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WIMBERLY LAWSON SEALE WRIGHT & DAVES, PLLC ATTORNEYS & COUNSELORS AT LAW Knoxville Office Morristown Office Nashville Office Cookeville Office Bank of America Building, Suite 601 550 Main Avenue 929 West First North Street 3200 West End Avenue 1420 Neal Street - Suite 201 P. O. Box 2231 P.O. Box 1066 Suite 500 P.O. Box 655 Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-2231 Morristown, Tennessee 37816-1066 Nashville, Tennessee 37203 Cookeville, Tennessee 38503-0655 Phone: 865-546-1000/Fax: 865-546-1001 Phone: 423-587-6870/Fax: 423-587-1479 Phone: 615-783-2190/Fax: 615-783-1606 Phone: 931-372-9123/Fax: 931-372-9181 Affiliated Office Affiliated Office Affiliated Office Wimberly, Lawson, Steckel, Nelson & Wimberly, Lawson, Suarez & Russell, LLC Wimberly Lawson Daniels & Brandon Schneider, PC Tampa, Florida Greenville, South Carolina Atlanta, Georgia THE EAGLE'S VIEW ○ ○ ○ ○ April 2003 Volume 3, Issue 4 ○ ○ ○ Union Membership in Private Industry ○ ○ rops D rops to 8.5% ○ ○ According to February into the 6% range in the do” to keep the rate from ○ ○ 25 figures of the Labor next few years. “It’s tough declining further, according ○ Department’s Bureau of for unions because they to Professor Barry T. ○ ○ Labor Statistics, union have to tax a smaller and Hirsch. ○ membership in Four states ○ ○ private industry is at had union ○ 8.5% of all workers, membership ○ ○ down from 8.9% in rates of more ○ 2001. Among gov- than 20% last ○ ○ Inside..... ernment workers, year, including ○ 37.5% were union New York ○ ○ AFL-CIO Organizing (25%), Hawaii members, up from ○ Summit Plans to (24%), Alaska ○ Reverse Losses................Page 2 37.2% in 2001. ○ Combining both (24%) and ○ ○ Looking Into Insurance private and public Michigan ○ for Employment- sectors, union (21%). South ○ Related Claims................Page 3 ○ membership declined Carolina and ○ slightly last year to North ○ Special Note ○ Unsubscribe notice.......Page 4 13.2% from 13.4% in Carolina Union membership in private ○ 2001. remain ○ industry is at 8.5% of all workers ○ According to the the states ○ AFL-CIO, union with the ○ ○ membership tracks lowest ○ changes in the U. S. smaller base [of current union membership, at ○ ○ workforce and the decline members] to finance the 4.9% and 3.2%, respectively. ○ should be placed in the organizing that they have to ○ ○ context of the weak ○ economy. A professor of ○ ○ economics at Trinity Visit our Website at http://www.wlswd.com ○ University attributed the ○ ○ declining union member- Our web site includes com- ○ ship last year to the large prehensive information about ○ ○ number of layoffs, our lawyers and practice areas as ○ particularly in the more well as upcoming seminars, ○ ○ heavily unionized manufac- conferences, publications ○ turing and airline sectors. available from our firm, and ○ ○ This professor predicted information about the latest ○ that the percentage of labor and employment law ○ ○ union membership in the developments on the newsletter ○ private sector could fall page. Check it out today! ○ THE EAGLE'S VIEW April 2003 - Volume 3, Issue 4 PAGE 2 Organizing AFL-CIO Organizing Summit Plans to KNOW YOUR Reverse Losses ATTORNEY Acknowledging that the leaders offered their organize some 1,000 labor movement will not perspectives on the future workers at Brylane, a survive unless it finds new, of union organizing. catalogue company in more successful organizing Tom Woodruff, Indianapolis, the parties strategies, labor organizers Executive Vice President reached an agreement to met in Washington during of the Service Employees allow workers at the January to brainstorm new International Union company’s distribution ways to win organizing (SEIU), the largest AFL- centers to vote on campaigns. The organizing CIO union, said that prior representation in a secret summit was the first AFL- to 1996, fewer than ten mail-in card/ballot CIO sponsored conference locals had active organizing procedure. If the majority in more than 40 years to programs because they saw sends in cards to a third convene top organizers to organizing as the job of the party neutral, the company discuss what they have international union. That will recognize the union, been doing wrong and has changed, and the locals he said. Raynor said that SUZANNE ROTEN what needs to be changed, have been asked to commit the only way UNITE was according to AFL-CIO at least 20% of their able to get this card-check Suzanne is a senior President John Sweeney. revenues to organizing. In recognition was because of associate with Wimberly Although the AFL-CIO 2000, delegates to the the pressure the union put Lawson Seale Wright & union’s on Brylane, which is owned Daves, PLLC and practices convention by a French conglomerate. out of the Knoxville, approved He said the union picketed Tennessee office. She the creation the stores in the U.S. which practices primarily in of a special are owned by the same employment law including fund into conglomerate and recruited discrimination claims, which