Employment Law Bytes

Bits, Blurbs and Comments on Developments in Employment Law


July 1996: In Cost Effective Employment Litigation Wimberly & Lawson finally brings managerial efficiency to the defense of employment litigation. By applying fundamental business practices and integrating the best aspects of both the defense and plaintiff sides of a lawsuit, the firm is able to significantly reduce employer's costs of defense while achieving better results.

June 1996: In Labor Board Further Limits Employee Involvement Jim Wimberly explains the complexities of the National Labor's recent attempts to reconcile the adversarial model of labor relations in the National Labor Relations Act with the reality of closer employee - employer integration needed for success in the contemporary American workplace. Practical guidance is provided explaining just how far employers can go without crossing into the minefield of employer domination of labor unions. In my view, the dichotomy between worker and employer that lies at the heart of the NLRA is an impediment to maximizing organizational effectiveness. All employees, be they managers or staff, need to pool their full creative energies to contribute to the greatest degree to the organization's objectives. Management should not be obligated to turn a deaf ear to employee participation in managerial decisions because the law fears this will undermine employees' rights to form unions. In short, just as with internet browsers and application software, in today's workplace we need a seamless integration of the best each employee has to offer regardless of whether they are part of management or part of the "workers." The Team Act is mere patchwork. We need to scrap our model of industrial relations to do our best work and remain competitive in an international economy. Do you think American enterprise would work more efficiently if given the freedom to do so? Would American employers revert back to the 19th century exploiters of labor without organized labor to protect them? Let me know.E-mail your views. Materials and viewpoints on the Team Act Other views on the Team Act

May 1996: Wimberly and Lawson announces the publication of Violence in the work place: Policy & Programs for Risk Reduction This comprehensive work follows the promulgation of Guidelines for Preventing work place Violence for Health Care and Social Service 3148-1996 /work place Violence Awareness and Prevention by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health and Administration. The OSHA guidelines which are voluntary and apply only to the health industry nonetheless provide employers with guidance on a problem deemed a "national epidemic" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Wimberly & Lawson booklet contains practical guidance to enable employers to assess their exposure for work place violence and take steps to minimize the potential for liability under OSHA's general duty clause and tort law. Click here for the Table of Contents for Violence in the Workplace. For further information on Violence in the work place: Policy & Programs for Risk Reduction send an e-mail to us here or call Debbie Miranda at (404) 365-0900.

April 1996: A comprehensive guide for employer compliance with the Family & Medical Leave Act Regulations was recently prepared by Jim Wimberly, name partner and founder of Wimberly & Lawson for Bobbin Live,a publication for textile companies. The guide which provides detailed instructions on compliance with the FMLA, can be viewed by clicking on the article's name: FMLA Regulations

February 1996: The Long Island Coalition for Workplace Violence Awareness and Prevention issues the most comprehensive analysis and recommendations on work place violence in the American workplace. This extensive work, entitled: WORKPLACE VIOLENCE AWARENESS & PREVENTION, an Information and Instructional Package for Use by Employers and Employees, is a must ready for any employer concerned about this growing problem.

December 1995: In a case of first impression which has since been vacated Shahar v. Bowers (No. 93-9345, Dec. 20, 1995), the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta held that a female attorney who had a job offer with the State Attorney General's Office rescinded after she participated in a marriage ceremony to another female has stated a valid legal claim for violation of her constitutional rights. Most significantly, the court concluded that that the attorney's intimate relationship with her companion, as an exercise of freedom of association protected by the First Amendment, is entitled to the highest level of constitutional protection. Therefore, the Court held, the Attorney General could not infringe upon it unless there was no viable alternative. While the Court remanded the case to the trial court for analysis under this new standard, it is likely the State of Georgia will either seek reconsideration of the decision by the entire Eleventh Circuit or by the U.S. Supreme Court. In a case of first impression, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals holds that a public employee's entry into a marriage with a member of the same sex is entitled to the highest level of constitutional scrutiny. In March, the 11th Circuit vacated the decision pending en banc consideration. Shahar v. Bowers This means that the entire court will now reconsider the decision and issue a new ruling, which is likely to substantially modify the original decision. Stay tuned for further details.

December 1995: The Superintendent of Document has finally opened the Superintendent of Documents' Home Page containing the Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Register and other document in a readily searchable and easy to use format. I send my sympathy to all the legal publishers who have rushed to put these resources on cd roms. As the courts and administrative agencies get on line with increasing frequency, the public domain is being returned to the public.

August 8, 1995: Cosmetics Firm Agrees to Pay a Record 1.2 Million Dollar Settlement to Sexual Harassment Claims

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