmates, and officials failed to take action when they complained.

Working as counselors or officers at the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility in Chino, the women said they worked in a sexually hostile environment at the facility, which houses about 800 men between the ages of 18 and 25 who were convicted as juveniles.

According to the lawsuit, the men repeatedly exposed their genitals, engaged in masturbation, threw urine on some plaintiffs and grab their buttocks or breasts.

The women seek unspecified damages from the prison and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Richardson Signs Minimum Wage Bill

New Mexico Governor Richardson signed a bill to increase the minimum wage to $7.50 per hour in the next three years.

The new law will increases the current $5.15 an hour to $6.50 in January 2008 and $7.50 in January 2009.

The increase will not affect higher minimum wage areas, such as Santa Fe and the Albuquerque area.

The increase does not apply to all workers. The bill has exceptions for the agricultural and dairy industries.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Fletcher Signs Minimum Wage Bill

Governor Ernie Fletcher signed bill to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour in the next two years.

The hike will take 3 steps, first increase to $5.85 per hour from July 1, 2007 and then up to $6.55 per hour beginning July 1, 2008 and $7.25 per hour beginning July 1, 2009.

This increase will benefit more than 100,000 workers in Kentucky.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rounds Signs Minimum Wage Bill

Governor Mike Rounds signed a bill that will increase South Dakota minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour. The law will take effect as soon as President Bush signs a corresponding federal bill.

The increase will take three steps. The bill will increase minimum wage to $5.85 when federal minimum wage is raised or July 1 arrives, whichever is later.

The minimum wage will rise to $6.55 a year later, and the third increase would become effective two years after the first increase.

The minimum wage in South Dakota has not increased for ten years.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Minimum Wage Bill Heads to Governor

The New Mexico Senate voted 22-20 votes last Friday to increase the state's minimum wage to $7.50 an hour by the year 2009. Now the bill is going to Governor Richardson for his signature.

The governor has showed his support of minimum wage hike.

The bill will increase minimum wage from the current $5.15 an hour to $6.50 an hour on Jan. 1, 2008 and to $7.50 on Jan. 1, 2009.

The increase will not affect higher minimum wage areas, such as Santa Fe and the Albuquerque area.

Monday, March 19, 2007

City Settles Discrimination Lawsuit

The city of Modesto has agreed to pay $3.25million to settle a gender discrimination brought by three women worked for the government.

City and budget officer Debra Eggerman, solid waste division manager Jocelyn Reed, and waste specialist Karin Rodriguez filed the suit in 2005, claiming they were denied promotion after they raised concerns about gender discrimination at City Hall.

These three women said they also planed to start a nonprofit foundation for other women who encounter gender bias at work.

Modesto will pay the women $1 million within 30 days, and the rest is due within 60 days.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Minimum Wage Hike Died in Senate

Legislation to increase minimum wage in Oklahoma was died in the Oklahoma State Senate this Thursday. The proposal was to raise state minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over a three years period.

The vote in the State Senate was 24 to 23 against the amendment. 23 Republicans and one Democrat voted against the raise while 23 Democrats voted for it.

It takes 25 votes to pass a bill in the 48 member state Senate, and this proposal died 2 votes short.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Spitzer Signs NY Workers' Compensation Reform into Law

NY - Gov. Eliot Spitzer signed a bill Tuesday that would increase benefits for injured workers while reduce the cost of workers' compensation insurance for businesses.

The current maximum workers' benefits in NY is $400 a week, hasn't increased for a decade. The bill will increase the maximum weekly benefit from $400 to $500 in the first year, $550 in the second year and $600 in the third year. The minimum weekly benefit will increase from $40 to $100.

The reforms will also reduce workers' compensation costs to employers by 10 to 15 percent.

It's a double win for both business and workers, the governor confirmed.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Walgreen Accused of Racial Discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a class-action lawsuit against Walgreen Co., the nation's largest drugstore chain, alleging widespread racial bias against thousands of African-American workers.

According to a release by the EEOC, the company assigns managers, management trainees, and pharmacists to low-performing stores and to stores in African American communities, and denies their promotion because of their race.

Walgreens' spokesperson, Michael Polzin said in a statement that Walgreens is "the nation's best represented retailer in urban areas, and managers of all backgrounds are promoted to senior levels from those locations." He also added that the company was "saddened and disappointed" by the lawsuit.

A group of current and former African-American managers filed a similar private lawsuit against Walgreen in June 2005. That lawsuit is still pending.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Restaurant Settles Discrimination Lawsuit

Minado has agreed to pay $130,000 to settle a federal lawsuit.

Zuo Zhou Lin, a former employee of the restaurant filed a complaint with EEOC, claiming Chinese employees were forced to speak English only, even on their breaks, while Korean and Hispanic employees were allowed to speak in their native tongues. They were threatened they would be fired if complained by managers.

The discrimination is apparently Chinese only. The company denied any bias but agreed to settle the case to spare "the expense of litigation and permit all of our employees to focus on continuing to provide the finest level of experience to our thousands of loyal customers on Long Island.” according to the restaurant's founder's words.

Minado also paid $4,000 to run legal notice on the media to reach other former employees.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Governor Signs Minimum Wage Bill

Gov. John Hoeven signed a bill this Monday that will raise North Dakota minimum wage rates from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour over the next few years.

The bill will increase minimum wage to $5.85 an hour as soon as President Bush signs a corresponding federal bill, and will raise to $7.25 within the next two years.

Hoeven said in the ceremony that the best way to boost wages for all North Dakotans is still lied on create jobs and expand the economy.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Iowa Has A New Minimum Wage Law

Effective April 1, 2007, the state of Iowa will increase its minimum wage rate from the current $5.15 per hour to $6.20 per hour. The minimum training wage will increase to $5.30 per hour, effective April 1, 2007. This is the first step of the minimum wage increase.

Tipped workers will be paid 60% of the new minimum wage, which is $3.72 per hour beginning April 1, 2007.

The current minimum wage in Iowa is $5.15, same as federal rate, hasn't been increase for ten years. This increase will make Iowa be the 29th state with a minimum wage higher than the federal rate.

About 128,000 Iowa workers who earn less than $5.15 will see a direct wage raise.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Family Dollar Settled Discrimination Lawsuit

Charlotte-based Family Dollar Stores has agreed to pay $69,000 to settle a discrimation lawsuit.

Timothy Brown, a paraplegic used to worked as a part-time employee in the company, filed the lawsuit, claiming he was not promoted to assistant manager because of his disability and then forced to resign. He also alleged Family Dollar refused to provide him restroom facilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations and equal opportunities to disabled individuals.