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On the Edge: From retaliation claims to massive wage-and-hour suits, employment law poses challenges.
Avian Flu Goes to Work As companies begin to plan for a possible outbreak of avian flu, they must remember the legal restrictions on their preparations. by Brian Arbetter and Peter GillespieNot Just the Parent? The Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects whistle-blowers at publicly traded companies. Does it also protect employees at non-publicly traded subsidiaries? The ALJs are split on the question, and employers at both types of companies need to be aware of the potential for broad coverage. by Connie N. BertramReport Racism, Get Fired Robert Jordan spoke up against derogatory racial comments in the workplace, and then his company fired him. How can the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit think that such complaints about racism aren’t protected activity? That’s not at all what the Supreme Court intended. by Doug HuronWage Suits, Supersized In a surprising twist, federal lawsuits brought by multiple plaintiffs are more likely to allege wage violations than employment discrimination. Employers should understand the risk resulting from collective actions and take steps to ensure that their businesses don’t suffer as courts work through these complicated legal issues. by Charles EdwardsBilling It to the Boss Many states are passing “fair share” laws and trying to force employers to cover more of the cost of providing health care. That’s likely to run into problems from ERISA pre-emption. What’s more, these state laws are bad public policy that unfairly burden business. Who supports such legislation? Unions, it turns out, and their motivations ought to be viewed with skepticism. by Thomas P. Gies

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