Thursday, July 13, 2006

Labor Standards? What are those? Where are they?

This Division, owned by the larger Dept. of Industrial Relations, may have painted themselves into a corner by firing former DLSE attorney Miles Locker. If “Office of the Director” attorneys Tony Mischel or Bob Jones had to look inside a crystal ball and peer into the future, then they might see themselves on the dark side of a wrongful termination lawsuit. If their actions against Miles Locker could be construed as personal (thus outside their scope of their official position), then couldn't that make their houses, cars and other possessions up for grabs (quick put everything into the wife’s name, just in case)? Where will the testimony of Bob Jones start (as the Labor Commissioner) and when will it stop (citing attorney-client privilege as the DLSE Chief Counsel)? Important questions indeed. Hopefully some of these questions will be explored on July 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th in Sacramento. That’s how many days the DLSE has reserved with the State Personnel Board to justify their termination of one of the best attorneys working for the people of California.

It will be important to paint this agency as the agency that sets the standards for labor and employment law in the state of California. After all, this Division is called the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. If any employer in California should set the example for others to follow, should it not be this Division? Once the DLSE’s actions against Miles Locker are a matter of public record (who did what to whom and when), where will those “labor standards” be posted for all to see? Sunlight is the best disinfectant.


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