Hundreds of thousands of underpaid and overworked people in our state ~ Add your voice to restore overtime rights!


 

Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has released a bold plan to restore overtime rights for hundreds of thousands of salaried workers in our state. Under the state’s plan, if you’re paid less than 2.5 times the minimum wage (about $70,000/year) you’ll get overtime pay when you work overtime hours, no matter what job title your boss gives you, and regardless of whether you’re salaried or hourly. The updated rules would phase in over the next several years.

This would be a huge step forward for workers’ rights in our state, and whether you work a salaried job, an hourly job, or you’re retired, we need your voice to back it up!

Official public comment is an important part of the process, and the state is going to be carefully tracking the number of comments they get on each side. We made it easy — just answer a few quick questions to build your own comment and let L&I know that you support restoring overtime rights.

workingwa.org

 

1998 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers are always potentially liable for supervisor’s sexual misconduct toward an employee.


june 26

CNN.com

WASHINGTON (CNN) — In a ruling that makes employers easier targets for lawsuits, the Supreme Court said Friday that companies may be held liable for sexual harassment by supervisors.
The justices ruled 7-2 in the case of Beth Ann Faragher, a former lifeguard who alleges she was harassed by two of her supervisors. The court ruling allows her to proceed with her lawsuit against the city of Boca Raton, Florida.
In the majority opinion the court said that employers always are potentially liable for a supervisor’s sexual misconduct toward an employee.
To successfully defend themselves, the ruling said, employers would have to show they “exercised reasonable care to prevent or correct promptly any sexually harassing behavior” and that “the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to avoid harm otherwise.”
Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia dissented. Writing for the two, Thomas said the court “manufactures a rule that employers are vicariously liable if supervisors create a sexually hostile work environment, subject to an affirmative defense that the court barely attempts to define.”
Thomas objected that the court’s rule “applies even if the employer has a policy against sexual harassment, the employee knows about the policy and the employee never informs anyone in a position of authority about the supervisor’s conduct.”

1996 – The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Virginia Military Institute to admit women or forgo state support ~ United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996)


june 26

OCTOBER TERM, 1995
Syllabus
UNITED STATES v. VIRGINIA ET AL.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
No.94-1941. Argued January 17, 1996-Decided June 26,1996*
Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is the sole single-sex school among Virginia’s public institutions of higher learning. VMI’s distinctive mission is to produce “citizen-soldiers,” men prepared for leadership in civilian life and in military service. Using an “adversative method” of training not available elsewhere in Virginia, VMI endeavors to instill physical and mental discipline in its cadets and impart to them a strong moral code. Reflecting the high value alumni place on their VMI training, VMI has the largest per-student endowment of all public undergraduate institutions in the Nation. The United States sued Virginia and VMI, alleging that VMI’s exclusively male admission policy violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The District Court ruled in VMI’s favor. The Fourth Circuit reversed and ordered Virginia to remedy the constitutional violation. In response, Virginia proposed a parallel program for women: Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL), located at Mary Baldwin College, a private liberal arts school for women. The District Court found that Virginia’s proposal satisfied the Constitution’s equal protection requirement, and the Fourth Circuit affirmed. The appeals court deferentially reviewed Virginia’s plan and determined that provision of single-gender educational options was a legitimate objective. Maintenance of single-sex programs, the court concluded, was essential to that objective. The court recognized, however, that its analysis risked bypassing equal protection scrutiny, so it fashioned an additional test, asking whether VMI and VWIL students would receive “substantively comparable” benefits. Although the Court of Appeals acknowledged that the VWIL degree lacked the historical benefit and prestige of a VMI degree, the court nevertheless found the educational opportunities at the two schools sufficiently comparable.
Held:
1. Parties who seek to defend gender-based government action must demonstrate an “exceedingly persuasive justification” for that action. E. g., Mississippi Univ. for Women v. Hogan, 458 U. S. 718,724. Nei-
*Together with No. 94-2107, Virginia et al. v. United States, also on certiorari to the same court.