Tag Archives: Scholarship

Legal Black Hole: Overpaid Employees

It seems at least once every year I have to help advise an individual who has been mistakenly overpaid.  In most circumstance, the individual comes to me because they have been notified that their employer is going to unilaterally begin garnishing their paycheck to make up for the overpayment.  For some individuals, the amount removed from the check is small enough not to have much impact but for many public school employees the loss (which sometimes represents years of overpayment by the employer) can place the individual into a very precarious financial position.  This is particularly true in Missouri which has the 9th lowest average teacher salary in the nation. Continue reading

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Filed under Resources, Uncategorized

Justifying an Increased Minimum Wage

Fortunately, many of the clients that I work with do not have to worry about making a living on only minimum wage (the state of public education isn’t quite that bad! [yet]).  However, it is clearly a major issue for many workers in the United States.  If the recent fast food strikes are any indication, the minimum-wage employee is waking up to the hardships created by a wage that has actually been decreasing (when adjusted for inflation) for the last 45 years.  Opponents of an increased minimum wage often claim that raising the wage would lead to unemployment and would unfairly help teenagers who are just beginning to work (even though nearly 50% of minimum wage earners are older than 25).

A recent scholarly article posted online analyzes these claims and finds that there are good reasons for wanting to raise the minimum wage.  See Justice at Work: Minimum Wage Laws and Social Equality by Brishen Rogers of the Temple University School of Law.  What is perhaps most interesting about this article is that it accepts, for purposes of argument, the claims of the opponents to an increased minimum wage and still finds important social reasons for increasing the minimum wage.  In particular, the author focuses on how the minimum wage works to advance “social equality” a societal good that goes beyond mere fiscal matters.

The entire article is interesting and would be well worth a read to anyone thinking about wage, employment, or social justice issues.

Hat tip to the Workplace Prof Blog for bringing this article to my attention (they are also a great resource for keeping up on upcoming scholarship).

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Social Media and Public Sector Employment

With the terrific title “Can’t Escape From the Memory” William A Herbert, the Deputy Chair of the New York Public Employment Relations Board, has created a thorough analysis of the interaction between social media use and public sector law.  Part of my job is traveling around Missouri and educating public school employees about the legal, and practical, realities of using social media.  Mr. Herbert’s paper does a great job of analyzing how social media use by public employees implicates free speech rights, privacy rights, and collective bargaining rights and is a must-read for public employees who regularly use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.  Unfortunately, the only state-specific labor information is for New York, Michigan, and Florida, so public employees in Missouri will need to keep in mind that our legal structures here are a bit different.

Hit the jump for a brief analysis of the differences for Missourians and the paper’s official abstract. Continue reading

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Filed under Collective Bargaining, Missouri, Social Media

Discrimination Law and the “Tort” Label

Fair warning, this post delves a bit into technical aspects of the structure of the law but these technicalities have real impact on how claims work out so I think it is worth talking about.

The Workplace Prof Blog recently pointed out an interesting working paper on discrimination law by Sandra Sperino of the University of Cincinnati School of Law entitled The Tort Label.  While you might be sitting there wondering why in the world a paper on discrimination law bears such a title, Ms. Sperino does a terrific job of explaining how our current approach to discrimination law may actually be short-circuiting the whole point of having anti-discrimination statutes in the first place.

Discussion after the jump… Continue reading

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Filed under Discrimination