Business Law Today Study Set 1

Business

Quiz 33 :

Labor and Employment Law

Quiz 33 :

Labor and Employment Law

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Question with Sample Answer-Wrongful Discharge. Denton and Carlo were employed at an appliance plant. Their job required them to do occasional maintenance work while standing on a wire mesh twenty feet above the plant floor. Other employees had fallen through the mesh, and one was killed by the fall. When Denton and Carlo were asked by their supervisor to do work that would likely require them to walk on the mesh, they refused due to their fear of bodily harm or death. Because of their refusal to do the requested work, the two employees were fired from their jobs. Was their discharge wrongful? If so, under what federal employment law? To what federal agency or department should they turn for assistance?
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D and C worked at an appliance plant and were sometimes required to do the maintenance work while standing twenty feet above the plant floor on the wire mesh. Some of the employees fell from the mesh and one of them died. D and C were informed by their supervisor they would be required to walk on the mesh to perform their tasks. They refused to perform the task as they feared that they might die or get severely injured, and because of this they were fired from the job.
Wrongful Discharge is a term used to describe the act of discharging an employee performed by an employer, and such dismissal violates an employment contract or a statutory law.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA), 1970, states that the employer is required to provide safe working conditions for the employee, and should meet the required health and safety standards. The Department of Labor ensures that this law is properly applied. It imposes a general duty on employers to ensure that the workplace is safe.
OSHA ensures that its compliance officers inspect the establishments and work areas that come under this act. This act provides that an employer cannot discharge an employee, who refuses to work in high risk area in good faith, as working there might cause death or bodily injury.
In the given case it can be seen that D and C denied performing the task because they feared that they might suffer from some bodily injury or might just die while working on the mesh. D and C have the sufficient reason to believe that the task was dangerous because of the fact that previously some of the employees have fallen from the mesh and one them died. As it is known that D and C were dismissed because they denied performing the task, they can take assistance of OSHA and the Department of Labor.
Therefore, it can be said that D and C have been wrongfully discharged under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA), 1970

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Case Problem with Sample Answer. Jennifer Willis worked for Coca Cola Enterprises, Inc. (CCE), in Louisiana as a senior account manager. On a Monday in May 2003, Willis called her supervisor to tell him that she was sick and would not be able to work that day. She also said that she was pregnant, but she did not say she was sick because of the pregnancy. On Tuesday, she called to ask where to report to work and was told that she could not return without a doctor's release. She said that she had a doctor's appointment on 'Wednesday: which her supervisor understood to be the next day. Willis meant the following Wednesday. More than a week later, during which time Willis did not contact CCP, she was told that she had violated CCE's "No Call/No Show" policy. Under this policy "an employee absent from work for three consecutive days without notifying the supervisor during that period will be considered hi have voluntarily resigned." She was fired. Willis filed a suit in a federal district court against CCE under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must inform an employer of the reason for the leave. Did Willis meet this requirement? Did CCE's response to Willis's absence violate the FM1A? Explain. [Willis v. Coca Cola Enterprises, Inc., 445 F.3d 413 (5th Cir. 2006)]
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In order to get secured in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a worker must tell his boss the cause for the leave, that W evidently did not ensured. Though she had gone for a one day sick leave but did not specify that she was not able to work and put efforts as she was pregnant and did not request for any authorization of leave for the absenteeism from work.
It is the fact that on the very next day W called back and requested somewhere to report to come back to work, which displays that she was not expecting to proceed for FMLA leave.
A worker may be retained on automatic FMLA leave in case the cause for the absenteeism proof is a severe health issue. But the workers must offer adequate notification to a boss in case of such conditions.

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Unemployment Insurance. Mary Garas, a chemist, sought work in Missouri through Kelly Services, Inc. Kelly is a staffing agency that places individuals in jobs of varying duration with other companies. Through Kelly, Garas worked at Mcrial Co. from April 2005 to February 2006. After the assignment ended, Garas asked Kelly for more work. 1VIcanWhile, she filed a claim for unemployment benefits with the Missouri Division of Employment Security (DES). In March, Kelly recruiter Rebecca. Cockrum told Garas about a temporary assignment with Celsis Laboratory. Garas said that she would prefer a "more stable position," but later asked Cocknain to submit her résumé to Celsis. Before the employer responded, Kelly told the DES that Garas had refused suitable work. Under a Missouri state statute, a claim for unemployment benefits must be denied if "the claimant failed without good cause... to accept suitable work when offered the claimant... by an employer by whom the individual was formerly employed." The DES denied Caras's claim for benefits. She filed an appeal with a state court. Was the DES's denial right or wrong? Why? [Gams v. Kelly Services, Inc., 211 S.W.3d 149 (Mo.App. E.D. 2007)]
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The Division of employment security (DES) denial was right as the division found that G was unsuccessful and does not have any noble reason to receive an proposal of appropriate work from a previous boss.
It was also determined that garas was also not supported by additional proofs and competent. The proofs presented that there was no proposal of appropriate work but somewhat an appeal to stand up to G resume to a prospective position of service.

