labor and employment

Court declines to rehear sex orientation discrimination case

July 6, 2017
 Associated Press, IL Staff
A federal appeals court has declined to reconsider its own ruling that employers aren't prohibited from discriminating against employees because of sexual orientation.
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Court vacates union representation, citing unclear deciding vote

June 21, 2017
Olivia Covington
The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board erroneously counted a ballot in favor of union representation of a northern Indiana company and impacted the outcome of an election to determine whether the union would represent the company, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Tuesday.
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COA rules against contractor hurt on IU jobsite

June 13, 2017
Olivia Covington
A construction manager and product manufacturer did not have a duty to a construction contractor injured on an Indiana University jobsite in October 2012, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Labor secretary defends merging anti-discrimination agencies

June 7, 2017
 Associated Press
Cutting and merging two agencies that investigate workplace discrimination won't reduce the government's enforcement power, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta said Wednesday. But Democrats pointed to what they say is President Donald Trump's broader effort to roll back decades of civil rights protections.
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New high court challenge to labor unions follows 4-4 split

June 6, 2017
 Associated Press
Conservative groups are wasting little time in trying to deal a crippling blow to labor unions now that Justice Neil Gorsuch has joined the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Justices side with religious hospitals in pension dispute

June 5, 2017
 Associated Press
Religious hospitals don't have to comply with federal laws protecting pension plans, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in a case that affects retirement benefits for roughly a million workers nationwide.
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Title VII sexual orientation cases bubbling in federal courts

June 1, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
As the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana continues with its first case allowing a Title VII claim on the basis of sexual orientation, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals is preparing for an en banc rehearing to consider whether Title VII prohibitions include sexual orientation discrimination.
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ACLU, solicitor general argue to justices over DCS caseloads

June 1, 2017
Olivia Covington
Opposing counsel and the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court were agreed on one issue during oral arguments Thursday in a case involving the Department of Child Services – family case managers are the “backbone” of the work DCS does for Hoosier children.
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Appeal: Commercial court, without notice, put worker out of job

May 31, 2017
Dave Stafford
A glass industry engineer’s challenge alleges the Indiana commercial court pilot project dockets’ specialized rules violated his due process rights.
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Appeal: Commercial court, without notice, idled worker

May 18, 2017
Dave Stafford
One of the first appeals from an Indiana Commercial Court alleges the specialized docket touted as a speedier, more efficient means of resolving complex business disputes operated in secret to keep a glass-industry engineer out of a job in his profession for a year.
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Justices weigh whether negligent hiring claim allowed against Pizza Hut

May 18, 2017
Olivia Covington
In its first oral arguments as a temporarily four-person bench, the Indiana Supreme Court considered Thursday whether the plaintiff in a wrongful death case can bring employment-based claims against an employer if the employer has admitted the employee involved in the death was acting in the scope of their employment.
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57 percent of 2016 Indiana law graduates have full-time JD-required jobs

May 17, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A little more than half of the 2016 graduates of Indiana law schools have full-time, long-term jobs where bar passage is required, according to American Bar Association employment statistics.
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Holcomb’s executive order expected to 'ban the box' in state job applications

May 17, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
A bill prohibiting communities from enacting their own ban the box ordinances stirred divisions in the Indiana Legislature with supporters arguing for employers’ rights and opponents citing the need for individuals to have equal opportunities for jobs. However, when Gov. Eric Holcomb announced his intention to sign Senate Enrolled Act 312, he brought some rare unity between the two sides. Along with enacting the new law, the governor also said he would sign an executive order that will essentially ban the box for state agencies.
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Car dealer Dreyer & Reinbold facing discrimination suit

May 16, 2017
Indianapolis Business Journal
Luxury automobile dealership Dreyer & Reinbold Inc. is facing a federal trial after being sued for discrimination by a former employee who says she was fired because she suffered a stroke.
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COA to hear oral arguments in Bloomington this week

May 15, 2017
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals is headed to Bloomington this week to hear oral arguments in a case involving a question of duty of care to a construction worker injured while working on an Indiana University construction project.
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Supreme Court to hear whistleblower case against IDEM

May 12, 2017
IL Staff
A former state employee who claims she was fired for blowing the whistle on questionable payment practices in the Indiana Department of Environment Management will bring her case before the Indiana Supreme Court next week, when she will urge the justices to allow her complaint against the state agency to continue.
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Doctor suspended for sex with patient sues over board minutes

May 12, 2017
John Russell
An Indianapolis doctor whose license was suspended after he admitted to having a five-year sexual relationship with a patient says he has been libeled by the Indiana Medical Licensing Board for how it recorded the matter in its official minutes.
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Company must face fired worker’s religion discrimination claim

May 11, 2017
Dave StaffordMore

Justices create framework for determining admissibility of immigration status

May 4, 2017
Olivia Covington
After reversing a trial court’s decision to admit a plaintiff’s unauthorized immigrant status as evidence in his case for decreased earning capacity damages, the Indiana Supreme Court laid out a new framework Thursday for determining when immigration status can be admissible.
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Judge approves $227M in FedEx driver suit settlements

May 3, 2017
Dave Stafford
FedEx Corp. will pay more than $227 million to settle some of the long-running lawsuits brought by drivers in Indiana and 18 others states who claim they were undercompensated because the company classified them as independent contractors rather than full-time workers.
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High court may re-examine Civil Rights Act after LGBT ruling

April 6, 2017
 Associated Press
A ruling by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago in and Indiana case reopens the question of whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s protections apply to LGBT workers in the same way they bar discrimination based on someone’s race, religion or national origin.
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7th Circuit: Title VII interpretation follows precedent

April 5, 2017
Marilyn Odendahl
The employment discrimination complaint that began as a pro se filing by an Indiana math teacher has led the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to become the first federal appellate court to find the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides protection for LGBT workers.
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Judge awards $850,000 to 8 fired Anderson city workers

April 4, 2017
 Associated Press
A federal judge has ruled the city of Anderson must pay about $850,000 to eight people who were fired when a new mayor took office in 2012.
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'Ban the box' Senate bill passes House

March 29, 2017
Olivia Covington
As the Indiana General Assembly moves closer to the end of the 2017 long session, state legislators are beginning to hold their final votes on various bills, including legislation on “ban the box” provisions.  
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COA remands child support case

March 27, 2017
Olivia Covington
An Indiana trial court did not err in finding a Marion County father is voluntarily underemployed, yet it failed to consider evidence of the father’s prevailing job opportunities or earnings level, the Indiana Court of Appeals found Monday.
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  1. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  2. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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  5. From the article's fourth paragraph: "Her work underscores the blurry lines in Russia between the government and businesses . . ." Obviously, the author of this piece doesn't pay much attention to the "blurry lines" between government and businesses that exist in the United States. And I'm not talking only about Trump's alleged conflicts of interest. When lobbyists for major industries (pharmaceutical, petroleum, insurance, etc) have greater access to this country's elected representatives than do everyday individuals (i.e., voters), then I would say that the lines between government and business in the United States are just as blurry, if not more so, than in Russia.

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