Alaska: 2011 Legislative Session Preview
The 27th Session of the Alaska Legislature convened in January, and several labor and employment-related bills were introduced. We’ve highlighted some of the more interesting bills below.
- “Alaska’s Oil, Alaska’s Jobs” — HB 82 and SB 71 propose to authorize a rebate of the production tax on oil and gas, based
Despite Assertions to Contrary, Employment Laws Do Exist
On my way in to work this morning, I was listening to NPR’s Morning Edition, and caught an interview with Lewis Maltby, president of the National Workrights Institute. The interview was ostensibly to promote Mr. Maltby’s new book, “ Can They Do That?” in which he discusses employment termination cases that were deemed legal, but seem, in his opinion, to be disproportionately severe or unjust.
What Mr. Maltby appeared to decry (without using the proper terminology) is the American presumption of “at will” employment—the notion that an employer may terminate an at will employee’s employment for any reason or no reason, so long as it’s not otherwise illegal. A couple of Mr. Maltby’s examples demonstrate that concept well. For example, he mentioned instances where it was permissible for an employer to terminate an employee based on the political bumper sticker on the employee’s car, and for a school to terminate an overweight teacher’s employment because the teacher did not project the correct image. As there are no laws that specifically protect individuals from discrimination based on political affiliation or weight, these terminations were in fact permissible. (I would caution, of course, that terminating an overweight employee does carry risk to the extent the employee might be considered to have a disability under state or federal law.)…
Continue Reading Despite Assertions to Contrary, Employment Laws Do Exist
Washington Court of Appeals Upholds Termination Where Medical Marijuana Use Caused Drug Test Failure
Note: On April 1, 2010, the Washington Supreme Court granted review of the Court of Appeals decision discussed in this entry. A final ruling on the case will be issued by the Washington Supreme Court at a later date.
A Washington Court of Appeals has ruled that Washington’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act (“MUMA”)…