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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Big Data Could Be A Big Problem For Workplace Discrimination Law

Staff recruitment and retention are an ongoing challenge for employers. Proponents of big data in the workplace are now claiming they can change that.



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Grassley Law Helps Justice Department Recover $3 Billion Taxpayer Money

Senator Chuck Grassley reports that the federal False Claims Law has recovered $5.69 billion in the fiscal year 2014, nearly $3 billion of which was related to lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Grassley is the author of the 1986 qui tam amendments to the False Claims Act as well as an update to the law in 2009.



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DA Rice Introduces Facility Dog to Assist in Special Victims Bureau Cases

November 23, 2014 - District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced her office's acquisition of Mega, a highly trained two-year-old Labrador Retriever who is serving on the District Attorney's staff as a "facility dog" to assist victims and witnesses in sensitive cases, primarily children in abuse cases. Mega, who works for a salary of treats, belly-rubs and walks, and is cared for by specially trained members of DA Rice's Special Victims Bureau, was provided free of charge by Canine Companions for Independence.



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Inquiry needed into handling of harassment complaints

The Green Party says an inquiry is needed to investigate whether the State Services Commission followed due process in handling a complaint against CERA boss Roger Sutton, in a bid to restore confidence in the State Sector's handling of sexual harassment complaints. "Actions by the State Service Commissioner and two Government Ministers over Mr Sutton's resignation have fuelled the perception that Mr Sutton has been hard done by," Green Party State Services Spokesperson Denise Roche said.



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How Obama Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Imperial Presidency

LET me be clear, as he likes to say: I believe that President Obama was entirely sincere when he ran for president as a fierce critic of the imperial executive. I believe that he was in earnest when he told supporters in 2008 that America's " biggest problems " involved "George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all."



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It was no accident

We talked about how labor unions have been deliberately targeted for extinction and how that has contributed to wage stagnation and income inequality, but labor unions are just one piece of the puzzle. There's labor unions and then there's the state side - government regulations and laws that helped create a middle class.



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Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits against businesses on the upswing in Alabama

A law designed to break down barriers for disabled patrons has led to a flurry of lawsuits around Birmingham. The volume of legal action has made Alabama an outlier among states in the Southeast.



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Noel Dulac is part of D.C. 'Fly-in Forum'

Noel Dulac, of Chelmsford, was among more than 140 elite 401 plan advisers who recently gathered in Washington, D.C., to listen to and advise top congressional leaders about the future of the retirement-savings industry and how proposed laws and regulations could affect American workers' retirement security. At the second annual National Association of Plan Advisors Fly-in Forum, delegates met with key Senate legislative staff, as well as a high-ranking Treasury Department official to discuss issues including as tax reform, the proposed Department of Labor regulations on the definition of a fiduciary, and potential action by the Securities and Exchange Commission on its own fiduciary rule.



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In Pursuit of a Stress-Free Retirement

Baby Boomers, those born from 1946-1964, are a generation dwarfing the prior and subsequent generations. They have made their mark on history having been better educated, more innovative and more successful than any past generation.



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Noel Dulac is part of D.C. 'Fly-in Forum'

Noel Dulac, of Chelmsford, was among more than 140 elite 401 plan advisers who recently gathered in Washington, D.C., to listen to and advise top congressional leaders about the future of the retirement-savings industry and how proposed laws and regulations could affect American workers' retirement security. At the second annual National Association of Plan Advisors Fly-in Forum, delegates met with key Senate legislative staff, as well as a high-ranking Treasury Department official to discuss issues including as tax reform, the proposed Department of Labor regulations on the definition of a fiduciary, and potential action by the Securities and Exchange Commission on its own fiduciary rule.



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EEOC disability investigation of Royal Caribbean ruled too broad

An 11th Circuit ruling in an EEOC case against Royal Caribbean Cruises may help employers defend against overly broad agency subpoenas. A recent appeals court ruling chastising the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for issuing an overly broad and burdensome subpoena in a discrimination case is expected to help other employers combat similar orders.



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Principal faked classroom observations at HS: staffers

The accusations come as Mayor de Blasio this month named Banana Kelly one of 94 low-performing "Renewal Schools" to share $150 million for extra classroom time, after-school and summer programs, and teacher training. In one case, Pope allegedly fabricated a formal observation of a teacher who had called in sick on the deadline to file the reviews.



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Celebrate human rights day with Snohomish County, community Dec. 10.

The Snohomish County Human Rights Commission is hosting a celebration commemorating the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Human Rights Day from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at Evergreen Middle School in Everett. The theme of this year's celebration is "Fifty years of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: the Unfinished Agenda."



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American jobless claims drop to lowest in 14 years

Our eNewspaper network was founded in 2002 to provide stand-alone digital news sites tailored for the most searched-for locations for news. With a traditional newspaper format, more than 100 sites were established each with a newspaper-type name to cover the highest-ranked regions, countries, cities and states.



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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Advocates continue fight against Tennessee voter ID law

The group opposes a state law that prevents student IDs to be used to vote in Tennessee.



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New York workers shorted of $1 billion annually

For four years, Lino, 53, worked 13 hours a day, six days a week stocking shelves at Rosemary's Farm, a small grocery store in Flushing. His weekly salary was $350, that is, about $4.65 an hour.



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Frustrated senators blast Takata, signal more safety legislation

Senators' frustration with what they see as an inconsistent and disorganized response to the Takata airbag recall crisis boiled over last week, signaling a push for more auto safety regulations. "These airbags failed, but the system failed equally, if not more," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., at a contentious Senate Commerce Committee hearing.



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Request for accommodation by disabled med school applicant exceeds ADA: Court

A disabled medical school applicant's request for accommodation exceeds what is required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, says a federal appeals court in upholding a Missouri medical school's withdrawal of her acceptance. Emily McCulley, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, which necessitates use of a wheelchair for mobility and limits her arm strength, was admitted to the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2011, according to last week's ruling by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver in Emily McCulley v.



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Business calendar: 11/23/2014

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender, 2 p.m., online. Speaker: Tony Coelho, author of the Americans with Disabilities Act.



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King County bus drivers told: OK to use restroom

The state Department of Labor and Industries fined King County Metro $3,500 last week for failing to provide bus drivers with unrestricted access to restrooms. Drivers, men and women alike, told investigators disturbing stories about using coffee cups and bottles to relieve themselves because they felt pressure to stick to their scheduled routes, department spokesman Tim Church said Saturday.



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Two Cents Worth

Hamada is associated with Team Health, the providers of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants for the MRMC emergency department. Hamada is a specialist in family medicine and obstetrics and gynecology.



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Myerson included in Best Lawyers 'Best Law Firms'

MANCHESTER >> Bradley D. Myerson Law Offices of Manchester Center has been listed in the 2015 Edition of U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms," in the field of Criminal Defense. Also, Myerson has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 for his work in Criminal Defense.



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Las Cruces City Council to discuss minimum wage exemptions

LAS CRUCES >> Las Cruces City Councilors will talk Monday about possible exemptions to a minimum wage ordinance that is set to take effect Jan. 1. Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima has proposed a list of 15 types of employees or businesses that would be excluded from being required to pay the city's new minimum wage rate. Miyagishima has said he based that idea off the federal government's exemptions to its minimum wage ordinance and found a list of the exclusions on the Internet.



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State fines Metro over restroom issues for bus drivers

King County Metro Transit must pay a $3,500 fine for failing to provide bus drivers enough places - or time - to use the restroom. The nation's seventh-largest public bus agency "did not provide transit operators with unrestricted access to bathroom facilities when needed to relieve themselves," said the citation, issued Friday by the state Department of Labor and Industries.



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George Will: Using a bludgeon in Wisconsin

It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state's intricacies to advance progressivism's project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government's saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Department of Justice wants to destroy Wisconsin's school choice program.



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Seattle bus drivers to get more bathroom breaks

A 36-year-old woman who had been sexually assaulted and set on fire died Saturday morning, police said, just over a week after she was found in a Wichita park with severe burns on more than half her body and cuts... A 36-year-old woman who had been sexually assaulted and set on fire died Saturday morning, police said, just over a week after she was found in a Wichita park with severe burns on more than half her body and cuts on her head. Hours of steady rain Saturday from northern California's third winter storm in a week raised hopes that the state was moving out of its driest three years in history - while still deeply locked in drought.



