Monthly Archive: March 2014

Mar 30

Title VII at 50 Symposium – THIS WEEK!

The Center for Labor and Employment and the Labor Relations and Employment Law Society would like to invite any interested students or colleagues to the Title VII at 50 Symposium Conference, which takes place this week on April 4 and 5, 2014.

This program is presented in conjunction with the St. John’s Law Review, the Journal for Civil Rights and Economic Development and the St. John’s Journal of International and Comparative Law, the NYU Center for Labor and Employment Law, The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development, and the St. John’s Center of International and Comparative Law.

This two-day symposium commemorates Title VII and featuring panelists and speakers who will assess the past, present and future of Title VII. Please see the attached program for the events schedule and speakers.

This is an amazing learning and networking opportunity for those interested in labor or employment law, and we encourage any interested party to attend. Please feel free to distribute the program and this email to any groups you are a member of. Scholarships and prizes will be awarded at this event.

The conference is free of charge and open to all, but please RSVP to Paula Edwards at (718) 990-6653 or clel@stjohns.edu.

We hope to see you in attendance at one or both days of the conference.

More Information: http://www.stjohns.edu/about/events/school-law-title-vii-50-two-day-symposium
Program – Title VII at 50 Symposium – 3-27-14

Mar 14

Workers sue McDonald’s for wage theft

McDonald'sYesterday, McDonald’s workers filed seven class-action lawsuits in New York, California and Michigan Thursday. The suits allege that McDonald’s has forced employees to work off the clock, not paid them overtime and struck hours off their time cards, and those discrepancies resulted in wage theft.

The suits varied by state. In New York, worker’s claimed that their wage was driven below the federal minimum wage because of unreimbursed expenses. In California, the workers alleges meal and break violations. In Michigan, workers claimed they would only start getting paid only when customers walked into the restaurants, even if they had been at work for hours.
All of these claims violate the federal Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and In all of these cases, the relationship between the franchises and the corporate parent company will be examined.

The suit comes in the midst of a long public relations campaign by fast-food workers demanding higher wages.The workers are represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, which specializes in representing plaintiffs in class actions. This case will surely be a fascinating case to watch unfold. Click over to the New York Times for more on the beginnings of this case.

Mar 13

Around the Web: March 13, 2014

It might be 19˚ here in New York, but spring is almost here! With the change in seasons, there are a whole host of new issues coming down the pipeline. We are counting down the days until the Title VII at 50 Conference, and have put together a selection of current events that show just how relevant Title VII is today.

First on the list is President Obama’s call to update the minimum salary threshold and revamp overtime rules to expand overtime for salaried employees. This directive is expected to be announced via executive order today, read this before the announcement!
*Update from the New York Times*

Our own Professor Gregory is in the final stages of preparing a paper on Fisher v. University of Texas, and the far-reaching implications that the Supreme Court’s decision may have on diversity. The Wall Street Journal posted an interesting report on the challenges schools face to increase or maintain diversity. Read it and then let us know your views at the Title VII conference. H/T to Brendan Bertoli for this!

Going along with the Title VII theme, activists fighting the employment discrimination faced by the LGBT community are renewing a push for federal legislation that would prohibit anti-LGBT workplace discrimination. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act did not pass, but activists are hopeful that the president will issue an executive order circumventing the Congress. Click the link for an article framing the necessity of an anti-discrimination initiative.

The Ministerial Exception is making news with a recent case about a gay school administrator fired from a Catholic school. Read the links here, here and here about the issues this case is bringing up.

The EEOC has issued new guides to religious accommodations in the workplace. The documents, titled Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities and an additional fact sheet, gives a guide to when and how employers must accommodate employees’ religiously based requests on clothing, religious dress, head coverings, hair styles, and facial hair. These sheets provide a cheat sheet of the basic requirements of Title VII and provide case specific examples.

What news stories are on your radar? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments, and don’t forget to mark the Title VII at 50 conference (April 4-5) on your calendar!

Mar 03

Events and Photo’s – Distinguished Speaker Series

On February 19, 2014, the Center for Labor and Employment Law hosted a Distinguished Speaker Series event- A Conversation with Harry I. Johnson, III, member of the National Labor Relations Board. This
event was held in the Mattone Family Atrium, where Mr. Johnson was joined by students, alumni and friends to tell about his experience and perspective on his role at the National Labor Relations Board. Mr. Johnson was introduced by alumni and former co-presidents of the LRELS, Sean Conroy ’95 and Michael Masri ’95. Students at the event felt that this was one of the best events and most engaging speaker series that they have attended in law school. Mr. Johnson spoke about recent decisions including cases on social media and employee handbook, and the tremendous workload of cases for the agency. Law student Josephine McGrath ’15 said, “the content and presentation of the speech was fascinating and gave an inside view of the challenges that the NLRB navigates.” Dinner at Alberto’s followed the event and the students in attendance were able to speak with Mr. Johnson and other alumni guests.

The next morning, Mr. Johnson addressed Professor Gregory’s labor law class, which started with the presentation of Professor Gregory’s labor law book. Mr. Johnson taught the class before returning to his busy schedule in Washington DC. Overall, this visit was a great learning opportunity and an amazing chance for students to get an inside view of the workings of the NLRB. Thank you to Mr. Johnson and Mr. Conroy for visiting us and we hope to have you back soon!

Click through the photo gallery to view photos from the event.

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