labor and employment

COA: County officials not bound to collective bargaining agreement

December 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
An issue of first impression arose in a lawsuit in which a local union argued that the Madison County assessor and recorder had to follow the terms of a collective bargaining agreement that the county had entered into with UAW.
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Column: Decision provides protection from ERISA retaliation

November 6, 2013
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a key decision affecting the rights of employees who complain internally to their employers about failures to properly fund employee benefit plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
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SCOTUS to hear Indiana steelworkers’ case Monday

November 1, 2013
Dave Stafford
This question arising in an Indiana labor case will be before the Supreme Court of the United States on Monday: What does “changing clothes” mean?
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Battle over RTW heats up in courts

September 25, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
When Lake Superior Court Judge John Sedia handed Indiana’s right-to-work law a pink slip, conventional wisdom held that the Indiana Supreme Court would overturn that decision and put the law back to work.
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Changes may prompt review of background check policies

August 14, 2013
For more than 20 years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken the position that an employer’s use of applicants’ criminal history in making employment decisions may constitute discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. The underlying premise has always been that because minorities are historically and statistically arrested and incarcerated at higher rates than their representation in the general population, the use of criminal records by employers in making hiring and retention decisions may be discriminatory.
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Question remains as to whether son is ‘child’ under Wrongful Death Statute

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment in favor of the defendants on two parents’ claims under the Child Wrongful Death Statute regarding their 21-year-old son who died in a car accident. The appellate court found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the informal apprenticeship the son was participating in at the time of his death would be considered a vocational program under the CWDS.
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Justices: Voluntary associations must comply with Wage Payment Statute

July 17, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday ordered more proceedings on a fired union employee’s complaint seeking payment for unused vacation time. The justices held that she is entitled to accrue vacation pay unless there was an arrangement or policy to the contrary, which is in dispute in this case.
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SCOTUS ruling limits worker harassment claims

July 3, 2013
The case of Vance v. Ball State University hinged on the definition of 'supervisor.'
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SCOTUS decides high-profile cases in term's final weeks

July 3, 2013
IL Staff
The Supreme Court of the United States issued the final decisions of the 2012 term June 26. In addition to the Vance v. Ball State University ruling on the definition of “supervisor,” several of the decisions handed down during waning days of the term promise to have far-reaching impact.
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SCOTUS rules in favor of Ball State in hostile work environment suit

June 24, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
In a 5-4 decision Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld the decision by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that a woman failed to prove she was subject to a hostile work environment at Ball State University.
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Dismissal of Navistar workers’ complaint upheld by 7th Circuit

June 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A group of unionized workers laid off by an Indianapolis engine plant who brought an action for breach of the collective-bargaining agreement didn’t provide enough factual content in their complaint to allow it to proceed in court, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
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Court orders more proceedings on laborer’s pay

April 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
The Boone Superior Court will need to take another look at a man’s lawsuit against R.L. Turner Corporation that claimed he was underpaid by the company for labor he provided on two public works projects, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Mexican restaurant owner's $3 million bond reversed, remanded

April 8, 2013
Dave Stafford
The owner of a chain of Mexican restaurants in southeast Indiana charged with numerous crimes will have a lower bond after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled a trial court abused its discretion in denying his motion to reduce his $3 million bond.
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Taking unauthorized courses online gets displaced worker booted from TAA program

April 8, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
A displaced worker’s enrollment in online classes without permission is grounds for dismissal from the Trade Adjustment Assistance training program, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Woman suing for unpaid wages passes ‘duck test’

March 13, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
Indiana Justice Mark Massa made repeated references in Wednesday’s decision to the “Duck Test” – if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck – in a day laborer’s lawsuit to recover unpaid damages from a Fort Wayne company. The justices found Brandy Walczak’s lawsuit may proceed under the Wage Payment Act.
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Refiguring workers' comp in Indiana

March 13, 2013
Dave Stafford
A House bill looks to raise worker benefits, causing a tug-of-war over hospital reimbursement.
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New FMLA rule expands provisions for military families

March 13, 2013
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys see the 20-year-old Act growing beyond its original intent.
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Judge dismisses federal right-to-work challenge

January 18, 2013
Jennifer Nelson
A U.S. District judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed in Hammond by a labor union challenging the state’s right-to-work law for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Chief Judge Philip P. Simon in the Northern District of Indiana did allow two counts claiming the law violates the Indiana Constitution to proceed in state court.
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Price of postage is not enough for 7th Circuit to review NLRB's ruling

December 27, 2012
Marilyn Odendahl
The cost of a postage stamp was not enough for Beck objectors to request a refund from their unions, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.
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Workers settle employment lawsuit against local hotels

December 12, 2012
Kathleen McLaughlin
Sixteen current and former Indianapolis hotel workers have settled their union-backed lawsuit that alleged employment violations by nine area hotels and Atlanta-based Hospitality Staffing Solutions, a subcontractor that employs many hotel workers.
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COA divided over dismissing fired HR director’s complaint

November 28, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals was split over whether Delaware County commissioners could terminate the contract of the Board of Commissioners’ human resources director after two new members were elected to the board.
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Lake County judge: RTW suit may proceed

October 19, 2012
IL Staff
A challenge to Indiana’s right-to-work law will proceed after a Lake County judge this week rejected the state’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by United Steelworkers.
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Worker’s Compensation Act doesn’t give board ability to decide contract construction issue

September 4, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a Hamilton Superior Judge erred in granting an injured worker’s motion to dismiss a company’s action on whether it was liable to pay workers’ compensation to the injured man, who worked for another company.
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Judges: employee discharged for just cause

August 31, 2012
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the finding by an administrative law judge and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that an employee of a funeral home was fired for just cause.
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AT&T technicians file lawsuit over lunch policy

August 17, 2012
Chris O'Malley
Eleven AT&T technicians have filed a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status to collect unpaid wages and overtime, alleging the company compels them to work during unpaid lunch breaks.
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  1. 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

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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