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Employment Law
West Virginia University School of Law
Wolfe, Roger A.

Employment Law
08.21.06
 
Few WV cases
Emailing many cases
§         Emphasizing labor law more so than book
§         Historically, Wolfe has given extra credit for writing papers
§         Breaks at 6:30 for 10 minutes or less
 
Labor Law
§         Labor law referring to tradl, early-20th century law
§         Employment law refers to wrongful discharge litigation, wrongful discharge, etc.
§         The govt is afforded much more freedom w/hiring than w/firing
 
Part 1: Background
CHAPT 1: WORK AND LAW
§         Social and cultural significance of “work”
WORK AND SOCIETY
§         Development of Regulation and why it came about
1.      First important laws:
                                                       i.      Fair Labor Standards Act
1.      Controls minimum wage
2.      One of the most difficult to deal w/ — regulations are extensive w/many exemptions
                                                     ii.      Natl. Labor Relations Act – gave emp’ees right to organize into unions
                                                   iii.      NLRA v. NLRB – obscure exceptions in cases
§         Unfair labor practices – “past practice and custom” – a custom that has become a condition of empt that cannot be changed unilaterally w/o rt to bargain
§         Timeline
1935 – NLRA
1938 – Fair Labor Standards Act
1963 – Equal Pay Act
“Equal work does not mean equal pay”
1964 – Title VII
Doesn’t say anything ABOUT sexual harassment
The majority of these cases involve sexual harassment
Cts have put their own spin on the statutory language
What people expect now
NRLA doesn’t provide for individuals to bring these suits, only the govt
Fair Labor Standards Act – First act where the people individually can sue
 
1964 – Title VII was a huge issue
You must file a charge in 90 days to get in a right to sue notice, then 90 more days to file suit
You don’t have to file w/this in WV under WV Human Rights Act
WV law is much more emp’ee-oriented than Fed law
If there is a specific provision that waives human rights, a fed law can trump a human rights protection

Pg. 4-7 – The spiritual aspect of work
§         What you do for a living defines who you are
§         The biggest part of empt litigation is b/c of conflict in empt environment
LEGAL INTERVENTION
Wagenseller v. Scottsdale Memorial Hospital
§         Prestige v. Utility
§         If you’re in a professional job, you may identify yourself even more w/what you do; but if you’re in a service-oriented job, you may not consider that your identity
§         Wagenseller was hired as an at-will emp’ee in 1975
§         Promoted twice in 1978
§         Fired after refusing to participate in extra-work activities
§         At will – you can quit or be fired for any reason
There is no statutory definition
Empt is at-will in every state in the Union except Montana – just cause reqt there
P was offended by the other activities her boss participated