Th Cleveland Law Library's Board Vice-President Carla Tricarichi has won a $14.7 million dollar victory for railroad workers in a federal court case that took 43 years to wind its way through the system. As a Plain Dealer article explains, the suit, which may be one of the oldest ones in the country, was brought by the workers for seniority, pay and health-care benefits they claimed they lost when Pennsylvania Railroad merged with New York Central Railroad. According to the article, many of the workers are now deceased so there are a number of estates that will receive the proceeds if the judgment is ever paid and not appealed. Although the case started out in Cleveland under former Judge Thomas Lambros, it was moved to Philadelphia, where the judge rendered the $14.7 million decision against the underwriter for the defunct Penn Central.
A new article from Columbus Business First suggests that more lawyers are joining or creating virtual law firms with huge benefits. According to the attorneys who were interviewed from Ohio and elsewhere, virtual firms offer the opportunity to work less, eliminate overhead costs, spend more time with clients, and bill less. The last benefit may not seem like a benefit, but the lawyers indicated that lower fees means more clients find the attorneys affordable, thereby garnering the attorneys more clients and raising their income. Thanks to the OSBA for the link to this article.
As Kohrman Jackson & Krantz's blog indicates, the federal minimum wage increased law Fridayon July 24, 2009 to $7.25 per hour. However, it is still $.05 less than Ohio's minimum wage, which increased to $7.30 on January 1st of this year pursuant to section 34a of the Ohio Constitution. That difference means Ohio's higher rate controls. Barring federal increases, the spread will get larger every January when Ohio's rate increases on an annualized basis. According to the blog, Ohio is 1 of 14 states where the state minimum exceeds the federal standard.
The Ohio Legislative Service Commission has updated its Members Only Brief on OVI and OVUAC law and added 3 new briefs on Ohio Immunization Laws, Unemployment Benefits, and Ohio's Public Retirement Systems:
According to the Plain Dealer, a group called Ohioans for Healthy Families has gathered more than the required number of signatures that could put an issue on the ballot in November to guarantee full-time employees who work at companies with 25 or more workers 7 days of paid sick leave per year. Part-time employees would be entitled to pro-rated, paid sick leave. There have been a lot of articles lately about attempts by Ohio Governor Strickland to hammer out a compromise package that would not go to the voters. The Plain Dealer article indicates that select groups, including Ohioans to Protect Jobs and Fair Benefits, are concerned about the impact required, paid days off would have on Ohio employers and businesses. Interestingly, Ohio would lead the nation if sick leave becomes mandatory. Click here to read the text of the proposed Ohio Healthy Families Act, that would add Chapter 4114 to the Ohio Revised Code in Title 41, governing Labor and Industry.