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AISD Approves Employee Policy (Finally)
Six months of delays leads to 6-1-1 vote
DAILY News  April 24, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...After months of delays, changes and unnecessary ugliness, the AISD Board of Trustees has finally revised its policy dealing with employee relations...."

Employee of the Month
Assorted workers vie for the coveted title of "Employee of the Month."
Film Review  October 13, 2006, by Marc Savlov
"...Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle proved that the stoner/slacker comedy genre can generate films of sublime humor, if only once every 10 years or so. Employee of the Month mines similar comic pyrite but moves the setting to a gigantic, Costco-like retail outlet and replaces actors with what appear to be cyborgs..."

Are City Employee Pensions at Risk?
Pension systems in Dallas and Houston have been beat up by bad spending.
News Story  February 23, 2017, by Margaret Nicklas
"...Public pension systems – funds that pay out retirement income to city employees, based on years of service and contributions made during employment – often face similar hurdles as people planning private retirement: Saving for tomorrow competes with spending that same money today. A city strained for resources may look to skimp on contributing to its employees' retirement funds, or even borrow from those funds to cover other priorities, just as an individual might pull money from an IRA before retirement, with plans to return that money later on..."

What About an Employee Owned and Operated Cab Company?
Postmarks  May 2, 2006
"...( Union Cab is employee owned and operated and has been so successfully since 1979..."

What About Employee Rights?
Postmarks  October 6, 2009
"...I was suspended for two days, forced to attend a sexual harassment retraining class, and still have this on my record. There was also another complaint of the same nature from the same person, filed on another employee that was not investigated (the accused was a female; I am male)..."

Fired TEA Employee Files Appeal
Former director of science curriculum disputes TEA's 'neutrality' on creationism
News Story  August 21, 2009, by Lee Nichols
"...5, Comer challenged that decision in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, again disputing the constitutionality of the policy and charging that firing an employee to uphold an unconstitutional policy is in itself an unconstitutional act...."

Two Days, One Night
Marion Cotillard becomes the face of the working class in the latest Dardenne brothers' gem of social realism.
Film Review  February 6, 2015, by Josh Kupecki
"...Cotillard is Sandra, a working-class mother employed at a solar panel manufacturing company in a Belgian town, who, upon returning to work after a leave of absence due to a bout of depression, is told she’s been sacked. In her absence, and under questionable circumstances, Sandra’s coworkers have voted to cut up her salary as a substantial bonus for them instead of keeping her on as an employee..."

When authority is ceded to a disembodied voice on the other end of a phone line, all bounds of human propriety are lost in this story's fast-food joint.
Film Review  September 7, 2012, by Marc Savlov
"...It's like something out of a horror movie, but much, much worse: Compliance is based on actual events that occurred at a Kentucky McDonald's in 2004. During that incident, an employee was forcibly strip-searched by her boss when a perverse prank caller, who pretended to be a police officer, telephoned the eatery and described a (nonexistent) theft by said employee..."

Council Approves Workplace Nondiscrimination Measure
City manager to review current policies
DAILY News  March 25, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...“My career at the city has been marked by discrimination, harassment, and retaliation,” said Sarah Fusco, a city employee since 2007, before Council on Thursday, March 25...."

City Budget
Public safety spared; fee increases and other cuts likely
News Story  July 24, 2009, by Wells Dunbar
"...Among the highlights: preserving existing library hours and funding for supervised playground programs and little-league teams, and proceeding with the upcoming police cadet class. Yet talk of employee furloughs drew concern from rank-and-file employees and City Council members alike, and questions still persist about the overall inclusiveness of the annual budgeting exercise...."

Heist comedy stars Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, and Kristin Wiig
Film Review  October 7, 2016, by Steve Davis
"...It’s cracked from the get-go. Loosely based on the 1997 robbery of a Loomis Fargo vault by seemingly dim-witted employee David Ghantt (a then-record $17 million payday!), the stranger-than-fiction premise about a romantically besotted buffoon (Galifianakis) who recklessly risks imprisonment to win over the trailer-trash femme fatale (Wiig) enlisting him to commit the crime is pilfered by the film’s sense of scattershot humor..."

