labor and employment

Justices hear constitutional challenge to right-to-work law

September 4, 2014
Dave Stafford
Indiana’s right-to-work statute is clearly anti-union, one state Supreme Court justice said Thursday, but all five justices seemed dubious of arguments that it violated the state constitution.
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Divided 7th Circuit affirms dismissal of RTW challenge

September 2, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A split panel on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision by a federal judge in northern Indiana to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a union challenging Indiana’s right-to-work law. The majority concluded the law does not violate the union members’ rights under the U.S. Constitution nor is it preempted by federal labor legislation.
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Justices halt ruling striking down right-to-work law

September 2, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court on Friday put on hold a lower court judge's ruling striking down the state's right-to-work law and denied a request that it be consolidated with a similar case, clearing the way for the justices to hear arguments on the issue next week.
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Court rules against FedEx in drivers' labor case

August 29, 2014
 Associated Press
A federal court has ruled that FedEx Corp. improperly classified about 2,300 drivers in California as independent contractors instead of employees.
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Attorneys want 2 right-to-work cases combined

August 26, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office and attorneys for two sets of plaintiffs challenging the state's right-to-work ban on certain union fees want the Indiana Supreme Court to consolidate the cases.
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Judge denies stay in right-to-work law case

August 20, 2014
A northwest Indiana judge has rejected a request by the Indiana attorney general's office that he put on hold his order striking down the state's right-to-work law until the state Supreme Court rules on a similar case.
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Second court knocks out Indiana's labor law on constitutional grounds

August 13, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Two years after Indiana’s right-to-work law fought its way out of the Statehouse, the measure has suffered another knockout blow in a state court. Plaintiffs have successfully convinced two courts that the Indiana Constitution has given the controversial statute a glass jaw.
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Workplace threat injunction deemed invalid

August 13, 2014
Dave Stafford
An employee’s reported threat to blow his boss’s head off resulted in an injunction barring him from the workplace, but the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed recently in a case that highlighted conflicting statutes aimed at preventing violence on the job.
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Column: ENDA would protect sexual orientation, gender identity

August 13, 2014
With same-sex marriage gaining momentum in Indiana and across the nation, it is no surprise that protection from discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity is most likely on the horizon.
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Gruber: NLRB announcement shakes up joint-employer standard

August 13, 2014
It is ironic that the week after Burger King’s new CEO is heralded for a profitability plan designed around the increase of franchises and the reduction of company-owned locations, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board directed officials to treat McDonald’s USA as a “joint employer” with its franchisees for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act.
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State asks judge to delay right-to-work ruling

July 25, 2014
 Associated Press
The Indiana attorney general's office has asked a judge to put on hold his order striking down the state's right-to-work law.
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Supreme Court lets lawyer’s suit against Duke Realty proceed

July 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court summarily affirmed a Court of Appeals ruling that a jury should decide whether a real estate company intentionally induced a law firm to terminate an attorney’s partnership agreement as the result of a dispute over a land agreement.
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Lake Co. judge strikes down Indiana right-to-work

July 24, 2014
 Associated Press
A Lake County judge struck down Indiana's right-to-work ban on certain union fees in a second legal blow to the contentious law passed in 2012.
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Fired DOC counselor’s sex-discrimination claim revived by 7th Circuit

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a former Department of Correction substance abuse counselor’s lawsuit alleging sex-discrimination and hostile work environment, finding she was treated differently as compared to the employee she had an affair with while working at a maximum-security prison.
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COA tosses injunction issued after alleged workplace threat

July 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
An injunction against an employee who allegedly told a company therapist that he was going to blow his supervisor’s head off is void because it arose from a labor dispute, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.
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Lawsuit: Afghanistan subcontractor cheated workers

July 3, 2014
 Associated Press
Federal investigators are examining whether a military subcontractor underpaid scores of medical workers in Afghanistan, pocketing federal funds that the government intended the company use to pay its employees.
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2 contractors accused of wage violations accept plea deals

June 23, 2014
Dennis Barbosa
The Marion County Prosecutor's Office has reached plea agreements in two cases in which a contractor was accused of paying workers less than the required wage on publicly financed projects.
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Cochran/West: How to advise employees about government investigators

May 21, 2014
In-house attorneys advise employees on many topics, but do the employees of your company know what to do during a government investigation?
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7th Circuit affirms Wisconsin’s limits on unions, Indiana RTW challenge remains

April 18, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
While still considering a challenge to Indiana’s right-to-work law, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed Wisconsin’s statute limiting the collective bargaining power of some public sector unions. 
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Judgment for investment advisor upheld as breach, wage claim

April 7, 2014
Dave Stafford
Rulings in favor of an investment adviser who claimed breach of contract and violation of the Wage Claims Act were affirmed Monday by the Indiana Court of Appeals, as was his request for appellate attorney fees.
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When non-competes don't fly

March 12, 2014
Dave Stafford
Aviation mechanic Joe Guinn lost a job when his former employer sought to enforce a non-compete clause, but he won an appellate ruling that the company may have engaged in tortious interference with his subsequent employer.
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Fort Wayne case may force SCOTUS to define who qualifies as a minister

March 12, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Since the Supreme Court of the United States weighed in on “ministerial exception” in January 2012, cases have been percolating across the country spurred by religious institutions claiming the exception as protection against employee discrimination lawsuits.
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Boulukos: Guiding clients through an executive intervention

March 12, 2014
When an executive’s substance abuse triggers a personal and professional free fall, colleagues may be slow to recognize that the bottom is coming – and fast. At some point, and hopefully before permanent damage has been done, the fact that the leader has become a liability is impossible to ignore.
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NLRB does not challenge ‘poster rule’ decisions

January 7, 2014
IL Staff
With the deadline for filing a petition passed, the National Labor Relations Board appears to have backed away from its so-called “poster rule.”
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State appeals ruling against right-to-work law

December 18, 2013
Dave Stafford
Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Wednesday the state has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to reverse a Lake County judge’s order invalidating the right-to-work law that bans compulsory union dues.
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  1. I grew up on a farm and live in the county and it's interesting that the big industrial farmers like Jeff Shoaf don't live next to their industrial operations...

  2. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  3. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  4. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  5. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

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