labor and employment

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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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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  1. I have been on this program while on parole from 2011-2013. No person should be forced mentally to share private details of their personal life with total strangers. Also giving permission for a mental therapist to report to your parole agent that your not participating in group therapy because you don't have the financial mean to be in the group therapy. I was personally singled out and sent back three times for not having money and also sent back within the six month when you aren't to be sent according to state law. I will work to het this INSOMM's removed from this state. I also had twelve or thirteen parole agents with a fifteen month period. Thanks for your time.

  2. Our nation produces very few jurists of the caliber of Justice DOUGLAS and his peers these days. Here is that great civil libertarian, who recognized government as both a blessing and, when corrupted by ideological interests, a curse: "Once the investigator has only the conscience of government as a guide, the conscience can become ‘ravenous,’ as Cromwell, bent on destroying Thomas More, said in Bolt, A Man For All Seasons (1960), p. 120. The First Amendment mirrors many episodes where men, harried and harassed by government, sought refuge in their conscience, as these lines of Thomas More show: ‘MORE: And when we stand before God, and you are sent to Paradise for doing according to your conscience, *575 and I am damned for not doing according to mine, will you come with me, for fellowship? ‘CRANMER: So those of us whose names are there are damned, Sir Thomas? ‘MORE: I don't know, Your Grace. I have no window to look into another man's conscience. I condemn no one. ‘CRANMER: Then the matter is capable of question? ‘MORE: Certainly. ‘CRANMER: But that you owe obedience to your King is not capable of question. So weigh a doubt against a certainty—and sign. ‘MORE: Some men think the Earth is round, others think it flat; it is a matter capable of question. But if it is flat, will the King's command make it round? And if it is round, will the King's command flatten it? No, I will not sign.’ Id., pp. 132—133. DOUGLAS THEN WROTE: Where government is the Big Brother,11 privacy gives way to surveillance. **909 But our commitment is otherwise. *576 By the First Amendment we have staked our security on freedom to promote a multiplicity of ideas, to associate at will with kindred spirits, and to defy governmental intrusion into these precincts" Gibson v. Florida Legislative Investigation Comm., 372 U.S. 539, 574-76, 83 S. Ct. 889, 908-09, 9 L. Ed. 2d 929 (1963) Mr. Justice DOUGLAS, concurring. I write: Happy Memorial Day to all -- God please bless our fallen who lived and died to preserve constitutional governance in our wonderful series of Republics. And God open the eyes of those government officials who denounce the constitutions of these Republics by arbitrary actions arising out capricious motives.

  3. From back in the day before secularism got a stranglehold on Hoosier jurists comes this great excerpt via Indiana federal court judge Allan Sharp, dedicated to those many Indiana government attorneys (with whom I have dealt) who count the law as a mere tool, an optional tool that is not to be used when political correctness compels a more acceptable result than merely following the path that the law directs: ALLEN SHARP, District Judge. I. In a scene following a visit by Henry VIII to the home of Sir Thomas More, playwriter Robert Bolt puts the following words into the mouths of his characters: Margaret: Father, that man's bad. MORE: There is no law against that. ROPER: There is! God's law! MORE: Then God can arrest him. ROPER: Sophistication upon sophistication! MORE: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal. ROPER: Then you set man's law above God's! MORE: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of law, oh, there I'm a forester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God... ALICE: (Exasperated, pointing after Rich) While you talk, he's gone! MORE: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law! ROPER: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? ROPER: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! MORE: (Roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide, Roper, the laws being flat? (He leaves *1257 him) This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast man's laws, not God's and if you cut them down and you're just the man to do it d'you really think you would stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly) Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. ROPER: I have long suspected this; this is the golden calf; the law's your god. MORE: (Wearily) Oh, Roper, you're a fool, God's my god... (Rather bitterly) But I find him rather too (Very bitterly) subtle... I don't know where he is nor what he wants. ROPER: My God wants service, to the end and unremitting; nothing else! MORE: (Dryly) Are you sure that's God! He sounds like Moloch. But indeed it may be God And whoever hunts for me, Roper, God or Devil, will find me hiding in the thickets of the law! And I'll hide my daughter with me! Not hoist her up the mainmast of your seagoing principles! They put about too nimbly! (Exit More. They all look after him). Pgs. 65-67, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS A Play in Two Acts, Robert Bolt, Random House, New York, 1960. Linley E. Pearson, Atty. Gen. of Indiana, Indianapolis, for defendants. Childs v. Duckworth, 509 F. Supp. 1254, 1256 (N.D. Ind. 1981) aff'd, 705 F.2d 915 (7th Cir. 1983)

  4. "Meanwhile small- and mid-size firms are getting squeezed and likely will not survive unless they become a boutique firm." I've been a business attorney in small, and now mid-size firm for over 30 years, and for over 30 years legal consultants have been preaching this exact same mantra of impending doom for small and mid-sized firms -- verbatim. This claim apparently helps them gin up merger opportunities from smaller firms who become convinced that they need to become larger overnight. The claim that large corporations are interested in cost-saving and efficiency has likewise been preached for decades, and is likewise bunk. If large corporations had any real interest in saving money they wouldn't use large law firms whose rates are substantially higher than those of high-quality mid-sized firms.

  5. The family is the foundation of all human government. That is the Grand Design. Modern governments throw off this Design and make bureaucratic war against the family, as does Hollywood and cultural elitists such as third wave feminists. Since WWII we have been on a ship of fools that way, with both the elite and government and their social engineering hacks relentlessly attacking the very foundation of social order. And their success? See it in the streets of Fergusson, on the food stamp doles (mostly broken families)and in the above article. Reject the Grand Design for true social function, enter the Glorious State to manage social dysfunction. Our Brave New World will be a prison camp, and we will welcome it as the only way to manage given the anarchy without it.

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