labor and employment

COA holds that volunteer work was incidental to man’s employment

December 7, 2016
Olivia Covington
A general contractor’s volunteer work was incidental to his professional employment, so the injuries he sustained during the volunteer work must be covered under the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act.
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Some Indiana employers abiding by overtime rule, even though it's in limbo

December 6, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
The Obama administration’s new overtime rule is held up in federal court, but that hasn't stopped some Indiana employers from instituting changes to comply with the law.
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7th Circuit rules student-athletes aren’t considered ‘employees’

December 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
Collegiate athletes cannot be considered university employees and, thus, are not eligible for minimum wage pay, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday, affirming a district court decision that dismissed a lawsuit brought against the NCAA.
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Indiana Supreme Court considers general contractor’s duty of care to subcontractors

December 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
In oral arguments on a petition to transfer a case regarding a general contractor’s duty of care to its subcontractors, the justices of the Indiana Supreme Court considered the meaning of the phrase “monitor and implement.”
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Judge: Sysco must face Teamsters suit over retirement benefits

November 23, 2016
Dave Stafford
A local division of foodservice-supply giant Sysco Systems must face a lawsuit from its Teamsters workers who say the company reneged on retirement benefits negotiated through collective bargaining.
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Court blocks federal plan to extend overtime pay to many

November 23, 2016
 Associated Press
In a blow to the Obama administration's labor-law plans, a federal court has blocked the start of a rule that would have made an estimated 4 million more American workers eligible for overtime pay heading into the holiday season.
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Justices consider relevance of immigration status in undocumented worker’s lawsuit

November 22, 2016
Olivia Covington
The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on whether introducing an injured man's immigration status to a jury in his lawsuit for future wages would be prejudicial enough to outweigh its probative value.
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Woman’s wage suit against Indiana medical supplier goes forward

November 3, 2016
Dave Stafford
A federal judge has rejected an Indiana-based medical supplier’s effort to dismiss a former employee’s lawsuit seeking enhanced damages over withheld pay.
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ISP officer loses whistleblower appeal

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
State workers alleging retaliation for whistleblower activities must first exhaust all administrative remedies before suing, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Wednesday, affirming a trial court ruling against a 27-year Indiana State Police officer.
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Undocumented worker's injury suit puts major issues before justices

November 2, 2016
Dave Stafford
An undocumented immigrant’s workplace injury — and how much he may be entitled to — has put the rising number of foreign-born workers, the rights they can expect, and the responsibilities of employers squarely before the Indiana Supreme Court.
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7th Circuit affirms jury verdict in injured railroad worker's suit

October 27, 2016
Olivia Covington
A jury correctly ruled against an employee of the railroad company CSX Transportation Inc. who sued his employer after an on-the-job accident that resulted in severe back pain, citing evidence that proved the pain existed before the accident, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided Thursday.
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Ex-Penn State chief calls aides' charges 'injustice'

October 20, 2016
 Associated Press
Former Penn State President Graham Spanier testified Thursday that he issued a statement the day two of his top lieutenants were charged in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, calling the allegations groundless, because he had developed deep trust of them.
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Justices hear arguments in Lawrence wrongful-firing suit

October 20, 2016
Olivia Covington
After the newly elected mayor of the city of Lawrence fired him from his position as superintendent of the city Utility Services Board, counsel for Carlton Curry told the Indiana Supreme Court Thursday that the mayor had no legal right to terminate the former superintendent without actual cause.
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Justices say inmates can’t sue private employer for unpaid wages during incarceration

October 12, 2016
The Indiana Supreme Court granted transfer and affirmed Wednesday a trial court’s decision to dismiss a complaint seeking unpaid wages brought by inmates who claim they were underpaid while working for a private company while they were in prison.
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Northwestern changes team rules after complaint to NLRB

October 12, 2016
 Associated Press
In another step toward redefining the amateur status of college athletes, Northwestern has agreed to drop social media restrictions placed on football players after a complaint about the team handbook was filed with the National Labor Relations Board.
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Full 7th Circuit to hear Ivy Tech sexual orientation discrimination case

October 11, 2016
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday granted an ex-Ivy Tech employee’s request for the full court to hear her sexual orientation discrimination case against the school.
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Federal court: No back pay for ex-central Indiana marshal

October 10, 2016
 Associated Press
An Indiana federal court has ruled against a former central Indiana marshal who is seeking back pay from the town of Summitville.
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Former employee files sexual harassment suit against Emmis

October 4, 2016
Indianapolis Business Journal, Susan Orr
A former employee of Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the media company, alleging it did not do enough to respond to her complaints that she was harassed and criticized by two producers at one of its sports-talk radio stations.
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7th Circuit Court finds former county employee’s FLSA rights were not violated

September 23, 2016
Olivia Covington
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals found Thursday that Tippecanoe County adequately compensated a former employee who sued the county for violation of his rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
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Zoeller adds Indiana to states’ challenge of new federal overtime rule

September 20, 2016
IL Staff
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has added Indiana to a list of 20 other states challenging a new federal overtime rule.
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Uber gains leverage against drivers with ruling on arbitration

September 7, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Uber Technologies Inc.’s arbitration agreements were largely ruled by an appeals court to be valid and enforceable in a decision that undercuts drivers’ efforts to secure the benefits and protections of employees.
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ITT Educational employees file lawsuit over sudden terminations

September 7, 2016
Indianapolis Business Journal
Two employees who were terminated Tuesday as part of mass layoff by ITT Educational Services Inc. have filed a lawsuit claiming the Carmel-based firm violated federal law by failing to provide 60-days notice.
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Carlson settles harassment suit against Ailes for $20 million

September 6, 2016
 Associated Press
Former Fox News Channel anchor Gretchen Carlson has settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against Roger Ailes, the case that led to the downfall of Fox's chief executive with stunning swiftness this summer.
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COA upholds restraining order against man who threatened mother’s caretakers

August 24, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A Clark County man’s behavior qualified as a credible threat of violence with respect to three employees of the assisted living facility where his mother lived, so the trial court correctly issued workplace violence restraining orders on their behalf, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.
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Workplace harassment endures, evolves

August 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
Despite decades of on-the-job training for workers and numerous high-profile lawsuits, harassment by managers and co-workers persists. Though the number of sexual harassment claims has declined in recent years, companies still get hit with thousands of lawsuits alleging harassment of some kind each year.
More
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  1. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

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  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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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