Police, EMS Staffers Not Happy
Employee surveys show low morale
News Story  June 16, 2016, by Chase Hoffberger
"...Elsewhere on the Public Safety Labor Associations Morale Survey Beat, results from this winter's questionnaire sent out to EMTs and paramedics in the Austin-Travis County EMS Employee Association are back, and nobody there is happier. The survey, second in a series of local studies conducted by UT professor Noel Landuyt, suggests that 43% of medics feel disengaged with the department and 41% feel only moderately engaged (57% of the department's uniformed staff of about 450 completed the survey)..."

Bloodsucking Bastards
Cubicle horrors: Vampires bloody the workplace
Film Review  September 4, 2015, by Marc Savlov
"...Kranz (The Cabin in the Woods’ lovable, paranoid stoner) is Evan, a midlevel employee of a soulless corporation that’s just been taken over by the suit-and-tie smarm-master Max (Pascal). The fact that Evan and Max already have plenty of bad blood – no pun intended – between them due to Max’s dalliance with Evan’s girlfriend and future human-resources head (ha!) Amanda (Fitzpatrick) back in college is mined for throwaway jokes galore..."

John Wick
Keanu Reeves and the filmmakers deliver the goods in this well-constructed revenge picture.
Film Review  October 24, 2014, by William Goss
"...Sadly for them, such a promising new friendship isn’t long for this world, as John and his furry friend are assaulted by Iosef (Allen) and his merry band of thugs once they set their sights on Wick's ’69 Mustang. Luckily for us, what Iosef doesn’t realize is that Wick was a former employee of his father, NYC kingpin Viggo (Nyqvist), and remains a hitman of remarkable prowess when it comes to turning his well-justified quest for vengeance against the underworld he had once left...."

Austin ISD Considers Teacher Job Security
Trustees vote tonight on returning to three year contracts
DAILY News  February 24, 2014, by Richard Whittaker
"...The anti-public education right has made tenure in education – or any teacher job security – a dirty term. So it took extraordinary circumstances for the supposedly progressive Austin ISD to weaken employee job security..."

Gimme the Loot
This prize-winning indie debut follows two wannabe graffiti artists on one long night.
Film Review  May 17, 2013, by Monica Riese
"...So, yes, in Independent Spirit Award and South by Southwest 2012 Grand Jury-winning narrative feature Gimme the Loot, young graffiti artists Sofia (Washington), a softer, perhaps not-too-distant cousin of The Wire’s Snoop, and Malcolm aka Shakes (Hickson), her hapless partner, are looking for some permanent street cred by planning to tag one of New York City’s biggest icons: the apple at the Mets’ Citi Field (née Shea Stadium). Trouble is, they need to come up with $500 to pay off a stadium employee; so begins their epic quest..."

Medi-Pot Patient Sues Wal-Mart
Man survives cancer, but not Wal-Mart
DAILY News  July 12, 2010, by Jordan Smith
"...How does Wal-Mart prove that it doesn't mistreat its workers? By firing a model employee with an inoperable brain tumor after finding out he uses medi-pot, that's how...."

Ott's Bad News Budget
City manager announces hiring freeze, suspension of wage review
DAILY News  January 16, 2009, by Richard Whittaker
"...City Manager Marc Ott has just released a memo to all city employees with the subject line Budget Challenges that lays out a pretty bleak future for city spending and hiring...."

Curious George
It’s not perfect, but this big-screen debut of H.A. Rey’s lovable monkey is faithful to George’s gentle spirit while fully exploiting the possibilities of old-school, two-dimensional animation.
Film Review  February 10, 2006, by Marrit Ingman
"...But bumbling as parents are, it is still them alone their children want. The screenplay skims off some of the source material’s hinky bits in sending museum employee Ted (Ferrell) to deepest, darkest Africa in search of a legendary ape idol..."

El Crimen Perfecto
This new black comedy by Spanish absurdist De la Iglesia involves murder and the plight of a playboy blackmailed into marriage.
Film Review  September 23, 2005, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...He runs his department as though he were the maestro of a beauty contest: all the saleswomen are chic and pert, and ever ready for an after-hours assignation in one of the dressing rooms or bedroom suites on display. But then an accidental death occurs and Rafael disposes of the body but, as a result, becomes blackmailed into marriage by the store’s homeliest employee, Lourdes (Cervera)..."