locals French unions to put wage and hour matters, will pay $1.00 pressure on the company, disability and family leave per member published a “sweatshop” matters and wrongful per month for catalogue, and put on a discharge. She represents organizing, “sweatshop fashion show.” management in a variety of and this year Raynor said that unions litigation settings and that fund will need to allocate resources counsels employers in generate almost to organizing, knowing preventive policies and $50 million. that many projects never procedures. Suzanne The SEIU plans will be financially received a Bachelor of Arts to commit a advantageous. He noted degree (English and total of $150 that UNITE spent ten American Literature, with million to years organizing a group of honors) from the organizing in 100 workers in Atlanta. University of California, 2003 alone, he Labor also has to figure out San Diego. She received said. The union how to be strategic, he her Master of Library began a “voice at work” will have some 1,000 full- said. Raynor said, “we Science degree from the campaign several years ago time organizers and 5,000 have failed to make the University of California, to spotlight employer member organizers. right to organize a national Berkeley; and received her interference in organizing Bruce Raynor, President issue,” adding that unions Doctor of Jurisprudence campaigns that involved of the Union of have to take on “large from the University of community activities, Needletrades, Industrial fights” with employers. California, Los Angeles, religious leaders and and Textile Employees Raynor’s union plans to School of Law. She also elected officials, Sweeney (UNITE), said the union spend 50% of its budget on served as Managing Editor said the labor movement movement needs to find organizing, so that for the UCLA Law Review. hasn’t been working hard ways to pressure em- “organizing will be the enough to generate ployers. As an example, central theme of our union,” community and political Raynor said that after a he said. support. Different labor sixteen-month fight to Paul Booth, the executive THE EAGLE'S VIEW April 2003 - Volume 3, Issue 4 PAGE 3 assistant to the president reluctant to support each organizing drives: religious leaders, and of another union, told the other in campaigns, which • Union members organizations such as Jobs summit that it is important has to change, he said. must be educated about for Justice. for organizers from different One of several breakout what employers do when • Unions need to unions to talk with each sessions during the workers try to form unions. force politicians to support other. Unions have a organizing conference • Unions need to the right to organize, to strong interest as developed the following work with coalitions, show up at rallies, and even competitors and are recommendations for including community, to be arrested with workers. Looking Into Insurance for Employment-Related Claims Over the years employ- from discriminatory preclude coverage for a homeowner’s policy. ers have looked at their treatment, but not occurrences covered under insurance policies to evidenced by physical workers' compensation or EPLI Policies determine if employment- symptoms, does not meet under separate employer’s In recent years, EPLI related claims are covered, the bodily injury liability policies, a number coverage has greatly and now employment requirement. Further, of courts have excluded all expanded in use. Such type practices liability insurance personal injury sometimes employment-related policies only started in the (EPLI) has become a new is defined by the policy to claims. early 1990’s but now form of protection. Some expressly include or exclude General liability insurers probably 100 insurers offer aspects of the various harassment and discrim- have included broad various types of EPLI types of coverage are ination, while personal employment-related policy coverage. EPLI discussed below. injury generally is defined practices exclusions in their policies are intended to by the policy to include policies in recent years that cover various types of General Liability In- defamation, which can exempt any bodily or employment cases, surance often be claimed along personal injury that arises including violation of The first thought to an with discrimination. Thus, out of any “refusal to employment discrimination employer when an if a discrimination com- employ... termination ..... statutes; employment- employment case is filed, plaint also includes related or [other] employment- related torts, such as might be to look at its court causes of action, related practices, policies, invasion of privacy and general liability insurance such as defamation, for acts or omissions, such as defamation; and, to varying policy. In addition to the example, the insurer’s duty ... harassment, humiliation degrees, breach of contract duty to pay any settlement to defend the employer or discrimination.” Policies claims, whether implied or or judgment on behalf of with respect to the entire with