Subject: Fireworks, the Supreme Court, and Bedbugs – GEA News

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Newsletter #24
July 3, 2018
Thanks for the holiday, Mr. Jefferson!

242 years ago, the delegates to the Continental Congress signed a remarkable document that established our country’s independence from Great Britain. Authored by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence stands as a bellwether statement of the freedom and liberty we enjoy as a nation and as individuals.

Whether you’re enjoying a midweek break or a needed summer vacation, we hope you’ll have a wonderful Independence Day celebration with fireworks, food, family, and friends. 

Happy 4th of July from Georgia Employers’ Association!

Art by John Trumbull [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Preparing for PHR or SPHR?

As an HR professional, obtaining a PHR certification is an important career goal. If you’re planning for the PHR or SPHR exams, you’ll want to attend GEA’s Certification Training Series, starting July 31 in Macon. The six session course will focus directly on the topics in the certification exams. You’ll be well-prepared to take the tests at the end of the course.

More information and online registration are available on the GEA website.

U.S. Supreme Court Changes Union Stance

It’s not unusual for the U.S. Supreme Court to make the news on the last day of the term. Last Wednesday’s announcement of Justice Kennedy’s retirement dominated the news cycle, overwhelming the attention given to a decision that may have important implications for employers.

The court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME overturned a previous decision that required public employees to pay union fees that cover the costs of collective bargaining. Writing the majority opinion, Justice Alito agreed with the assertion of petitioner Mark Janus – that agency fees violate First Amendment rights to free speech. With the Janus determination, the court ruled that the union’s bargaining over pay and work conditions with a local or other government is inherently political activity, which workers can’t be forced to fund.

The ruling is expected to have a negative effect on the finances of public unions and increases pressure on both public and private-sector unions. Labor officials and union advocates expect the decision to produce new models for organizing workers in both sectors. Currently, Unions represent about 34 percent of government workers, compared with about 6 percent of private sector employees.
Wouldn't It Be Better to Call An Exterminator?

In a recent Employment and Labor Insider post, attorney Robin Shea profiles a recent Pennsylvania wrongful termination case about bedbugs. Plaintiff Muriel Beck worked at a Philadelphia call center for CNO Financial Group, Inc. According to her lawsuit, she and her co-workers began noticing that they always had bug bites. Ms. Beck claims the call center was infested with bed bugs . . . and a few other pests.

Beck filed an OSHA complaint and applied for unemployment while she was out of work. Although her supervisor allegedly approved her request for leave, she claims that she was terminated for job "abandonment" during days that she had been approved for leave. CNO’s request for dismissal of the lawsuit was denied by the Pennsylvania judge, who agreed that Beck had a valid claim for wrongful termination.

Click the button to read the rest of the story about Ms. Beck and the bedbugs. 
Visit our website to see the complete list of Upcoming Workshops and Events!


Georgia Employers' Association
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