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Critical Legal Thinking. Employees have a right to privacy, but employers also have a right to create and maintain an efficient and safe workplace. Do you think that existing laws strike an appropriate balance between employers' rights and employees' rights?
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Employee Privacy. Patience Oyoyo worked as a claims analyst in the claims management department of Baylor Healthcare Network, Inc. When questions arose about Oyoyo's performance on several occasions, department man-ager Debbie Outlaw met with Oyoyo to discuss, among other things, Oyoyo's personal use of a business phone. Outlaw reminded Oyoyo that company policy prohibited excessive personal calls and that these would result in the termination of her employment. Outlaw began to monitor Oyoyo's phone usage, noting lengthy outgoing calls on several occasions, including some long-distance calls. Eventually, Outlaw terminated Oyoyo's employment, and Oyoyo filed a suit in a federal district court against Baylor. Oyoyo asserted, in part, that by monitoring her phone calls, the employer had invaded her privacy. Baylor asked the court to dismiss this claim. In whose favor should the court rule, and why? [Oyoyo v. Baylor Health Network, Inc., F.Supp.2d (N.D.Tex. 2000)]
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Video Question. Co to this text's Web site at www.thomsonedu.comfivestbuslaw/bIt and select "Chapter 33." Click on "Video Questions" and view the video titled Employment at Will. Then answer the following questions. 1. in the video, Laura asserts that she can fire. Ray "For any reason. For no reason." Is this true? Explain your answer. 2. What exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine are discussed in the chapter? Does Ray's situation fit into any of these exceptions? 3. Would Ray be protected from wrongful discharge under whistleblowing statutes? Why or why not? 4. Assume that you are the employer in this scenario. What arguments can you make that Ray should not be able to sue for wrongful discharge in this situation?
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Wage and How. Calzoni Boating Co. is an interstate business engaged in manufacturing and selling boats. The company has five hundred nonunion employees Representatives of these employees are requesting a four-clay, ten-hours-per-day workweek, and Calzoni is concerned that this would require paying time and a half after eight hours per day. Which federal act is Calzoni thinking of that might require this? Will the act in fact require paying time and a half for all hours worked over eight hours per day if the employees' proposal is accepted? Explain.
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Labor and Employment Law Rick Saldona began working as a traveling salesperson for Aimer Winery in 1977. Sales constituted 90 percent of Saldona's work time. Saldona worked an average of fifty hours per week but received no overtime pay. In June 2007, Saldona's new supervisor, Caesar Braxton, claimed that Saldona had been inflating his reported sales calls and required Saldona to submit to a polygraph test Saldona reported Braxton to the U.S. Department of Labor, which prohibited Aimer from requiring Saldona to take a polygraph test for this purpose. In August 2007, Saldona's wife, Venita, fell from a ladder and sustained a head injury while employed as a full-time agricultural harvester. Saldona delivered to Aimer's human resources department a letter from his wife's physician indicating that she would need daily care for several months, and Saldona took leave until December 2007. Aimer had sixty-three employees at that time. When Saldona returned to Aimer, he was informed that his position had been eliminated because his sales territory had been combined with an adjacent territory. Using the information presented in the chapter, answer the following questions. 1. Would Saldona have been legally entitled to receive overtime pay at a higher rate? Why or why not? 2. What is the maximum length of time Saldona would have been allowed to take leave to care for his injured spouse? 3. Under what circumstances would Aimer have been allowed to require an employee to take a polygraph test? 4. Would Aimer likely be able to avoid reinstating Saldona under the key employee exception? Why or why not?
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The following multiple-choice question is representative of the types of questions available in one of the four sections of ThomsonNOW for Business Law Today. ThomsonNOW also provides feedback for each response option, whether correct or incorrect, and refers to the location within the chapter where the correct answer can be found. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) established the right to
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Unfair Labor Practice. The New York Department of Education's e-mail policy prohibits the use of the e-mail system for unofficial purposes, except that officials of the New York Public Employees Federation (PEP), the union representing state employees, can use the system for some limited communications, including the scheduling of union meetings and activities. In 1998, Michael Darcy, an elected PEF official, began sending mass, union-related e-mails to employees, including a summary of a union delegates' convention, a union newsletter, a criticism of proposed state legislation, and a criticism of the state governor and the Governor's Office of Employee Relations. Richard Cate, the department's chief operating officer, met with Darcy and reiterated the department's e-mail policy. When Darcy refused to stop his use of the e-mail system, Cate terminated his access to it. Darcy filed a complaint with the New York Public Employment Relations Board, alleging an unfair labor practice. Do the circumstances support Cate's action? Why or why not? [Benson v. Cuevas, 293 A.D.2d 927, 741 N.Y.S.2d 310 (3 Dept 2002)]
