Nigel Sykes, currently serving a 15-year sentence, is suing employees of Seasons Pizza in Newport, Del. who allegedly tackled him as he was robbing the pizzeria at gunpoint. His suit, filed without a lawyer, asks in excess of $260,000, saying employees of the dining establishment beat him up and poured hot soup on him. “While U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson tossed out several of Sykes’ claims, she allowed the case to move forward against the pizza employees, two arresting officers and Seasons.” Sykes, whom police linked to a series of robberies at a bank and various retail establishments, had filed an earlier suit with different factual allegations which was dismissed on procedural grounds. He has also claimed that he should be allowed to take back his plea in the criminal case, arguing in a motion, “I’m not good at making good choices.” [Sean O’Sullivan, Wilmington News Journal]
- Obama pick for USDA nutrition chief advances food-as-social-justice theme [Politico, Free Beacon and more, Jeff Stier/Des Moines Register]
- Hawaii GMO battle is one the whole nation should watch [Mark Strauss, io9]
- “Overprotective Government, Overweight Kids?” [Lenore Skenazy]
- “Cherry wars: The crazy economics of Michigan’s favorite pitted fruit” [Bridge Magazine]
- “FDA’s Artificial Trans Fat ‘Ban': A Dangerous Step to Control Personal Dietary Choices” [Daren Bakst, Heritage via Michelle Minton, CEI]
- And in the wings: FDA readies crackdown on salt as ingredient [AP]
- French law mandating disclosure of whether restaurant food is made in house isn’t going well [Baylen Linnekin, more]
- California tenure lawsuit exposes rift between Democratic establishment and teachers’ union [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner]
- NLRB pushing new interpretation to sweep much outsourcing into “joint employment” for labor law purposes [Marilyn Pearson, Inside Counsel]
- Restaurant “worker centers” campaign against tipping. Perhaps a sign their interests not fully aligned with waitstaffs’? [Ryan Williams, DC]
- NLRB’s edict against non-union employers’ confidentiality policies emblematic of its activist stance lately [Karen Michael, Times-Dispatch]
- Three public sector unions spent $4.3 million on Connecticut state political activities in 2011-2013 cycle [Suzanne Bates, Raising Hale]
- Sen. Lindsey Graham prepares funding rider to block NLRB “micro-union” recognition [Fred Wszolek, background]
- “Table Dance Manager” glitch alleged: “Exotic dancers + allegedly malfunctioning software = Fair Labor lawsuit” [Texas Lawyer]
- Summary of bills passed in legislature [Washington Post] With legislative session over, bills that did not meet with favorable action include “source of income discrimination,” i.e., requiring landlords to accept Section 8 [unfavorable report, earlier]; curbing competition among hospices [unfavorable report, earlier]
- Dining allergy bill gets to conference committee stage, requirement that restaurants keep trained allergy advisers on hand watered down to county option [action, NFIB, AP after Senate passage, earlier]
- Crime and police bills that didn’t pass: requiring reports on asset seizures/forfeitures [Senate hearing, earlier]; police wearing of videocameras [amended substantially before House passage, unfavorable report in Senate]; castle doctrine and self-defense [unfavorable report, more];
- New school construction prevailing wage bill hurts communities and kids [Ellen Sauerbrey letter]
- Terms of final dog bite bill signed by governor: owner generally liable for bites to unoffending persons, can escape liability by rebutting presumption that it knew or had reason to know dog was dangerous, all breeds treated alike [AP, Baltimore Sun]
- Yes, Maryland legislators just decriminalized marijuana while banning grain alcohol and declining to lift the ban on raw milk;
- How does Maryland rank among the 50 states for property rights protections? Not well, that’s for sure [Freedom in the Fifty States]
Music rights organization BMI has sued a Cleveland bar seeking up to $1.5 million over one night’s performance by a cover band that allegedly performed ten well-known songs without paying license fees, including “Bad Moon Rising,” “You Really Got Me,” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” [OnStage]
- Warnings dismissed at time: FDA rules implementing FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) of 2011 imperil practices common to organic, small growers, “such as using house-made fertilizers and irrigating from creeks” [Los Angeles Times] Oh, how D.C.’s “public-interest” establishment and its co-thinkers in the press jeered when we and others tried to raise such concerns before the bill passed!
- Related: pursuit of locally grown/artisanal meat options collides with USDA regs that put squeeze on small slaughterhouses, overbroad recalls also a problem [Baylen Linnekin, earlier here, here, and here]
- “America’s Obesity Problem: Legal Mechanisms for Prevention,” Duke Law School conference I spoke at (but did not write a paper for) last year, now online [Duke Forum for Law and Social Change].
- Related: “Wellness programs addressing obesity could lead to litigation, lawyers say” [ABA Journal]
- Looser regulation of microbrewing has already proved boon to Maryland, lawmakers now consider extending it further [Beth Rodgers, Frederick News-Post]
- “Bill introduced to undo California’s ‘glove law’ for food preparers” [KPCC; earlier]
- Sorry, I’ll stay home and thumb through old cookbooks instead: recent American Studies Association Food Studies Caucus program included “Food, Debt, and the Anti-Capitalist Imagination,” “Archives of Domesticity and Dissent: Cookbooks, Cooking Culture, and the Limits of Culinary Exchange,” and “Pedagogies of Food and Eating: Teaching Debt, Dissent, and Identity through Food” [Mary Grabar, Pope Center on “food studies” fad]
Safer to have the failed business go through total liquidation, it seems:
An employer that acquired the assets of a defunct bar and restaurant and continued to operate a restaurant on the same premises was liable for unpaid wages owed to the defunct restaurant’s former employees, the Oregon Supreme Court has ruled. Blachana LLC v. Bureau of Labor and Industries, No. S060789 (Ore. Jan. 16, 2014).
Reversing the Oregon Court of Appeals, the Court found that the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) did not err in deciding the employer was a successor for state wage liability purposes because it conducted “essentially the same business as conducted by the predecessor,” even though it did not employ any of the predecessor’s employees. [emphasis added]
- Truly awful proposal: “2014 HB 366 proposes to prohibit landlords from refusing housing vouchers” [Maryland Legislative Watch, earlier from other states]
- SB 409/HB1197 (Raskin/Hixson) would require restaurants to have at least one staffer on premises at all times with state-accredited training available to discuss food allergies with customers [MdLegWatch]
- House of Delegates panel passes O’Malley’s steep minimum wage hike, though with some amendments [AP, WaPo]
- Sunlight on one of the most dangerous law enforcement practices: SB 468 (Shank) would require state and local agencies to report on asset seizures/forfeitures [Maryland Legislative Watch, Baltimore Sun]
- HB 1253 would empower existing hospice operators to block new competitors through tightened certificate-of-need (CON) regulation [Legiscan, Del. Michael Smigiel, Marc Kilmer/Maryland Public Policy Institute].
- Steep hike in cigarette tax: thank heavens no one’s figured out how to smuggle contraband along I-95, I-70 or we might have trouble [J.D. Tuccille, Reason]
- I spoke Thursday in College Park at a panel on marijuana legalization sponsored by Students for Sensible Drug Policy with panelists Neill Franklin of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Toni Holness of the ACLU of Maryland, and Eric Sterling of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, moderated by Rachelle Yeung of the Marijuana Policy Project. I discussed Cato’s 2010 study by Jeffrey Miron and Katherine Waldock, “The Budgetary Impact of Ending Drug Prohibition“.