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Governing bodies to take up snow plan, information technology reorganization

An update on the city of Topeka's snow plan and a proposed reorganization of Shawnee County's information technology department are among topics local governing bodies plan to take up this coming week. The Shawnee County Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Monday in its chambers in Room B-11 of the county courthouse at 200 S.E. 7th, while the Topeka City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in its chambers at 214 S.E. 8th.



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Code of silence: Trial of an Ottawa jail guard hears of cover-up for...

As many as five guards were holding down a handcuffed Jean Paul Rheaume when a sixth stepped forward, held onto his colleagues for support, and allegedly delivered three swift stomps to the prisoner's head and torso. "They threw me in a corner where I couldn't move and kicked me in the head.



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Seattle bus drivers to get more bathroom breaks

The state Department of Labor and Industries fined King County Metro $3,500 on Wednesday for failing to provide bus drivers with unrestricted access to restrooms. Drivers, men and women alike, told investigators disturbing stories about using coffee cups and bottles to relieve themselves because they felt pressure to stick to their scheduled routes, department spokesman Tim Church said Saturday.



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Top Pa. officials' salaries quietly grow

No one at the state Capitol has advocated pay raises for hundreds of Pennsylvania's top elected and appointed officials since the 2005 debacle that enraged voters and ultimately cost two dozen legislators and a Supreme Court justice their seats. A 1995 law provides automatic cost-of-living adjustments for the state's judges, members of the Legislature and many top executive branch officials, including the governor and his major appointees.



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Seattle bus drivers to get more bathroom breaks

The state Department of Labor and Industries cited King County Metro this week for failing to provide bus drivers with unrestricted access to restrooms. In a written statement Friday, Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond reiterated that bus drivers have the right to stop to use a restroom.



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Top Pa. officialsa salaries grow with inflation

A 1995 law provides automatic cost-of-living adjustments for the state's judges, members of the Legislature and many top executive branch officials, including the governor and his major appointees.



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Top Pa. officials' salaries grow with inflation

No one at the state Capitol has advocated pay raises for hundreds of Pennsylvania's top elected and appointed officials since the 2005 debacle that enraged voters and ultimately cost two dozen legislators and a Supreme Court justice their seats. A 1995 law provides automatic cost-of-living adjustments for the state's judges, members of the Legislature and many top executive branch officials, including the governor and his major appointees.



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When you gotta go, stop: Seattle bus drivers to get more bathroom breaks after investigation

The state Department of Labor and Industries cited King County Metro this week for failing to provide bus drivers with unrestricted access to restrooms. In a written statement Friday, Metro General Manager Kevin Desmond reiterated that bus drivers have the right to stop to use a restroom.



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Jury Awards $186 Million in Pregnancy Bias Case

Pregnancydiscrimination has been a visible area in the news recently. The EEOC has focused on this area, and the Supreme Court will look at a pregnancy discrimination claim later this term.



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Seattle bus drivers to get more bathroom breaks

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Martinsburg exotic dancer sues to get minimum wage

Christina A. Robinson filed a lawsuit against Taboo Gentlemen's Club and its owners in the circuit court of Berkeley County, West Virginia, on Nov. 1. The lawsuit was transferred to federal court Friday. Robinson alleges that she was forced to pay unfair fees for shifts and table dances she performed.



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Palm Tran bus drivers pushing for pay raises

New drivers were once told that by joining Palm Tran they could gradually rise from starting pay to top pay in five years. But the Great Recession and a contract that expired in 2009 put the brakes on the prospect of steady pay raises many drivers maintain that they were counting on when they took Palm Tran jobs.



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Jim Webb for President, The Pros and Cons

It is a time of fear in the face of freedom, a time of an emptying country and swelling cities, a time for the widening of previous roads and the opening of new paths, yet a time when these paths are mined by knowing algorithms of the all-seeing eye. It is the time of the warrior's peace and the miser's charity, when the planting of a seed is an act of conscientious objection.



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Mayor of Lubbock, Texas, Calls HRC Report 'Completely Bogus' After City Receives A Zero On Gay Rights

Of the five cities nationwide, out of 353 rated, that received zeros on the Human Rights Campaign's 2014 Municipal Equality Index , four are in Texas, and one is Lubbock. But the mayor of Lubbock - a city of 240,000 in West Texas that is home to Texas Tech University - isn't the least bit happy about the score.



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Seattle bus drivers to get more bathroom breaks

Seattle-area transit officials are making clear that when bus drivers gotta go, they're free to stop. The state Department of Labor and Industries cited King County Metro this week for failing to provide bus drivers with unrestricted access to restrooms.



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Coal mine safety laws have huge holes, and Congress isn't interested in fixing them

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship may have been the rare upper-level coal executive indicted on criminal charges in the deaths of his workers, but he's the exception that proves the rule of just how weak mine safety laws are . As Mother Jones 's Tim Murphy points out: ... under the Mine Safety Act, conspiring to violate mine safety standards is only a misdemeanor.



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Friday, November 21, 2014

Legion launches new career platform

A Veteran Job Search tool, powered by Military.com, which helps veterans find current job listings near them. By entering a ZIP Code, veterans can easily find job listings that fit their skill sets within a chosen distance from home.



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Dems seek to strengthen black lung benefits program

Senior Democrats in the House and Senate are seeking to prevent coal companies from withholding key pieces of medical evidence during evaluation of health claims by miners. A bill introduced Thursday would take several steps to ease access to evidence, including requiring full disclosure of medical information related to a claim.



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Movement for Racial Justice Runs Wide and Deep

A running theme at the recent Facing Race conference was how addressing the role of race within organizations and coalitions had led to effective collaboration between different racial communities and across issues, effectively countering efforts to divide progressive movements along the lines of race, citizenship, or sexual orientation. . I joined almost 1,600 people from across the United States and several countries in Dallas last weekend for the conference, which marked the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.



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Fifth Circuit Refuses Application of Bright-Line Test in FLSA Seaman Exemption Dispute

On November 13, 2014, the Fifth Circuit addressed the uncertainty stemming from its decision in Owens v. SeaRiver Maritime, Inc. , 272 F.3d 698 , wherein the Court found that a plaintiff's unloading and loading of vessels was considered " nonseaman" work subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime requirements.



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Article on Disclaimers and Federalism

Adam J. Hirsch recently published an article entitled, Disclaimers and Federalism , Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 67, No.



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Federal Reserve Did Not Violate ADA with Firing

A former employee of the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond can't sue the bank for disability discrimination because he was terminated for insubordination and misconduct, not because he was an alcohol, a federal judge ruled. John Vannoy, a former building manager for the Federal Reserve sued the bank in December 2013, claiming it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not accommodating his depression and alcoholism.



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Fired Muslim workers reach settlement with DHL

DHL Global Mail has reached an agreement with Somali Muslims who say they were fired from the company's Hebron facility in 2013 because they took a break for evening prayer, The Enquirer has learned. The Cincinnati chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Thursday announced the settlement with DHL over religious accommodation complaints brought by 23 Muslim workers in October 2013.



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Lame-Duck Lopez?

Harry Reid must be really, really worried about public scrutiny of P. David Lopez's record as general counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. On Thursday, the Senate majority leader filed cloture on Mr. Lopez's renomination, which means the lame-duck, Democratic-controlled Senate could push ahead with a vote on his candidacy before Republicans take over the chamber in January.



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D.C. Circuit Upholds Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

Last week, a unanimous three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit upheld the religious accommodation to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage mandate . The court held that the accommodation set out by the Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services is a simple solution that does not impose a burden for purposes of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 .



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More charges of labor fraud at KCK baking plant

New federal indictments returned Thursday charge eight additional employees at a Keebler Company plant in Kansas City, Kan., with illegally receiving unemployment benefits. Barry Grissom, the U.S. Attorney for Kansas, said 16 people previously had been charged in September for the same crime.



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Idaho's October jobless rate drops to lowest level in 6A1 2 Years

Idaho's seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate dropped four-tenths of a percentage point to a 6 -year low of 4.1 percent in October despite slowing economic activity by employers, according to figures released by the Idaho Department of Labor Friday. "Last month's drop in the jobless rate - the largest one-month change on record - was driven by a combination of rising employment and a declining labor force," said Idaho Department of Labor spokesman Bob Fick.



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Department of Labor to retailers: "plan ahead for Black Friday"

With the beginning of the holiday shopping season the Department of Labor is reminding retailers to prepare for one of the busiest retail days of the year. A press release from the department said Black Friday has developed a history of large groups and racing mobs.



