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April 2013 Archives

Waitress fired over surgery scars

A former restaurant server is alleging employment discrimination in federal court after being terminated for her appearance after brain surgery. The case is attracting attention around the country including Michigan. The incident occurred in July 2012, when the 27-year-old woman returned to work after a surgery to remove a mass from her cranium. The surgery left her hair short with visible scars. She alleges that the managers at the restaurant required her to wear a wig while at work to hide the effects of the surgery. The defendant maintains she could not afford a wig and when she borrowed one, it proved painful because of its contact with the surgical wounds.

Letters sent from Michigan mayor's office lead to union concerns

Letters recently sent out by Detroit's mayor's office stating that the city would no longer honor union contracts with fire, paramedic and police unions have caused quite a stir. By April 3, the letter was disavowed by the state-appointed emergency manager who was brought in to help put Detroit's finances in order. The emergency manager was assigned by Michigan's governor in an effort to get the city out of nearly $14 billion in long-term debt.The letters stated that since the city was in receivership status, it would no longer honor employment contracts made with unions going forward. According to the letters, the city was no longer required to participate in collective bargaining agreements, and they stated that the city was withdrawing from all mediations and arbitrations. Further, the letters also claimed that the Michigan Bureau of Employee Relations had been ordered to dismiss pending union issues.

Following mass layoff, workers sue for violation of WARN act

On March 12, Entertainment Publications, the publisher of the popular Entertainment coupon books, filed for bankruptcy. The Michigan company moved to liquidate its assets, listed at approximately $13.8 million to pay debts listed at approximately $52.1 million. At the same time, the company laid off more than 350 workers. A group of those employees filed a class action suit, alleging an employment dispute. The Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act requires employers to give employees at leave 60 days advance notice when laying off employees or to pay 60 days of wages and benefits. Employees claim they did not receive the required notice or benefits.

Film critic Roger Ebert takes 'leave of presence' to fight cancer

Lots of Detroit readers look for film critic Roger Ebert's signature endorsement "two thumbs up" when they scan a movie's poster or a DVD's cover. Ebert, who has written for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years, is one of the most trusted reviewers in the entertainment industry and his wry, witty personality has endeared him to many.

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