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Fired for Being ‘Too Hot,’ New Jersey Woman Claims

Reuters (05/21/12) Chris Francescani

Lauren Odes, a staffing employee who worked at the Native Intimates lingerie company, says she was fired because the Orthodox Jewish owners of the company were uncomfortable with her attire. Odes’s attorney Gloria Allred says she filed a gender and religious discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in New York. Odes says she was warned that her attire was too alluring and that she was asked to wear a red bathrobe to cover one outfit. She says she eventually agreed to purchase a sweater to wear over her dress but was dismissed anyway.

Carey Moving & Storage Partners Announces International Partnership With Foreign Staffing Inc.

PRWeb (05/22/12)

Allied Van Lines International Inc. reports that Spartanburg, SC, Allied agent Carey Moving & Storage has formed a strategic partnership with Foreign Staffing Inc., which specializes in placing permanent, temporary, and contract bilingual personnel with international companies. The partnership is meant to combine the extensive global networks and wide range of services both companies feature, enabling clients to use one entity for global staffing requirements.

Mass Layoffs—April 2012

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (05/22/12)

New data show that staffing was one of the industries with the largest number of layoffs in April. The number of mass layoffs increased by 115 to 1,388 in April from March, according to seasonally adjusted data released on May 22 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each mass layoff involved at least 50 workers from a single employer. Initial claims for unemployment insurance caused by mass layoff events rose by 14,290 in April from March for a total of 135,600. “School and employee bus transportation” was the industry with the most initial claims due to mass layoff events in April with 20,482 claims, followed by temporary help services, with 10,285 initial claims in April.

Autoworkers Pushed to Limit as Many Plants Max Out

USA Today (05/23/12) Chris Woodyard

The automobile industry recovery has forced automakers to push factories and workers to the limit to try to meet increasing demand for new vehicles. Ford Motor and Chrysler Group are eliminating or reducing the annual two-week July shutdown at several plants this summer to add thousands of vehicles to their output.

Automakers have slimmed down in recent years, and have no excess capacity. However, they do not want to open new plants and risk having to close them if demand falters. So as demand rises, they push existing plants and workers harder. Hiring is increasing as well—for example, more than 1,000 jobs are being added at five U.S. plants by Toyota. Chrysler is adding 1,100 jobs on a third shift at the Detroit plant making the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and also just added 1,800 workers in Belvidere, IL, to make the new Dodge Dart. Volkswagen is adding 800 workers at its Chattanooga, TN, plant to run 20 hours a day, six days a week making Passat sedans. Hyundai is adding a third new shift of 877 workers at its Montgomery, AL, plant.

Free ASAPro Webinar Next Thursday—Hiring Military Veterans

ASA encourages all its members to help U.S. military veterans find employment, but that can be easier said than done.

A study by the Apollo Research Institute aims to assist businesses with helping veterans transition from the military to the civilian work force. During the ASAPro Webinar “Hiring Heroes: Transitioning From the Military to the Civilian Work Force–Research Findings of the Apollo Research Institute,” Thursday, May 31, 3–4 p.m. Eastern time, a panel of experts convened by the institute will review findings from the study and discuss topics related to hiring military veterans.

ASAPro Webinars are free for ASA members ($295 for nonmembers) and qualify for continuing education hours toward ASA certification renewal. Register online at

ASA Staffing Law Conference Recordings—Listen Today

Recordings of sessions from the 2012 ASA the Staffing Law Conference are available from ASAPro—the ASA online professional development center. Topics included the do’s and don’ts of electronic record-keeping, insurance issues for staffing firms, federal and state legislative developments, and updates on health care reform.

Individual sessions are $49 for ASA members and $195 for nonmembers. To view the available sessions and make your purchase, log in to your personal ASAPro account and search for the keyword SLC2012. These are audio-only files that include links to PowerPoint slides and any additional resources. Listening to these recordings counts toward the legal continuing education requirement for ASA certification renewal. Listening to these recordings counts towards fulfilling legal CE requirements for ASA certification renewal.

For more information, contact ASA at 703-253-2020 or

USDOJ: Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against New Jersey Information Technology Company for Retaliation

U.S. Department of Justice (05/22/12)

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Whiz International LLC, an information technology staffing company in Jersey City, NJ, regarding allegations that the company violated the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act when it terminated an employee in retaliation for expressing opposition to Whiz’s alleged preference for foreign nationals with temporary work visas. The complaint alleges that the company directed an employee who served as a receptionist and a recruiter to prefer certain noncitizens in its recruitment efforts and then terminated the employee when she expressed discomfort with excluding U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents from consideration.

Court: Americans With Disabilities Act Not a Medical Marijuana Defense

San Diego Reader (05/22/12)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that medical marijuana use is not protected by the Americans With Disabilities Act. “We recognize that the plaintiffs are gravely ill, and that their request for ADA relief implicates not only their right to live comfortably, but also their basic human dignity,” judge Raymond Fisher wrote in the ruling. “Congress has made clear, however, that the ADA defines ‘illegal drug use’ by reference to federal, rather than state, law, and federal law does not authorize the plaintiffs’ medical marijuana use. We therefore necessarily conclude that the plaintiffs’ medical marijuana use is not protected by the ADA.”

OSHA to Turn Up the Heat on Heat-Related Illness

Lexology (05/14/12) Amanda Strainis-Walker; Eric Conn

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is reminding employers with outdoor workplaces about the agency’s focus on the hazards of working in high heat. OSHA’s heat-related illness campaign began in 2011, when it produced a great deal of public information about heat-related illness, including a dedicated heat illness information page on OSHA’s Web site, a YouTube video, news releases, and even a heat safety smart phone app.

OSHA’s four-step program for employers with outdoor work sites includes developing a heat-related illness prevention plan; training employees in an organization’s heat-related illness prevention plan and safe work practices before they are required to work outside in the heat; tracking the weather at outdoor work sites daily; and implementing the heat-related illness prevention plan when the heat index is at or above 80°F.

Small Businesses Reporting Increases in Hiring and Sales

PR Newswire (05/23/12)

Small businesses with 250 or fewer employees are reporting stronger sales and increased hiring plans, according to ASA corporate partner CareerBuilder’s latest nationwide study. Nearly one-third said their sales increased over the past two quarters and nearly half expect sales to increase over the next two quarters. Nineteen percent added permanent employees over the past two quarters, and 24% expect to add permanent employees over the next two quarters. “While still cautious, the increased sales and hiring activity among small businesses bodes well for where the market is headed,” says Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America.

Finance and Accounting Employee Confidence Index Reaches Four-Year High

MarketWatch (05/22/12)

The Mergis Group Finance and Accounting Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. finance and accounting workers, increased 8.5 points to 57.8 in the first quarter of 2012, the highest level in four years. The survey found that more finance and accounting workers are confident about the strength of the economy and in the availability of jobs, while 49% are confident in their ability to find a new job, despite the current job market remaining highly competitive. Nearly one in three accounting and finance workers said they are likely to look for new jobs within the next 12 months. The Mergis Group is now a part of Randstad.