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Pier 1 Hopes 3rd Time in 9th Circ. Is the Charm

Pier 1 Imports had no feasible reason for letting clutter block a wheelchair from the aisles of one of its stores, a disabled man's attorney told the 9th Circuit. "It's not always Black Friday at this Pier One.



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Changing Regulatory Regime Necessitates New Solutions To An Old...

US government regulators have become more aggressive in their detection and enforcement of fraud against the government. One of the key tools they are using to combat such fraud is the False Claims Act.



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DUPREE: Black leaders shamefully silent on Obamaa s amnesty

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Congressional Black Caucus are endorsing President Obama's amnesty for illegal immigrants, as they endeavor to maintain the fiction that the Democratic Party is aligned with the needs of the black community and maintain their own positions within the political power structure. In reality, the failure of these organizations to examine the repercussions of the Executive Order on the black community is one more piece of evidence that black so-called "leaders" only care about the black community in order to keep the "racist meme" alive.



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Former Restaurant Worker Receives $20,000 Sexual Harassment Settlement

A Pennsylvania restaurant has recently agreed to settle a sexual harassment and sexual discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee for approximately $20,000. The claim, which was filed in the United States District Court in Erie, Pennsylvania, alleged that one of the restaurant's co-owners, Peter West, routinely made vulgar remarks toward female workers.



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Changing Regulatory Regime Necessitates New Solutions To An Old...

US government regulators have become more aggressive in their detection and enforcement of fraud against the government. One of the key tools they are using to combat such fraud is the False Claims Act.



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'Tis the (Retail) Season, Part I: OSHA's Tips for a Safe Black Friday

In advance of the holiday season, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding retail employers to take precautions to prevent workplace injuries during major sales events, including Black Friday. According to a news release issued by OSHA on November 17, 2014, "[t]ragic consequences and risk to workers can occur if the proper safety procedures are ignored."



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Gary Johnson Supports Private Anti-Discrimination Laws Protecting Gays

Below, watch 2012 Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson interviewed briefly by Jeff4Justice , a gentleman who lives in his SUV, interviews celebrities and politicians alike, and advocates both about gay issues and for third-party candidate inclusion in elections: If for whatever reason you are unable to watch, Jeff mentions Johnson's support for gay marriage equality , then pivots to discussion of anti-discrimination laws. Jeff's concern is that gays and lesbians may be resistant to voting for Libertarian Party candidates if they don't support antidiscrimination laws.



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The Ninth Circuit Raises Pleading Standards for FLSA Plaintiffs

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit makes pleading Fair Labor Standards Act violations more difficult by applying the heightened standard in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly , 550 U.S. 544 , and Ashcroft v.



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Pros and cons of funding a business with your retirement account

When considering using a retirement account to fund your business, there are many considerations to keep in mind. Here's what you need to know.



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Transit schedule for Thanksgiving 2014

TUCSON, AZ - Sun Tran, Shuttle and Express route schedules for the Thanksgiving holiday, Thursday, Nov. 27. -Sun Tran Routes 1 through 99 and the Sun Link streetcar will run on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving. Regular service resumes Friday, November 28. -Sun Express Routes will not be in operation.



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Disney Not So Magical for Disabled, Lawsuits Allege

Walt Disney theme parks in Florida and California are famed for being magical, happy places. While that may hold true for some, dozens of families say that's just not the case for the disabled.



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Book Review: 'Maneuvering Your Career: 20 Strategies to Prepare You...

James Lehman has had an interesting career to say the least. Early in Maneuvering Your Career: 20 Strategies to Prepare You for Voluntary or Involuntary Career Transition , he shares with us his diverse work history and the job instability and difficulties he has experienced throughout his years of employment: "As I have had to maneuver my career, I have been fired multiple times, had my position eliminated multiple times, have quit before getting another job more than once, and had my employer be acquired, merged, closed, and go bankrupt.



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Who Passed The Civil Rights Act?

You wouldn't think we need to lay this out, but based on repeated erroneous comments I've received from conservatives over the years on this topic, here we go. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was introduced in the House of Representatives by a Democrat, Emanuel Celler of New York on June 20, 1963.



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Pennsylvania jobless rate declines to 6-year low

The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday the seasonally adjusted rate last month was 5.4 percent. That's down three-tenths of a percentage point from September.



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Job Fair in Lewiston on December 1 at the CareerCenter

The Lewiston CareerCenter is hosting a Job Fair on Monday, December 1 from 9 to 11 a.m. at its building on 5 Mollison Way, Lewiston. All employers will be hiring: over 200 jobs will be available.



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Augusta Area Job Fair to be Held November 24 at the CareerCenter

More than two-dozen employers are hiring positions in manufacturing, retail, health care, construction, customer service and more at the Augusta CareerCenter on November 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The CareerCenter is located at 21 Enterprise Drive, suite 2 in Augusta. "I encourage those considering a New Year's resolution to find a new job or change careers to start now and get a leg up on the competition" said Governor Paul R. LePage.



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Coal mine safety laws have huge holes, and Congress isn't interested in fixing them

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship may have been the rare upper-level coal executive indicted on criminal charges in the deaths of his workers, but he's the exception that proves the rule of just how weak mine safety laws are . As Mother Jones 's Tim Murphy points out: ... under the Mine Safety Act, conspiring to violate mine safety standards is only a misdemeanor.



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File: Shopping courtesy WISH-TV

The Indiana Department of Labor is reminding retailers to take steps to ensure workers and customers are safe on Black Friday and at other sale events. Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Rick Ruble says well-established safety procedures are crucial to ensuring safe holiday shopping for workers and shoppers.



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Statea s jobless rate at 6-year low of 5.4 percent

Pennsylvania's jobless rate fell by three-tenths of a percentage point in October, as payrolls and the labor force grew.



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October Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.0 Percent in Arkansas

The labor force data, produced by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics was released by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services . It shows that Arkansas' civilian labor force gained 7,400, a result of 9,400 more employed and 2,000 fewer unemployed Arkansans.



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WLFI File Photo

The Indiana Department of Labor is reminding retailers to take steps to ensure workers and customers are safe on Black Friday and at other sale events. Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Rick Ruble says well-established safety procedures are crucial to ensuring safe holiday shopping for workers and shoppers.



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Rhode Island jobless rate falls to 7.4 percent

The state Department of Labor and Training reported Thursday that the rate had fallen two-tenths of 1 percentage point from September. The number of unemployed residents was down 1,400, to 40,900.



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You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry... Wage and Hour Investigations on the Rise

A representative from the U.S. Department of Labor 's Wage and Hour Division recently warned that the payroll practices of some of this state's most active industries may be under increased scrutiny in 2015. Also, on October 1, the DOL published regulations implementing Executive Order 13658, raising the hourly minimum wage paid by government contractors to workers performing work on covered federal contracts to $10.10 per hour, beginning on January 1, 2015.



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Oct. Pennsylvania jobless rate down, payrolls up

Pennsylvania's jobless rate fell by three-tenths of a percentage point in October, as payrolls and the labor force grew. The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday that the seasonally adjusted rate in October was 5.4 percent, down from 5.7 percent in September.



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The Facebook Of Real Estate Allegedly Forced Workers To Skip Meals And Work Without Pay

The number one online real estate website is facing a $5 million class action lawsuit for intimidating employees to skip meals and work long hours without pay. Former sales representative Ian Freeman filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of he and his coworkers, accusing Zillow of "exploiting and intimidating its employees to miss meal breaks, rest breaks, and work overtime without compensation," the complaint states.



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Should You Choose a Pension Buyout?

The news media has been flooded with stories revealing pension buyout initiatives from major corporations. Once perceived as the stable, secure constant of the large employer-employee relationship, pensions, under increasing pressure, continue their transition into near extinction.



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Pennsylvania jobless rate hits six-year low in October

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate hit a six-year low in October, according to a report released Friday from the Department of Labor & Industry. The state's jobless rate declined three-tenths of a percentage point from September to 5.4 percent.



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Unemployment Hits 6 Year Low

November 21, 2014 PA Unemployment Rate Declines to Six-Year Low 5.4% in October Harrisburg - Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry released its employment situation report for October 2014. Pennsylvania's unemployment rate declined by three-tenths of a percentage point from September to 5.4 percent -- a six-year low.