The Clearing
Despite the contributions of Robert Redford, Helen Mirren, and Willem Dafoe, The Clearing is a psychological thriller sans suspense.
Film Review  July 9, 2004, by Marc Savlov
"...Everything appears as blissfully placid as the surface of the couple’s gorgeous swimming pool, until one evening Wayne fails to return from work. As it turns out, he’s been kidnapped by Arnold Mack (Dafoe in full fidget mode), an ex-employee who promptly drives Wayne into the wooded countryside and orders him on a lengthy march toward a cabin in the high Smokey Mountains where, presumably, cohorts await with a phone and ransom demands..."

Jonathan Mostow's recent U-boat battle film U-571 was a mediocre popcorn picture that seemed -- for all the authentic Nazi regalia and scowling sea dogs, blustery sea wash, and, uh,...
Film Review  May 10, 2002, by Marc Savlov
"...Apted's film takes this satisfying background and wraps it up in a love story, although whether it's a love between a man and a woman or between a man and the arcane world of mathematical probabilities is open to debate. Scott plays Tom Jericho, the codebreaker's codebreaker, and a man whose been driven off his rails by his barely requited love for Burrows' gamine Claire Rommiley, a sexpot Bletchley employee whose earthy blond charms are so maddening to Jericho that he literally offers to tell her Bletchley's secrets if only she'll return his calls..."

A Man in Uniform
McCamus is Henry, a bookish bank employee and struggling actor who manages to land a part as tough guy Officer Flanagan in the hit television show Crime Wave, an NYPD...
Film Review  September 9, 1994, by Marc Savlov
"...Starring: Tom McCamus, Brigitte Bako, David Hemblen and Kevin Tighe. McCamus is Henry, a bookish bank employee and struggling actor who manages to land a part as tough guy Officer Flanagan in the hit television show Crime Wave, an NYPD Blue knockoff that looks as cheesy as it sounds..."

True Romance
Written by wunderkind Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs) and directed by Tony Scott (Top Gun), True Romance is nothing if not consistently entertaining. It's the prototypical chase film, complete with a...
Film Review  September 17, 1993, by Marc Savlov
"...It's the prototypical chase film, complete with a misappropriated suitcase full of cocaine and several groups of killers on the trail of our heroes. Slater is Clarence Worley, a Detroit comic-shop employee who suddenly finds himself caught up in a whirlwind romance with the blonde Alabama (Arquette), a gorgeous hooker (“I've only been on the job four days,” she tells him) and the object of his sudden, unprecedented True Romance..."

Building Bombs and Deadly Deception
Hot on the heels of having won the well-deserved Academy Award for Best Documentary Short only a couple of days ago, Chasnoff's Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons & Our...
Film Review  April 3, 1992, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Only information gained through the Freedom of Information Act began answering some of their questions. From there, the video switches its focus to GE's Knolls Atomic Power Lab in Schenectady and introduces further testimony, as well as presenting the repercussions faced by an employee whistle-blower..."

Chicago Whole Foods Protest Reaches Austin
Nationwide petition demands reinstatement of fired worker
DAILY News  February 17, 2014, by Michael King
"...On Friday, Feb. 14, a group of Austin workers joined Whole Foods employees in Chicago demanding the reinstatement of Rhiannon Broschat, a Chicago employee who was fired Jan..."

A Letter to Alberta
Leffingwell blasts the Statesman for their public safety scaremongering
DAILY News  April 10, 2009, by Wells Dunbar
"... Public safety costs make up two-thirds of general fund spending. Would you support freezing or cutting the pay of police officers, firefighters and EMS employees? How would you control costs?..."

Broken News
Times Warner's struggling news channel lashes out at defectors
News Story  July 14, 2000, by Erica C. Barnett
"...Few reporters will stick it out long enough to reach that level by choice. Maybe that's why Time Warner felt it had to lock its employees into lengthy (by any standard) three-year contracts, and why it has shown an unusual willingness to try to ensure that its employees stay loyal..."

