News & Commentary

September 23, 2014

The EEOC has sued restaurant franchise Doherty Enterprises, Inc., for unlawfully violating an employee’s right to file charges of discrimination. Doherty Enterprises requires each prospective employee to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement as a condition of employment, mandating that all employment related claims be submitted to binding arbitration. The EEOC claims that this practice prevents the filing of discrimination claims, thus violating Section 707 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and constituting a pattern or practice of obstructing Title VII rights. Doherty Enterprises owns over 140 franchise restaurants, including Applebee’s and Panera Bread branches, through Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and New York. The case is EEOC v. Doherty Enterprises, Inc., Civil Action No.  9:14-cv-81184-KAM, and more information can be found in the EEOC’s press release.

Labor and advocacy groups are pressing for an investigation into whether Wal-Mart has violated federal election laws. For the last decade, Wal-Mart has solicited employees for donations to its political action committee in exchange for charitable contributions to a fund that helps Wal-Mart employees in need. U.S. companies are prohibited from compensating contributors for PAC donations. A complaint will be filed with the Federal Election Commission, asking the FEC to evaluate the legality of this arrangement. The Wall Street Journal reports.

The L.A. Times reports that Warner Bros. Entertainment has appointed Hank Lachmund to head its recently restructured labor relations department. Lachmund will oversee all aspects of labor relations, and be involved in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which negotiates labor contracts with all major Hollywood unions.

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