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Huron Co. jobless rate 6.1%

Among Ohio's 88 counties, September 2014 unemployment rates ranged from a low of 2.9 percent in Mercer County to a high of 10.1 percent in Monroe County. From August, county unemployment rates decreased in 79 counties, including Huron County, which dropped fourth-tenths of a percentage point from 6.5 percent -- the 14th worst among Ohio's 88 counties that month.



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Pennsylvania jobless rate declines to six-year low

The state Department of Labor and Industry said today the seasonally adjusted rate last month was 5.4 percent. That's down three-tenths of a percentage point from September. Officials say total nonfarm jobs went up by 12,600 to more than 5.8 million. That's the highest level since August 2008.



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Pennsylvania jobless rate declines to 6-year low

The state Department of Labor and Industry said Friday the seasonally adjusted rate last month was 5.4 percent. That's down three-tenths of a percentage point from September. Officials say total nonfarm jobs went up by 12,600 to more than 5.8 million. That's the highest level since August 2008.



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Amsted Rail's Hiring Practices Violate Disability Discrimination Law, EEOC Charges in Lawsuit

Amsted Industries, Inc. and Amsted Rail Co. Inc., a leader in the manufacture of steel castings for the rail industry, improperly used physical tests and applicants' health histories in the hiring process at their Granite City, Ill., facility, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged in a lawsuit it announced today.



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Document Dump Shows DOJ Worked With White House To Target 'Out of...

Document Dump Shows DOJ Worked With White House To Target 'Out of Control' Sharyl Attkisson For Fast and Furious Coverage A Department of Justice document dump to government watchdog Judicial Watch, made public yesterday, shows former DOJ Spokeswoman and Holder Flack Tracy Schmaler talking to the White House about "out of control" investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Attkisson was covering Operation Fast and Furious for CBS News at the time.



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You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry... Wage and Hour Investigations on the Rise

A representative from the U.S. Department of Labor 's Wage and Hour Division recently warned that the payroll practices of some of this state's most active industries may be under increased scrutiny in 2015. Also, on October 1, the DOL published regulations implementing Executive Order 13658, raising the hourly minimum wage paid by government contractors to workers performing work on covered federal contracts to $10.10 per hour, beginning on January 1, 2015.



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Bury Hospice bosses lash out at critics with tell-all open letter

Photographs of the new Bury Hospice on Rochdale Old Road, Bury. Photo by Paul Gardner.



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SuperVision Today - November 2014

Welcome to the fourth quarter edition of SuperVision Today, the quarterly e-newsletter published by Spilman's Labor & Employment Group. ...The lead article in this edition of SuperVision Today will continue our series on the Affordable Care Act and the obligations large employers will face in the new year.



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Legal 500 U.S. Recognizes Several Thompson Hine Practices, Lawyers

Published for more than 20 years, the Legal 500 series provides information and opinions about firms and lawyers across the globe based on interviews with lawyers and representatives from client companies. Five of the firm's practices and 37 lawyers are recommended as listed below.



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Shopping blues: Mass. stores closed on Thanksgiving

Because of blue laws in Massachusetts, the Walmart in Worcester has posted signs in the store entrance informing shoppers that the store will not be open on Thanksgiving Day. The store opens at 1 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving.



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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Job Applicant Denied Whistleblower Protection in Sixth Circuit

Job applicants lack standing to bring whistleblower retaliation claims under the False Claims Act and the Energy Reorganization Act because they are not "employees," according to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision contrasts with recent administrative and legislative attempts to expand whistleblowing protections.



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One Factor Driving Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) Stock Up Today

Your browser is not supported. Please upgrade to one of the following browsers: Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Apple Safari Microsoft Internet Explorer 8+ You may proceed to the site by clicking here , however some pages might not work correctly.



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Green light for more city ADA-compliance upgrades

The Fort Morgan City Council on Tuesday night approved spending up to $27,500 on upgrades to the City Complex building to both come into further compliance with the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act and offer better flow and function in the building. The council accepted the proposal from sole-bidder R.D. Larson Construction, Inc. of Fort Morgan for $25,339.50 on the ADA-compliance upgrades and $1,950 for moving doorways to improve flow.



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Fifth Circuit Finds SOX Violation in Disclosure of Whistleblower's Identity

The Fifth Circuit affirms the DOL Administrative Review Board's decision that employer disclosure of a whistleblower's identity in a document retention notice constitutes an adverse action. In Halliburton, Inc. v.



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Using a bludgeon in Wisconsin

It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state's intricacies to advance progressivism's project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government's saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Department of Justice wants to destroy Wisconsin's school choice program.



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Ensure Safety, Security with Holiday Employment Screening

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and that means Black Friday, shopping online and holiday music overload as we get ready for the big gift-giving season. It's hard to believe, but holiday hiring season is already well under way.



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Feds 'bludgeoning' private schools with tortured legal claim

It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state's intricacies to advance progressivism's project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government's saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Department of Justice wants to destroy Wisconsin's school choice program.



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Syracuse loses more jobs as state unemplyment trends down

Syracuse lost more jobs than any other region of the state in October, according to new state Department of Labor data released today. The Syracuse area, which consists of Onondaga, Oswego and Madison counties, lost 1,500 private sector jobs between October 2013 and last month.



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Officials say farmworkers weren't paid properly

Federal labor officials say they've recovered more than $131,000 in back wages for almost 400 farmworkers in central Florida who weren't paid for work they did. Officials with the U.S. Department of Labor on Wednesday also said they had issued $196,000 in civil penalties this year against growers who had safety, housing and transportation violations.



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Automaker whistleblowers could see huge payout

Sens. John Thune, R-S.D. and Bill Nelson, D-Fla. are set to introduce the Thune-Nelson Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act Thursday, which will allow employees or contractors of motor vehicle manufacturers, parts suppliers and dealerships to be awarded millions should they come forward with information on problems within their companies, according to the Detroit News .



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Judy Wirth, who is being evicted from the Arbor Inn in Marshall, is...

Former Arbor Inn employee alleges wage-law violations Worker got motel room in lieu of pay in what attorney says was lopsided deal Check out this story on battlecreekenquirer.com: http://bcene.ws/1uX2M9M Judy Wirth, who is being evicted from the Arbor Inn in Marshall, is looking for both employment and a place for her and her daughter to live. Judy Wirth has a newspaper spread out on her bed.



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Past Executive Orders and the Impacts on Civil Rights

As the nation awaits President Obama's speech on immigration and the rumored announcement of an executive order, it might be helpful to consider the historical context and ripple effects of previous executive orders that touch on civil rights concerns -- orders that were quite controversial at the time of their issuance. Executive Order 11246 , signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 24, 1965, established requirements for non-discriminatory practices in hiring and employment on the part of U.S. government contractors.



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Job Applicant Denied Whistleblower Protection in Sixth Circuit

Job applicants lack standing to bring whistleblower retaliation claims under the False Claims Act and the Energy Reorganization Act because they are not "employees," according to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision contrasts with recent administrative and legislative attempts to expand whistleblowing protections.



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Kentucky's jobless rate plunges to 6.2 percent in October 2014

Kentucky's jobless rate plunges to 6.2 percent in October 2014 Jobless rate in Kentucky lowest in six years By Kim Saylor Brannock Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet FRANKFORT, KY - Kentucky's seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate dropped to its lowest rate in more than six years in October 2014 at 6.2 percent from a revised 6.7 percent in September 2014, according to the Office of Employment and Training , an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. It marks the single-biggest one-month drop in the unemployment rate since 1976, when the current methodology for measuring the rate was adopted.



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December Programs for Job Seekers at the York County CareerCenter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 20, 2014 Contact: Dawn Self-Cooper, York County CareerCenter, 207-324-5460; Julie Rabinowitz, Maine Department of Labor, 207-621-5009 SPRINGVALE – The York County CareerCenter in Springvale continues its workshop programs for job seekers and those considering training to upgrade their skills and increase their employability. "I encourage those considering a New Year's resolution to find a new job or change careers to start now and get a leg up on the competition" said Governor Paul R. LePage.



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December Workshops at the Presque Isle CareerCenter

The Presque Isle CareerCenter announces December programming for job seekers and those who are considering training for a new career. "I encourage those considering a New Year's resolution to find a new job or change careers to start now and get a leg up on the competition" said Governor Paul R. LePage.



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US Government agencies are switching to Office 365 to unify their email and communications

Microsoft has announced that they have signed up big clients in the US government who are switching to Office 365 for cloud based email. This is a big step for government communications and data to be hosted in the cloud, but Microsoft has a long history of working well with data privacy, encryption, and management.