East Austin Nonprofit Mired in Controversy CEACO Sinking
News Story  March 4, 1999, by Kayte VanScoy
"...The East Austin organization appears to be floundering in the face of funding hardships and administrative blunders. That conclusion is drawn based on exhaustive reviews of contracts between CEACO and its funding sources, internal CEACO memoranda, and interviews with one former CEACO employee, its executive director, deputy director, and board president, and others in the nonprofit community familiar with the agency..."

The Common Law
Wrongful termination
Columns  May 6, 2005, by Luke Ellis and Nathan Moss
"...Can you explain what a wrongful termination suit is? When it comes down to he said/she said between an employer and employee, who does the law favor in a wrongful termination suit?..."

The Common Law
Family and Medical Leave Act – Do I Qualify?
Columns  February 23, 2007, by Vanessa Gonzalez
"...The Family and Medical Leave Act enables an eligible employee to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period because of: 1) birth and care of the employee's child or placement for adoption or foster care of a child with the employee, 2) care of an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) who has a serious health condition, or 3) care of the employee's own serious health condition...."

The Boys Club
Female employees say gender discrimination persists at City Hall. Could a new resolution fix the broken system?
News Story  August 11, 2016, by Mary Tuma
"...A loyal City of Austin employee of nearly three decades, Mapi Vigil felt she had earned a move up the career ladder. Encouraged by her supervisors, the Austin Watershed Protection Department managing engineer applied for an assistant director position..."

The Common Law
Family and Medical Leave Act – what rights does the employer have?
Columns  March 1, 2007, by Vanessa Gonzalez
"...In last week's column, the eligibility requirements for employees who want to request leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act was discussed. This week's column will discuss the employer's rights under FMLA..."

Raped by the Players
A lawsuit against an Austin dot-com firm reveals a world of fast times.
News Story  January 18, 2002, by Jordan Smith
"...In December, Capece lost her suit against the Web-hosting and e-commerce company NaviSite Inc., despite being raped twice in a single evening by two of the company's managers. The managers had already escaped criminal charges -- at least partly due to an apparently incomplete investigation by Travis County Sheriff's deputies -- and Capece had reached a confidential settlement with her alleged assailants before her attorneys unsuccessfully took NaviSite to court for its failures to train or control its senior employees...."

High Stress at EMS
ATCEMS saves lives every day, but the stresses of the job have high costs
News Story  May 7, 2015, by Chase Hoffberger
"...1993 Chronicle exposé of the department (available with this story online) quoted Wuertz saying that the system was "stretched as tight as it can be." In a letter to former City Manager Camille Barnett, Wuertz dug deeper. "Employees accrued more vacation time than the department can allow without exceeding overtime funding to provide additional coverage," he wrote..."

Are Anonymous Bloggers Protected by First Amendment?
That's the question before the Texas Supreme Court
DAILY News  November 7, 2013, by Jordan Smith
"...Reynolds & Reynolds, a developer and supplier of car dealer management computer systems based in Ohio, combined with Texas-based Universal Computer Systems in 2006, in what court records describe as a highly controversial takeover. Soon after the merger there were layoffs, the newly combined company lost clients, and employee satisfaction "dramatically decreased," according to court filings connected to the current case..."

The Common Law
E-Mail Privacy–Can My Boss Read My Emails?
Columns  May 19, 2006, by Brandy Wingate and Luke Ellis
"...Does an employee have a right of privacy in e-mails sent over an employer's e-mail system?..."

Pondering the Props
The ballot language of the proposed charter amendments, with Chronicle translations
News Story  March 24, 2006, by Michael King
"...Prop. 6: Shall the City Charter be amended to restore a city employee's ability to purchase additional benefit coverage, by repealing Article IX, Section 4 (Employee Benefits) of the City Charter?..."

No Commitment Necessary
As the economy takes a dive, many high tech workers find themselves stuck on the temping treadmill
News Story  March 9, 2001, by Erica C. Barnett
"...And perhaps more than ever, these are tough times to be a temp. Consider the 750 temporary employees whose jobs were eliminated by Applied Materials last month, or the 100 temps laid off at Motorola a few weeks before that..."