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A Question of Ethics-Workers' Compensation. Beverly Tull had worked for Atchison Leather Products, Inc., for ten years when she began to complain of hand, wrist, and shoulder pain. Atchison recommended that she contact a certain physician, who in April 2000 diagnosed the condition as carpal tunnel syndrome "severe enough" for surgery. In August, Tull filed a claim with the state workers' compensation board. Because Atchison changed workers' compensation insurance companies every year, a dispute arose as to which company should pay Tull's claim. Fearing liability, no insurer would authorize treatment, and Tull was forced to delay surgery until December. The board granted her temporary total disability benefits for the subsequent six weeks that she missed work. On April 23, 2002, Berger Co. bought Atchison. The new employer adjusted Tull's work to be less demanding and stressful, but she continued to suffer pain. In July, a physician diagnosed her condition as permanent. The board granted her permanent partial disability benefits. By May 2005, the bickering over the financial responsibility for Tull's claim involved five insurers-four of which had each covered Atchison for a single year and one of which covered Berger. [Tull v. Atchison Leather Products, Inc., 37 Kan.App.2d 87, 150 P.3d 316 (2007)] 1. When an injured employee files a claim for workers' compensation, there is a proceeding to assess the injury and determine the amount of compensation. Should a dispute between insurers over the payment of the claim be resolved in the same proceeding? Why or why not? 2. The board designated April 23, 2002, as the date of Tull's injury. What is the reason for determining the date of a worker's injury? Should the board in this case have selected this date or a different date? Why? 3. How should the board assess liability for the payment of Tull's medical expenses and disability benefits? Would it be appropriate to impose joint and several liability on the insurers, or should the individual liability of each of them be determined? Explain.
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Workers' Compensation. The Touch of Class Lounge is in a suburban shopping plaza, or strip mall, in Omaha, Nebraska. Patricia Bauer, the Lounge's owner, does not own the parking lot, which is provided for the common use of all of the businesses in the plaza. Stephanie Zomba was a bartender at the Lounge. Her duties ended when she locked the door after closing. On June 4, 2001, at 1:15 A.m., Zoucha closed the bar and locked the door. An hour later, she walked to her car in the parking lot, where she was struck with "[1]ike a tire iron on the hack of my head." Zoucha sustained a skull fracture and other injuries, including significant cognitive impairment (speech and thought formation). Her purse, containing her tip money, was stolen. She identified her attacker as William Nunez, who had been in the Lounge earlier that night. Zoucha filed a petition in a Nebraska state court to obtain workers' compensation. What are the requirements for receiving workers' compensation? Should Zoucha's request be granted or denied? Why? [Zoucha v. 'Pouch of Class Lounge, 269 Neb. 89, 690 N.W.2d 610 (2005)]
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What federal statute governs working hours and wages? What federal statutes govern labor unions and collective bargaining?
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What federal act was enacted to protect the health and safety of employees? What are workers' compensation laws?
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Does electronic performance monitoring violate employees' privacy rights? What other types of activities undertaken by employers might violate the privacy rights of employees?
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Under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, under what circumstances may an employee take family or medical leave?
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What is the employment-at-will doctrine? When and why are exceptions to this doctrine made?
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Collective Bargaining. Verizon New York, Inc. (VNY), provides telecommunications services. VNY and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) are parties to collective bargaining agreements covering installation and maintenance employees. At one time, VNY supported annual blood drives. VNY, CWA, and charitable organizations jointly set dates, arranged appointments, and 'adjusted work schedules for the drives. For each drive, about a thousand employees, including managers, spent up to four hours traveling to a donor site, giving blood, recovering, and returning to their jobs. Employees received full pay for the time. In 2001, VNY told CWA that it would no longer allow employees to participate "on Company time," claiming that it experienced problems meeting customer requests for service during the drives. CWA filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), asking that VNY be ordered to bargain over the decision. Did VNY commit an unfair labor practice? Should the NLRB grant CWA's request? Why or why not? [Verizon New York, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, 360 F.3d 206 (D.C.Cir. 2004)]
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