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'Tis the Season to Be Merry - and Worry

As the holiday season approaches and the weather turns cold, employers face a number of issues particularly relevant to this time of year. Inclement Weather: Disputes often arise over weather and the impact on employees' attendance.



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Division I Athlete Commences Collective Action Seeking Pay For Play

A complaint recently filed in the Southern District of Indiana alleges that the NCAA and its Division I Member Schools have jointly agreed and conspired to engage in a widespread pattern, policy, and practice of failing to pay division I student athletes in violation of the wage-and-hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act . Samantha Sackos, a former division I collegiate soccer player who played at the University of Houston, claims that she, and all similar division I athletes, should have been paid at least minimum wage as temporary employees.



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Court Affirms Costs against Plaintiffs Following Contentious Discovery

In this Fair Labor Standards Act case, "[d]iscovery was contentious and the motions practice was excessive. As a result, a special master was appointed to rule on all discovery and related motions."



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Blind Greenwich Woman Says Uber Driver Left Her Stranded with Seeing-Eye Dog

Amy Dixon, with about 1 percent of her vision left in one eye, has struggled at times to get transportation from Darien, where she's worked, back to her home in Greenwich. She's taken the train, but it can be uncomfortable walking to and from train stations, in the cold and crossing downtown streets in both Darien and New Canaan.



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RTA Board Allocates $4.4 Million in Federal Dollars to Benefit Seniors and People and Disabilities

The Regional Transportation Authority Board approved funding for seven projects through the federally-funded Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program. The RTA will administer $4,402,403 million in total, $2,931,356 in federal funds and $1,471,047 in local match provided by municipalities, townships, and the RTA to fund projects that will improve and increase access to transit for older adults and people with disabilities.



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Benefits of Whistleblower Programs Outweigh Costs

Promoting and maintaining financial fraud whistleblower programs, such as those of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission , is costly. Cases involving whistleblowers require significant resources as they take nearly 10 months longer to complete.



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DOJ Attacks School Choice in Wis.

It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state's intricacies to advance progressivism's project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government's saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Department of Justice wants to destroy Wisconsin's school choice program.



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Shopping blues: Mass. stores closed on Thanksgiving

Because of blue laws in Massachusetts, the Walmart in Worcester has posted signs in the store entrance informing shoppers that the store will not be open on Thanksgiving Day. The store opens at 1 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving.



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Legislators Want Nationwide Recall Of Takata Airbags, Introduce New Whistleblower Protections

By almost any metric, the long, drawn-out, still-evolving Takata airbag recall has been a disaster. But a push to simplify the patchwork of recalls and protect auto industry employees who expose internal problems could alleviate confusion now and prevent similar troubles in the future.



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Blind Woman Says Uber Driver Leaves Her Stranded with Seeing-Eye Dog

Amy Dixon, with about 1 percent of her vision left in one eye, has struggled at times to get transportation from Darien, where she's worked, back to her home in Greenwich. She's taken the train, but it can be uncomfortable walking to and from train stations, in the cold and crossing downtown streets in both Darien and New Canaan.



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Rotary Lift introduces Wheel Wing tire hangar

Rotary Lift says a protective coating and end cap prevent wheels from being scratched or dinged as they are placed on the hangar arm of the Wheel Wing car lift accessory. Rotary Lift has introduced Wheel Wing tire hangar, a car lift accessory designed to improve ergonomics and boost shop productivity by making it easier to remove wheels for tire rotations and brake and suspension work.



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Asking about religion accommodations

An employer's obligation to raise the issue of potential accommodations for religious discrimination under Title VII will soon receive clarification, as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear E.E.O.C. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. this term.



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Ninth Circuit Joins Majority Trend and Requires FLSA Plaintiffs to Meet Plausibility Standard

On November 12, 2014, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit joined the First, Second, and Third Circuits in holding that a plaintiff cannot state a plausible claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act by merely reciting conclusory allegations that mimic the statutory language. The case, Landers v.



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Facing $736,000 in building maintenance, board considers its options

Principal Della Martin reported something "amazing" to school board members on November 12: no leaks in the school library following a heavy, wet snowfall earlier this month. The library roof, replaced in 2011 by Williams Roofing Company in Brewer at a cost of $45,629, has leaked around its skylight and, after heavy rains last January, water filled buckets and tubs in the library.



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CSD school board nearing completion of graduation policy

The board has been having additional monthly meetings since August to work on proficiency-based education policy and to complete a draft of the new graduation requirements. Although a meeting slated for October 28 didn't happen due to a lack of quorum, the board is on target to meet the goal it set for December, which is to deliver a first draft of the new high school graduation policy, Jenkins said.



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SEC's 2014 Report on Dodd-Frank Whistleblowing Program: Key...

On November 17, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued its 2014 Annual Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program and it is clear that the program is going strong. Following are six key takeaways and trends ethics and compliance professionals should learn from the report.



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FBI's letter, demanding that Martin Luther King commit suicide, released in full

In 1999, the family of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. prevailed in a jury trial that found the government responsible for MLK 's murder.



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Court Affirms Costs against Plaintiffs Following Contentious Discovery

In this Fair Labor Standards Act case, "[d]iscovery was contentious and the motions practice was excessive. As a result, a special master was appointed to rule on all discovery and related motions."



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Department of Labor Offering Workplace Safety Classes in December

The Maine Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Standards is hosting its no-charge safety courses for employers throughout December. "New federal OSHA recordkeeping updates are happening come January 1 and SafetyWorks! is increasing these workshops to help businesses prepare for the changes," said Governor Paul R. LePage.



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Notice of Rulemaking: 12 Department of Labor, 172 Maine Unemployment...

CONTACT PERSON FOR THIS FILING: Susan Wasserott Director of Legislative Affairs/Rulemaking Liaison 54 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0054 207-621-5095 BRIEF SUMMARY: Modification of this rule is sought to update the rule to adequately reflect the current work search methods utilized by claimants, to provide clearer guidelines regarding claimants' duty to track their work search efforts and present evidence of these efforts to the Bureau upon request, to include additional grounds for waiver of the requirement, and to modify the disqualification process.



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Economics Daily Digest: Finance's conflicts of interest, financial whistleblowers, mortgage "glitch"

The leak has led to questions regarding the conflict of interest that arises when people advise the same banks they used to regulate, write Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Ben Protess, and Peter Eavis. The previously unreported leak, recounted in interviews with the lawyers briefed on the matter who spoke anonymously because the episode is not public, illustrates the blurred lines between Wall Street and the government - and the potential conflicts of interest that can result.



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Sh*t Happened 11/20/2014 - RIP Midtown Sundries, VA...

How did you spend your Wednesday? Longtime downtown St. Pete bar/restaurant/place to play pool and eat wings while you're pretending to work Midtown Sundries closed Tuesday after more than 15 years of operation; lunch regulars found out Wednesday via locked doors and signs in the windows.



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'Tis the Season to Be Merry - and Worry

As the holiday season approaches and the weather turns cold, employers face a number of issues particularly relevant to this time of year. Inclement Weather: Disputes often arise over weather and the impact on employees' attendance.



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Goodwill names Sanchez COO

Previously, Sanchez was chief of staff to the mayor of Baltimore. Earlier, he was secretary of the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.



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Employee Benefits Today And Tomorrow: What The Future Looks Like

The benefits commonly offered to employees have been changing over time and while today companies offer more health-related perks, such as gym memberships, acupuncture reimbursement, and even on-site doctors, the future will bring personalized medicine.



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OH: COTA Board Won't Raise Fares; Cbus Will Stay Free

The Central Ohio Transit Authority board of trustees agreed Wednesday to keep the Cbus free through May 3, 2015, and to avoid a fare hike across the entire bus network. It also voted to eliminate the $1 fare on fixed-route buses for riders who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act.



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Justice System for White-Collar Defendants is Flawed Top to Bottom

I am not an expert by any means, but I was a prosecutor for four years, serving as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Hawaii, and I have spent the rest of my 32-year career as a white-collar criminal defense and civil trial lawyer. So I know a bit about the criminal justice system.



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Call Center on the Hook in Class Action

Fired workers can proceed with a class action claiming a call center hired them "under the guise of long-term employment," knowing it would be only short term, a federal judge ruled Wednesday. Lead plaintiff Regis Harvey et al. sued Maximus Inc., which operates call centers around the world.