AISD Union Leaders Butt Heads Over Insurance Costs
Low-wage workers pay more for increase in health plan rates
News Story  July 12, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...AISD is currently holding open enrollment for its employee insurance, and educating staff that premiums will double for their top-level package (see "School District Staff Face Big Health Care Rate Hike," June 7.) In June, six district employees at Becker Elementary filed a formal grievance with the district, arguing that the hike places a disproportionate burden on its lowest-paid employees: They already pay more per paycheck than many of their AISD colleagues, and will see the biggest increase. Joaquin Abrego, a labor organizer with the Southwest Workers Union, said, "You put 131% on anything, that's a lot."..."

Inhuman Resources
City HR employees rebel over director's actions, city response
News Story  November 23, 2007, by Wells Dunbar
"...The bureaucratic face of the city's Human Resources Department – charged with managing the city's hiring and firing and monitoring its treatment of employees, among other matters – is in the ordinary course of events, fairly unremarkable, even boring. HR's mission statement – "To help the City of Austin departments attract, motivate, and develop qualified, diverse and productive employees" – sounds cheerful enough, even vaguely progressive..."

Blame Abounds in King Shooting
The police shooting of a mentally ill East Austin woman has officers defending their actions and critics raising eyebrows.
News Story  June 21, 2002, by Jordan Smith
"...According to APD, the three officers who arrived at King's apartment the following morning found King highly agitated; she'd already thrown numerous articles of clothing and items from her kitchen onto the lawn. A housing authority employee stood by the pile, taking pictures for the agency's files..."

How to Raise Worker Wages
Organize, arrive, persist, persist, persist
News Story  March 30, 2017, by Jack Craver
"...That was the question Dan Gillotte, general manager of Wheatsville Co-op, asked himself two years ago at the beginning of an arduous process to provide every employee of the local grocery stores with a living wage. The question marks the balance that every employer must strike – but for Wheatsville, sustained complaints from underpaid workers threatened to undermine its image as an ethical and mission-driven community business..."

Is Something Rotten at Wheatsville Co-op?
Workers call for co-op to implement living wage standard
News Story  May 21, 2015, by Amy Kamp
"...Wheatsville is no stranger to campaigns for higher standards. The co-op took part in the United Farm Workers grape boycott in the Seventies, and just recently its members passed a ban on the sale of Eden organic products, after that company announced it would no longer provide insurance coverage for employee birth control (see "Wheatsville Drops Eden Foods," Nov..."

Getting off the Road
Rail will help, roads will help – but so will your decision not to drive today
News Story  June 26, 2014, by Robyn Ross
"...TDM happens through executive-level decisions, such as major employers allowing telecommuting, and individual choices, like an employee's decision to take the bus on Tuesdays instead of driving. Austin doesn't have a central command center for TDM – the city, CAMPO, TxDOT, and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce all encourage it – although a local nonprofit called Movability Austin has the express purpose of helping Downtown employers implement TDM..."

GOP Politics Only at State Water Board
Politics is off-limits at the state Water Board – unless you're a Republican
News Story  December 21, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...She was being terminated from her job with the Texas Water Development Board after six years of employment, allegedly for violating the board's "ethics policy" related to engaging in political activity while on state time. Specifically, according to the section of the employee manual cited in the termination memo, "An employee shall not engage in any political activity while on state time or utilize state resources for any political activity."..."

GOP Politics Only at State Water Board
Employee fired for emails about Shea campaign
DAILY News  December 18, 2012, by Jordan Smith
"...Specifically, according to the section of the employee manual cited in the termination memo, “An employee shall not engage in any political activity while on state time or utilize state resources for any political activity.”..."

The Common Law
Family and Medical Leave Act – options if FMLA leave is denied
Columns  March 9, 2007, by Vanessa Gonzalez
"...If violations cannot be satisfactorily resolved, the department may bring action in court to compel compliance. An eligible employee may bring a private civil action against an employer for violations..."

The Common Law
Do I Qualify for Unemployment Benefits?
Columns  May 5, 2006, by Brandy Wingate and Luke Ellis
"...• The employee was laid off due to lack of work...."

A Question of Fairness
Austin voters will have another chance to broaden city insurance coverage
News Story  March 24, 2006, by Wells Dunbar
"...22 onto the municipal ballot and then onward to victory. The proposition repealed a forward-thinking city council initiative, enacted the previous September, offering insurance benefits to the unmarried partners of city employees or other adults living in their homes..."

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