The Reader: Latinos Have Higher Rate of Job Accident Death, Wage Theft: Walks Like a Duck Edition, and Fifth Circuit Relaxes Retaliation Standard

Here are my Reader picks for today, September 16, 2014:

  •  Latino Workers Dying at Higher Rates in Job Accidents-As Latino workers take on more and more of the nation’s toughest and dirtiest jobs, they increasingly are paying for it with their lives. Preliminary federal figures released last week showed that of the 4,405 U.S. workers killed on the job in 2013, 797 were Latinos. That equates to 3.8 of every 100,000 full-time Latino employees in the U.S. dying in workplace accidents during the year. The fatality rate for Latinos was up marginally from 3.7 per 100,000 workers in 2012, and was significantly higher than the 2013 fatality rates of 3.2 for whites, 2.9 for blacks and 1.5 for Asians. Safety experts point to reluctance among many Latino workers, particularly immigrants, to protest job hazards. They commonly attribute the reluctance to language barriers or fears that complaining about working conditions will cost them their jobs or even lead to deportation. In addition, worker advocates blame weak federal and state regulation and a trend of employers increasingly giving dangerous jobs to temporary workers, including some with little training. Source: Fair Warning Reports
  • How much Retaliation is Enough to Make it Actionable  - A continuing, unresolved issue under Title VII is what constitutes sufficient discrimination in "terms, conditions, or privileges of employment" to make a retaliation claim actionable. Most courts require proof of a "materially adverse employment action," which can include being placed on a more onerous schedule or subjected to unhealthful conditions. But the Fifth Circuit has long required proof of a more exacting "ultimate" employment decision, e.g., "hiring, firing, demoting, promoting, granting leave, and compensating." In a recent 2-1 decision, however, a panel of the court holds that a material diminution of duties not otherwise accompanied by a change in title or pay may be actionable. This is a big deal in the Fifth Circuit. Source: Paul Mollica's Daily Developments in EEO Law