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Unpaid Wage Claims for Pre- and/or Post-Work Activities: Leaving...

Executive Summary : It is nothing new for farms and manufacturing plants to find themselves subject to collective and/or class action lawsuits by employees claiming they should have been paid for time spent "donning and doffing" work clothes and protective gear, either prior to starting or after completing their shift. Ask the pig farming and meat processing industries about their experiences over the last decade.



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DOJ Criminal Division Renews Efforts to Investigate Whistleblower Allegations

Department of Justice Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell announced a new process signaling a heightened effort to bring criminal prosecutors into the loop regarding False Claims Act referrals and other whistleblower complaints. The Department of Justice has signaled a heightened effort to bring criminal prosecutors into the loop regarding False Claims Act referrals and other whistleblower complaints.



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Transgender Day of Remembrance

More info: At 6:30, transgender community members and their allies will meet at Out Boulder and silently walk to the Boulder County Courthouse on Pearl Street. Speakers in front of the courthouse will include activists Nicole Garcia, Miriam Schiff and Kyl Caragol, as well as a representative of the office of U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Boulder.



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OSHA Launches Safer Chemicals Toolkit

The US Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration has developed a step-by-step toolkit to help businesses eliminate or reduce hazardous chemicals in the workplace. Other benefits of using the tookkit include cost savings through reduced expenses and future risks, improved efficiency , industry leadership and corporate stewardship, OSHA says.



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Work wrapping up at county center

The move - to the 90,000 square-foot building at 234 NW Corridor Blvd. in Jacksonville next month - will culminate a two-year transition to almost "paperless" public service, said David Cotton, the county's deputy county manager.



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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

George Will: The DOJ's War on School Choice

It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state's intricacies to advance progressivism's project of breaking non-governmental institutions to government's saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers' unions, the Department of Justice wants to destroy Wisconsin's school-choice program.



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Jaffrey: Pondering town office options

The Select Board sought feedback on two proposed plans to replace the town offices during a public hearing Monday night. While the board was leaning toward a more long-term but also more expensive option, some residents felt the plan might be too ambitious, and that a more conservative plan might be the more palatable to voters.



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Beware of Using Snail Mail for Individual FMLA Notice

The FMLA requires employers to provide employees with both general and individual notices about the FMLA. To meet the general notice requirements, an employer must post a notice of FMLA rights on its premises.



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New LCS Board Chair Touts New South Side High School

In the next few years, it's possible some students who would go to classes at Rickards may be going to a new south side high school on Tram Road instead. "It's very needed and very beneficial for the south side because we want to enhance our education and infrastructure," Lewis-Butler said.



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Bordentown Township's 2 fire districts seeking voters' approval on bond referendums

A file photo of a firefighter from Bordentown Township Derby Fire Co. Ladder 25 douses a fire in the 400 block of Willow St in Bordentown City.



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No buses on Thanksgiving; rides available by reservation

STOCKTON - RTD buses will not run regular routes on Thanksgiving, but people in need of a ride can reserve one on the limited, demand-responsive service being offered. Reservations are available on a first-come, first-served basis .



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Are we really that diverse? More workplace lawsuits from mishandling hijabs, tattoos

Businesses and brands - large and small - often preach inclusiveness and diversity. It shows up in advertising and marketing, in extending benefits to same-sex couples, in internship and hiring programs aimed at women and minorities.



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George Will: Using a bludgeon in Wisconsin

It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state's intricacies to advance progressivism's project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government's saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Department of Justice wants to destroy Wisconsin's school choice program.



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Grassley lavishes praise on retiring Harkin in U.S. Senate tribute

Retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa on Wednesday received an emotional birthday wish and farewell from his colleague in the state and across the aisle. U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley on Wednesday appeared to become emotional at the end of his eight-minute speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, where he wished Harkin a happy 75th birthday and thanked him for his 40 years of service in Congress.



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The Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Busk: Could Employers Have...

On October 8, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk .



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No Longer a Remote Possibility

It is important for employers and employees to understand that courts are being more flexible in determining a reasonable accommodation. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an employee must be qualified to perform the essential functions or duties of a job, with or without reasonable accommodation, in order to be protected from discrimination.



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Employers Should Handle Social Me...

Hopefully it's common knowledge that employers often look at job candidates' social media profiles during the hiring process, and for the most part the burden is on applicants to avoid damaging their own prospects with incriminating content. However, employers also need to be cautious in their use of social media screening, or risk running afoul of labor laws in ways they might not even realize.



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New False Claims Act Whistleblower Trends Revealed in Recent Verdict: What Can We Learn?

On October 20, 2014 in a case brought by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act , a federal jury handed down a $175 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff . While the outcome was newsworthy because of its size and the fact that it calls into question a highway guardrail design currently in use on many highways, one of the most startling aspects of the case was, as Rachel Louise Ensign of the Wall Street Journal put it in her article on October 22 , "the fact that the government has not intervened in the case."



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Catherine D. Cavenagh Joins Dixon Law Office in LaGrange as Trial Attorney

Cavenagh is focusing her practice on representing injured workers in complex worker's compensation cases. She also will represent office clients in catastrophic personal injury cases.



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Wood/My Turn: Unchecked surveillance

It's easy to sound crazy when you start to talk about the United States' sweeping surveillance program.



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DCS officials aren't asking legislators for funding to hire more...

DCS acknowledges failure to comply with state law but won't fix it Check out this story on IndyStar.com: http://indy.st/1qY6Hhe DCS officials aren't asking legislators for funding to hire more employees. Instead, DCS chief of staff Doris Tolliver said the agency plans to "promote quality leadership" and conduct a field workload study to determine whether current caseload standards are still appropriate.



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New Requirements for J-1 Program Mandates Annual Audits and Reports to Department of State

The devil is in the details. J-1 program sponsors need to be aware of upcoming changes by the U.S. Department of State to the J-1 program.



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HB 1020 provides quicker access to physical therapy

As of November 1, 2014, you can access a physical therapist easier. Prior to this date, a referral was required in order for you to receive treatment from a physical therapist.



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Former Bears QB Avellini gets 18 months in prison for aggravated DUI, prosecutors say

Former Bears quarterback Bob Avellini was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison for aggravated drunken driving, according to DuPage County prosecutors. In a negotiated plea, Avellini, 61, of Roselle, agreed to plead guilty to the felony DUI charge in exchange for the prison sentence.



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Industrial Fire Investigation Reveals Safety Violations: OSHA

Six months after an industrial fire broke out at the Soldream, Inc. facility in Vernon, federal authorities are launching an investigation into more than a dozen potential workplace violations they say may have contributed to the blaze and exposed workers to deadly hazards. Soldream an aerospace, defense and commercial industrial facility located on Reservoir Road in Vernon could face more than $59,000 in fines for suspected health and safety violations, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.



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EEOC Issues FY 2014 Performance Report

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission continued to make progress toward accomplishing its goals and fulfilling its mission during fiscal year 2014, which ended Sept. 30. Because of the lingering effects of sequestration and the government shutdown, the EEOC fought hard to overcome extraordinary fiscal constraints and operational challenges in FY 2014.



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Town Council to Determine Fate of Abandoned Water Facility

The Herndon Town Council will request the public's input at a hearing Tuesday, Dec. 9 to determine the fate of an abandoned water facility on Monroe Street. The Council hopes to pass an ordinance to approve the sale of the facility for $1,000.



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Mobile, Alabama-based shipbuilder cited for serious safety and health violations

Austal USA LLC was cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 12 safety and health violations that involved fall and other hazards following a May 2014 complaint regarding the Mobile shipbuilder's facility. Proposed penalties total $41,500.



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They Also Serve Who Only Stand and Wait - and Get Paid for It

When the poet John Milton observed that "they also serve who only stand and wait," it was unlikely that he was thinking about employees who are required to pass through security clearance when leaving the workplace at the end of their shift. However, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has thought about such employees, and the court decided that the time spent waiting in line to reach the check-out point was compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act.



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Workplace harassment watchdog wants to know why Roger Sutton was allowed to go public

The watchdog for workplace harassment has voiced her concerns about the investigation into Roger Sutton, who will no longer be returning to his former role as Cera chief executive. Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue has contacted State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to ask for answers about the seven-week inquiry into Mr Sutton, who announced his resignation on Monday after a complaint of sexual harassment against him, laid by a senior female staff member at the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority , was upheld.



