June 5 roundup

by Walter Olson on June 5, 2008

  • “I believe it’s frivolous; I believe it’s ridiculous, and I believe it’s asinine”: Little Rock police union votes lopsidedly not to join federal “don/doff” wage-hour lawsuit asking pay for time spent on uniform changes [Arkansas Democrat Gazette courtesy U.S. Chamber]
  • Must-read Roger Parloff piece on furor over law professors’ selling of ethics opinions [Fortune; background links @ PoL]
  • Too rough on judge-bribing Mississippi lawyers? Like Rep. Conyers at House Judiciary, but maybe not for same reasons, we welcome renewed attention to Paul Minor case [Clarion-Ledger]
  • American Airlines backs off its plan to put Logan skycaps on salary-only following loss in tip litigation [Boston Globe; earlier]
  • U.K.: Infamous Yorkshire Ripper makes legal bid for freedom, civil liberties lawyer says his human rights have been breached [Independent]
  • In long-running campaign to overturn Feres immunity for Army docs, latest claim is that military knowingly withholds needed therapy so as to return soldiers to front faster [New York Rep. Maurice Hinchey on CBS; a different view from Happy Hospitalist via KevinMD]
  • Profs. Alan Dershowitz and Robert Blakey hired to back claim that Russian government can invoke U.S. RICO law in its own courts to sue Bank of New York for $22 billion [WSJ law blog, earlier @ PoL]
  • Minnesota Supreme Court declines to ban spanking by parents [Star-Tribune, Pioneer Press]
  • Following that very odd $112 million award (knocked down from $1 billion) to Louisiana family in Exxon v. Grefer, it’s the oil firm’s turn to offer payouts to local neighbors suffering common ailments [Times-Picayune, UPI]
  • AG Jerry Brown “has been suing, or threatening to sue, just about anyone who doesn’t immediately adhere” to his vision of building California cities up rather than out [Dan Walters/syndicated]
  • Virginia high school principal ruled entitled to disability for his compulsion to sexually harass women [eight years ago on Overlawyered]

{ 1 comment }

1 Bill Poser 06.05.08 at 3:43 pm

I notice that there’s no link to information on the suit that this police department has declined to join. I’m curious because the cases cited as precedant seem readily distinguishable from what I know of typical police life. Uniformed police normally put on their uniforms at home in lieu of other clothing and take them off at home. A police uniform is suitable attire between home and work. So donning and doffing of the uniform by police is comparable to dressing and undressing by most people and takes no more time.

In the precedent=setting cases, the workers are engaged in occupations that require the use of special clothing for protection or sanitary purposes. This clothing is, I believe, cleaned and maintained at the work site by the employer and is not suitable for wear outside the workplace. These workers therefore have to dress at home in their ordinary clothes, then change into the special clothing at work, and at the end of their shift, change out of the special clothing into their ordinary clothes, which they then remove eventually at home. So for them donning and doffing their work clothes represents time in additio to normal dressing and undressing. Moreover, they typically work in large plants where the changing rooms are some distance from their actual workplace.

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