this exclusionary express contracts. the employer, the other case may be triggered. endorsement likely will be Coverage has expanded major feature of general The bodily injury trigger deemed not to provide significantly in recent years liability policies is the duty of coverage must generally coverage for discrimination for EPLI policies. Many to provide the employer’s arise from an “occurrence” claims. policies no longer incor- legal defense. General however, which generally porate exclusions for liability policies usually is defined as an “accident.” Directors & Officers, intentional acts, class provide coverage for The controversial issue is and Homeowners’ actions, or claims arising damages resulting from whether discriminatory Policies from reductions in force, “bodily injury” and “caused treatment can ever qualify Another type of policies downsizing, and acts that by an occurrence” or as an accident. Even if a that employers often review occurred prior to the “personal injury.” Bodily discrimination suit claims when suits are filed include insured buying the policy. injury generally is defined bodily injury, a number of a “directors and officers Carriers often even include in a policy as “bodily exclusions might void liability policy” which coverage for punitive injury, sickness or disease” coverage. Bodily injury might provide coverage for damages where permitted and is potentially triggered typically is excluded if the an officer or director who is by state law. when an employee claims injury is suffered by an sued in an employment- Whatever type of to have suffered emotional “employee” and arises “out type case, but such policies coverage might be distress as a result of of and in the course of generally do not indemnify applicable, policy holders discrimination. However, employment by the the organization itself. who fail to promptly notify courts often rule that insured.” Although this Individual defendants may insurance carriers of emotional distress resulting exclusion is intended to even have coverage under pending litigation place Wimberly Lawson PRSRT STD Seale Wright & Daves, PLLC US Postage Attorneys & Counselors at Law PAID P.O. Box 2231 Permit 582 Knoxville, Tennessee 37901-2231 Knoxville, TN 37950 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED *************************************************** UNSUBSCRIBE NOTICE If you would like to unsubscribe to this publication, please visit the newsletter portion of our website (wlswd.com). A special unsubscribe link has been provided. OR, you may call Brenda Hopper at 865-546-1000. *************************************************** THE EAGLE'S VIEW April 2003 - Volume 3, Issue 4 PAGE 4 their coverage at risk. some cases underwriters years, its costs have also about settlement decisions, Therefore, an early may not offer an employer expanded significantly. and how to handle and try examination of policies EPLI premiums are coverage at any cost if such the case. and potential coverage is policies are not in place. generally based on the Coverage of a particular number of a business’ Each employer needs to EPLI policy may vary employees plus that make a decision in its own widely, including the case about whether EPLI business’ claims history. amount of premiums, coverage makes sense. In Discounts are given to coverage limits, deduct- some companies, employ- employers who utilize risk ibles, and co-insurance ers don’t really need the management materials such rates. Usually, the range of as a sound employee coverage because they coverage may be expanded don’t have many claims. handbook, appropriate by paying a higher premium. published harassmentThere are also certain For example, it is not downsides to EPLI policies, internal employ- uncommon for an EPLI coverage and it is important ment related education policy to have a $100,000 for employers to make sure and efforts to maintain and deductible, or even higher. document appropriatethey understand the Thus, even in the best of specifics of what circumstances, EPLI Discounts are given to employers who utilize risk management their policies materials such as a sound employee handbook, appropriate published coverage may not be a harassment policies, internal employment-related education and provide, in- complete solution to the efforts to maintain and document appropriate personnel records cluding what it problem of exposure to excludes, what employment claims, rights they have although it may serve as highly desirable. personnel records. Open to choose their lawyers, sort of a “peace of mind” to While EPLI coverage door complaint procedures what their rights are to catastrophic claims. has broadened in recent are also desirable, and in have input into decisions 82003 Wimberly Lawson Seale Wright & Daves, PLLC. This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers may consult with any of the attorneys at Wimberly Lawson Seale Wright & Daves to determine how laws, suggestions and illustrations apply to specific situations.
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