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AutoZone loses gender bias lawsuit, on hook for $185M

AutoZone Inc. may have to pay $185 million after losing a gender bias lawsuit in San Diego - possibly the largest of such verdicts in U.S. history, according to reports. A California jury found that Memphis-based AutoZone discriminated against, demoted and eventually fired a female manager , Rosario Juarez , according to U-T San Diego .



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Phoenix school district to pay $138K for age bias in early retirements

A Phoenix school district has reached a $138,000 settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a case in which the district had been charged with age discrimination because it granted greater economic benefits to younger retirees. The EEOC had charged that an early retirement incentive plan adopted by Murphy School District No.



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Landfill Whistle-Blower Loses Bid to Keep Job

A whistle-blower who reported the dumping of radiological waste at a uranium enrichment facility cannot sue to keep his job after the plant's waste management was contracted to a new company, the 6th Circuit ruled. Gary Vander Boegh worked for Weskem as a landfill manager at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Ky., from 1992 until 2005.



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Vernon Company Facing Fines After OSHA Investigation

A local manufacturing company is facing almost $60,000 in fines for health and safety violations after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation that was sparked by a fire at their Reservoir Road facility. Firefighters were called to Soldream Inc., at 129 Reservoir Road, for a reported magnesium fire on May 19. The fire was mostly extinguished when the crews arrived and damage was contained to the bench where the blaze started.



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Red Cross Volunteer Nuns Aren't 'Employees' Under Title VII: 6th Cir.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits, among other things, employment discrimination based on religion . That's great, but what about volunteers? Sister Michael Marie and Sister Mary Cabrini, two Catholic nuns, were Red Cross volunteers in Chillicothe, Ohio.



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Obamacare is About to Bankrupt a Whole Bunch of Small Businesses

The crushing costs of compliance with the regulatory burdens of Obamacare have already been well documented, especially as they pertain to small businesses. But as small businesses prepare their corporate tax returns next year, many accountants are warning that, based on Department of Labor guidelines issued after the election, countless small businesses are about to be hit with a huge tax penalty that they simply cannot afford .



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Responding Effectively to Third-Party Subpoenas

It is your lucky day!! A subpoena comes in the mail and makes its way to your desk. The subpoena comes from a creditor involved in a lawsuit with one of your employees and demands that you produce copies of your employee's payroll records, bank direct deposit information, and medical records.



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GruberGate compilation video goes viral: Devious Obamacare lies from...

MIT economic scientist Jonathan Gruber is a devious liar who got paid millions of taxpayer dollars to help engineer key Obamacare deceptions that got the law passed. The now-infamous Gruber helped Obamacare architects exploit "the stupidity of the American voter" to get Obamacare passed -- a law which is now causing health insurance rates to skyrocket across the nation.



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Column: Using a bludgeon in Wisconsin

It is as remarkable as it is repulsive, the ingenuity with which the Obama administration uses the regulatory state's intricacies to advance progressivism's project of breaking nongovernmental institutions to government's saddle. Eager to sacrifice low-income children to please teachers unions, the Department of Justice wants to destroy Wisconsin's school choice program.



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Book Review: Strategies for Surviving Scandal in the Internet Age

Who would win in a media battle between a multi-billion dollar corporation and a watchdog blogger? According to a former Reagan staffer, when it comes to impacting public perception, social activists "have become more powerful than ever," while large organizations "are shockingly vulnerable." Eric Dezenhall offered this perspective in his new book, "Glass Jaw: A Manifesto for Defending Fragile Reputations in an Age of Instant Scandal," published by TWELVE.



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CDC takes down 'obesity cost calculator'

The federal agency had offered LEAN Works! - a program that could calculate financial costs associated with overweight employees - to supervisors to gain information about just how much their heavy colleagues were costing business. "Many organizations realize the need to assess the costs of obesity as it relates to their bottom line," LEAN Works! said on its website.



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Few employers dropping health benefits, surveys find

The Affordable Care Act so far has not prompted the nation's employers to abandon health benefits for some or all of their workers as critics of the law had predicted, according to two major surveys released Wednesday. A year after the advent of new insurance marketplaces under the health-care law for individuals and small businesses, just 1 percent of employers said they have decided to stop offering health insurance for 2015, one survey said.



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State official to address Superior Chamber Thursday

The Superior-Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to welcome Reggie Newson, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, as a guest speaker at their Thursday, Nov. 20 'Lunch with a State Secretary' event. The luncheon, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Conference Center on the WITC-Superior campus.



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Few comments emerge in pet ban hearing

Starkville aldermen are likely to codify a temporary ban against pets in city-maintained cemeteries after few public comments on the matter emerged Tuesday. Only two residents spoke about the looming animal ordinance revision during the first of two discussions expected before the board revises city code to state "No domesticated animal shall be allowed" in three public cemeteries.



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Crenshaw returns to Wetumpka PD but EEOC claim continues

Anthony Crenshaw resumed his duties with the Wetumpka Police Department Wednesday morning, though in the demoted status of lieutenant, following Mayor Jerry Willis' determination that the former deputy chief could return. Crenshaw's attorney, Mickey McDermott, confirmed that even though his client agreed to the mayor's terms for return to the force, a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shortly after being put on paid leave on July 21 will stand.



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Failure to Appear for Random Drug Test Defeats Employee�s ADA Suit

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a municipal employee had no claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act for being suspended from safety-sensitive duties after he failed to report for a required random drug test ). Patrick V. Leaumont was employed by the City of Alexandria, La., as a bus department transit manager, which included performing safety-sensitive functions, and was subject to random drug-testing under the city's substance abuse policy.



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Corporate Wellness Programs: It's Time for a Check-Up

The EEOC is back at it! This time it has targeted corporate wellness programs and is challenging the legality of such programs under the ADA. The EEOC contends that the biometric testing and health risk assessments are "disability-related inquiries and medical examinations" that are not job-related and consistent with business necessity and, therefore, violate Title I of the ADA.



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Tremont Road reconstruction set to start in July 2015

Upper Arlington officials are ready to update residents and other stakeholders on their plans to begin rebuilding Tremont Road in 2015. The plan for the first major rebuild of Tremont Road since 1956 could include a partial water line replacement, street lighting improvements, bicycle accommodations and pedestrian safety features.



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SEC Describes Profiles of Successful Whistleblowers

In its 2014 Report to Congress on the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program , the SEC described the profile of successful whistleblowers. Because the SEC must keep the identity of whistleblowers confidential, it can only describe certain commonalities which included: The information provided by each award recipient was specific, in that the whistleblower identified particular individuals involved in the fraud, or pointed to specific documents that substantiated their allegations or explained where such documents could be located.



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COTA board won't raise fares

Trustees also agreed to maintain current fares on its other lines. A local ride costs $2, and express lines carry a $2.75 fare.



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Goodwill names Sanchez COO

Previously, Sanchez was chief of staff to the mayor of Baltimore. Earlier, he was secretary of the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.



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SEC Whistleblower Office Continues Big Improvements

Washington, D.C. November 19, 2014. On Monday the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Office of the Whistleblower released its FY 2014 Annual Report.



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Wage and Hour Cases to Watch at the Supreme Court: Part 2--Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association

As we discussed recently, this month marked the opening of the Supreme Court's new term. For employment law practitioners, this session will be particularly busy with seven cases analyzing a range of employment questions, from the scope of the EEOC's duty to conciliate discrimination claims to the applicability of whistleblower protection laws and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.



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View Press Release

As the lines between smartphones, appliances, consumer electronics and other connected devices become blurred, Assurant Solutions is integrating its mobile and extended warranty programs divisions to focus on delivering comprehensive protection for the connected consumer. The Internet of Things market is expected to grow to $9 trillion with more than 200 billion connected units by 2020, according to IDC.



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Assurant Solutions Launches Connected Living Division

Helping consumers protect their increasingly connected lives from disruption is the driving force behind the launch of Assurant Solutions' Connected Living division. As the lines between smartphones, appliances, consumer electronics and other connected devices become blurred, Assurant Solutions is integrating its mobile and extended warranty programs divisions to focus on delivering comprehensive protection for the connected consumer.



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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Don't Get Caught Out in the Cold: Winter Wage Law Woes

Now that winter will soon be officially here and many parts of the country are expecting snow in the near future, employers should be mindful of how winter weather impacts wage laws. Employers should review their inclement weather policies and ensure they properly compensate all employees who may miss work because of adverse weather conditions.



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No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Document Preservation Notices Can Lead to SOX Violation

On November 12, 2014, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Department of Labor finding that Halliburton retaliated against a whistleblower by including his name in a document preservation notice. The court also held that emotional distress damages are available under SOX.



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Some Las Cruces minimum wage ordinance changes to be considered Dec. 1

LAS CRUCES >> A city council meeting on Monday sets the stage for a Dec. 1 city council vote on the path for two minimum wage ordinances in place in Las Cruces. The city council had a first-reading of two measures: one that would repeal a city council-OK'd minimum wage increase ordinance from June and another to amend a higher minimum wage hike ordinance from September.



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Peapod settles charges over website access for disabled customers

Peapod inked a settlement with the Justice Department on Monday that resolved allegations that the online grocer's website violated the Americans with Disabilities Act because it was not accessible to people with vision and hearing issues and other physical disabilities. Under the agreement, Peapod is required to retain an independent website accessibility consultant who will annually evaluate the website and its mobile applications for accessibility and adopt a formal web accessibility policy, among other measures.



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To Be, or Not to Be an Independent Contractor - That Is the Question.

I often receive calls that begin with a story like this: "We had the maintenance guy do this project for us a year or two ago, and we really liked him, so we kept him on. We just 1099 him each year.



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Prairie Village council advances resolution to reassign CIDs after...

The Prairie Village city council on Monday approved language for a resolution transferring the Community Improvement District agreements that provide public funds for the renovation and upkeep of the Village Shops and Corinth Square, but not before subjecting the potential new owners to a long string of pointed questions about their fitness to manage the centers and their long term plans.



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Attorney Steven Fingerhut wins hearing on behalf of former employee of Paquillo

The law firm of Imbesi Christensen received notification of an award issued in favor of the firm's client. See A.L.J Case No.



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How Closely Do Loretta Lynch's Views Line Up with Holder's?

In nominating Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, to replace Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama bypassed a very controversial possible replacement Washington was talking about: Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez. But the president's hopes for a smoother confirmation may be premature.



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Former state bar chief Dunn fires back at officials over his firing

Former executive director Joe Dunn fired back at the State Bar of California, declaring bar comments about his whistleblower complaints and firing are false. Former executive director Joe Dunn fired back at the State Bar of California late Monday, declaring bar comments about his whistleblower complaints and firing are false.



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Settlement reached in Coralville woman's wage theft case

The 38-year-old Coralville woman received a check Monday for nearly $2,200 for 49 days of work cleaning the now-closed Coralville Outback Steakhouse. After waiting a year-and-a-half to be paid, Agbenowossi received no interest on what was owed her, but taxes had been taken out of the $2,346 she claims an Outback subcontractor owed her.



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Help Wanted: Can employer force workers to shell out for $78 shirts?

DEAR CARRIE: My company has changed our dress code and now requires us to wear a specific style and color of clothing. We have to wear a button-down dress shirt from a choice of three styles in black or white.



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Mayor: Wetumpka deputy chief can stay on force but with demotion

Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis is offering to allow the city's deputy police chief to remain with the force, but under certain conditions. The mayor notified Deputy Chief Anthony Crenshaw that he will have the opportunity to stay, but he will be immediately demoted to lieutenant and will incur a pay decrease.



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Ex-State Bar Exec Sues, Claiming Whistleblower Retaliation

November might not be the best month for the State Bar of California. If bar exam results go the same as every other state, we'll find out later this month that the July administration had the fewest passers in at least 10 years .



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Ogdensburg man accused of stealing nearly $20,000 in unemployment

State police on Sunday charged Keith A. Hooper, 37, of 607 Mansion Ave., Ogdensburg, with third-degree grand larceny and first-degree offer to file a false instrument, both felonies. Troopers said that at about 11:34 a.m. on Nov. 13 they received a complaint from the state Department of Labor alleging that Mr. Hooper stole $19,638 in unemployment insurance benefits between the dates of Jan. 31, 2011 through Dec. 22, 2013 while he was gainfully employed by R.S.I. Roofing, Gouverneur.



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Murkowski questions differing National Guard investigation results

The Alaska Republican sent a letter today to the inspector general of the Defense Department asking for a review of the investigations of the Army Inspector General. The Army IG concluded the Alaska allegations couldn't be substantiated.



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Bells and whistles not being used is worse than having no bells and whistles

My wife will admit I am a dutiful husband. For years, I have been forced from sleep to stand online for Black Friday sales.



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Brittany Weiner wins appeal for former Wells Fargo broker that filed $3.7 million FINRA arbitration

The law firm Imbesi Christensen received notification that the UI Appeal Board overturned a hearing award issued against the firm's client, a FINRA broker who subsequently filed a $3,700,000 FINRA arbitration claim PRLog - Nov. 18, 2014 - NEW YORK -- Attorneys Brittany Weiner and Vincent Imbesi, of the law firm Imbesi Christensen, successfully represented a former FINRA broker employed by Wells Fargo Advisors LLC that appealed a determination issued after an in-person hearing. The FINRA broker was not represneted by Imbesi Christensen at the initial hearing.



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The Ninth Circuit Provides Employers With An Assist In Dismissing FLSA Actions

Employers have long known that the Supreme Court's decisions in Twombly and Iqbal provide them with a powerful weapon in moving to dismiss broadly worded complaints filled with conclusory allegations but little factual detail. But courts are only just beginning to apply these higher pleading standards to FLSA claims for minimum wage and overtime.



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Offset details plans for layoffs

Offset Paperback Manufacturers plans to shut down its sheet-feed and pre-press operations at its Dallas Township facility as the publishing industry continues to struggle, a WARN notice indicates. The company, one of the largest paperback book manufacturers in the world, announced late last week that 37 employees received notices under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act giving them 60 days notice that jobs will be lost.



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Offset details plans to shut down some operations

Offset Paperback Manufacturers plans to shut down its sheet-feed and pre-press operations at its Dallas Township facility as the publishing industry continues to struggle, a WARN notice indicates. The company, one of the largest paperback book manufacturers in the world, announced late last week that 37 employees received notices under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act giving them 60 days notice that jobs will be lost.



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Disability accommodations need reassessment

Discussions and resources regarding the rights of students with disabilities in higher education are inadequate, particularly regarding psychiatric disorders. Under the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, public colleges and private universities that receive federal assistance are prohibited from discriminating against people with disabilities - which is estimated to be about 11 percent of undergraduates in the United States.



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Nonprofit Insurance Services Names New Program Director for Home...

Nonprofit Insurance Services announced today that Mary Lark has joined their team as the new Director of the Home Health Division. Ms. Lark has been hired to further develop their growing portfolio of home health agency clients in Pennsylvania.



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Nancy Frick, early expert on post-polio syndrome

Nancy M. Frick of Hackensack, who conducted pioneering research into the disabling physical and psychological symptoms many survivors of childhood polio experience decades after the initial infection, died last Tuesday. She was 71. Herself a polio survivor - she was stricken at age 6 - Ms.



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GoLocalProv | News | One-on-One with Chafee: The Exit Interview

In less than two months, Lincoln Chafee will complete his four-year term as Governor. By any measure, Chafee has been one of the most successful politicians in Rhode Island history.



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Federal government awards almost $500,000 to Coastline Elderly for employment program

NEW BEDFORD - For unemployed workers 55 and up, it can be tough to find an employer willing to invest in maturity. But nearly 90 percent of a $479,141 grant that Coastline Elderly Services received this month will go to participants in the Senior Community Service Employment Program, an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor that aims to help unemployed, low-income adults rejoin the workforce.



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Fort Drum man accused of identity theft

Jhon C. Jean-Louis, 24, of Fort Drum, was charged by state police with fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property Friday after an investigation determined he allegedly stole the identity of his roommate on post to take out a loan. Police said the suspect, a soldier who resides in barracks housing on post, fraudulently took out a loan for about $3,300 from First Pioneer Bank by stealing his roommate's identity.



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NLRB and EEOC Agree: Stay Off Social Media While Hiring

In an era when Googling a job candidate is akin to calling his or her references, it can be hard not to rely on social media profiles when making hiring decisions. But Ashley Laken of Seyfarth Shaw says that hiring managers need to be extremely careful using this type of screening process.



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ADA, Maintenance and Compliance

Complying with the design standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act is all in the details. There are three facets of a building's life cycle that have an impact on compliance with ADA: design, construction, and maintenance.



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