UPS Retaliates?? What a Surprise!

       Appeals court finds retaliation claim against UPS valid, but judgment ‘excessive’

DENVER—The United Parcel Service likely retaliated against an injured worker when it blocked him from returning to work with lifting restrictions, according to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

However, the court said a $2 million judgment against UPS in the case was “excessive,” because the company’s actions only caused monetary harm to Keith Jones, a former UPS package car driver and plaintiff in Jones vs. United Parcel Service Inc.

Mr. Jones of Kansas City, Kan., claimed that UPS violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when the company said a lifting restriction, caused by a 2003 shoulder injury, prevented him from working any job within UPS, court filings show. A company-appointed doctor restricted him from lifting more than 20 pounds overhead after his injury, though UPS carriers are routinely required to lift packages weighing up to 70 pounds overhead.

Two doctors who evaluated Mr. Jones in 2004 said he was later able to lift 70 pounds. But they testified that discussions with Monica Sloan, a UPS occupational health manager, prevented them from removing his lifting restrictions.

Subsequently, Mr. Jones was unable to return to UPS. He argued that the company retaliated against him for filing a workers compensation claim for his shoulder injury.

In a 2-1 ruling on Monday, the appeals court said Mr. Jones’ retaliation claim is valid because Ms. Sloan, “on multiple occasions, intentionally interfered with the doctors’ medical evaluations in an attempt to prevent Jones from returning to work.” The court also ruled that punitive damages were appropriate in light of Ms. Sloan’s actions.

However, it said a $2 million jury award is excessive because Ms. Sloan “did not act with disregard for the health and safety of others,” and that her “conduct was not so reprehensible” to warrant such a large award. A $630,300 jury award to Mr. Jones for actual damages in the UPS case was affirmed by the appeals court.

Mr. Jones can choose to pursue a new jury trial in order to determine punitive damages in the case, the appeal court said.

Sheena Harrison, Business Insurance

Money, Money, Money

UPS 3Q Profit Rises 5 Percent, Keeps Year View




     The most dramatic slowdown in UPS’ business from last year was in shipments from China to the U.S. Americans pulled back on spending this summer amid debt talk uncertainty in Washington and growing fears of another recession. UPS said volume fell between Asia and U.S. in the third quarter; a year ago, it leaped by 47 percent.
     To counteract the slowdown there, UPS is using fewer planes to cut costs. But in a conference call with analysts, UPS Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn said the cuts weren’t enough to account for the steep decline in demand. If American consumers pull back further, the company said it will make more adjustments, mostly by redeploying planes to parts of the world where business is better.
     Higher prices and fuel surcharges helped drive results in the third quarter. Operating profit in its international segment fell 2.4 percent. Operating profit also fell at the company’s core U.S. package business, but rose 10 percent for supply chain and freight. The supply chain unit provides a number of services for companies including help with warehouse and shipping efficiency. It’s growing as more companies look for ways to reduce costs.
     United Parcel Service Inc. made more money from its fuel surcharge plan in the quarter as oil prices fell rapidly. In times when prices are falling quickly, UPS — which charges customers a surcharge based on the price of oil — benefits because the charge lags actual prices by about two months.
     UPS shares fell $1.52, or 2.1 percent, to close at $69.35 Tuesday.

Makes Sense to Me

Warren Buffett – How to Fix Congress

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best
quotes about the debt ceiling:
     “I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law
that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all
sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election
     The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only
3 months &8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That
was in 1971…before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
     Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less
to become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.
     Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum
of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do
     In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the
message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
     Congressional Reform Act of 2011
     1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when
they are out of office.
     2. Congress (past, present &future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security
system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system,
and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for
any other purpose.
     3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans
     4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay
will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
     5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the
same health care system as the American people.
     6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American
     7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective
1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen.
Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress
is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen
legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to
     If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take
three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it
is time.

We Don’t Need No Stinking Union

Wal-Mart cuts health coverage for some, charges other employees more

By Anne D’Innocenzio
The Associated Press

Michael Hall, Walmart Express customer service, helps Marian Faulkner with her bags Wednesday Oct. 19, 2011 at the new Walmart Express in Snow Hill, N.C. (The Free Press | Janet S. Carter)

     NEW YORK — Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation’s largest private employer, is scaling back the eligibility for health care coverage offered to future part-timers and dramatically raising premiums for many of its full-time workers. Industry observers say the changes could have implications for millions of other workers, as more companies on the fence could replicate its moves.
     The discounter, which employs more than 1.4 million workers, said the changes were forced by rising health care costs. All future part-time employees working less than 24 hours a week, on average, will not be covered under the plan, starting next year.
     Premiums will rise for many existing workers, and the company will reduce by half the amount it contributes for each worker to help pay for health care expenses not covered under their plan. Tobacco users will be particularly hit hard, seeing premiums more than double, compared with increases of as much as 41 percent for singles, according to Making Change at Wal-Mart, a group backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which has been pressuring Wal-Mart on worker rights.
     “Health care costs are continuing to go up faster than anyone would like,” said Greg Rossiter, a Wal-Mart spokesman. “It is a difficult decision to raise rates. But we are striking a balance between managing costs and providing quality care and coverage.” He emphasized that Wal-Mart’s health care coverage remains “top tier” among its peers.
     A number of companies have been looking for ways to cut health care costs and have been shifting more of the burden to their employees. The costs of employer-sponsored health insurance surged 9 percent this year, according to a report released last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust. But Drew Altman, president and chief executive of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said that a big package of cuts from one company is unusual.
     “While we do see increases in cost sharing, this is unusual and is outside the bounds,” Altman said. “I don’t think this will have a major impact on those who tend to do a little bit of everything to control costs, but it could provide more cover for other employers who are looking to move in that direction.” Only about 42 percent of overall companies offer health care coverage to part-timers, according to Kaiser.

Organizing Reachs New High

                                               Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Join Union

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Union officials say hundreds of Colorado medical marijuana workers have joined the United Food and Commercial Workers Union to get more political clout.

Dispensary representatives say the union label fits because they believe medical marijuana is part of the retail health care, agriculture, and food processing industry.

The Colorado union chapter has about 25,000 members representing grocery, pharmacy, agriculture workers, food processors, meat cutters, textile workers, and health care workers.

It is the largest union in Colorado.

The union said the medical cannabis retail industry employs more than 8,000 workers and contributes tens of millions of tax dollars to the Colorado economy.


Rich Man’s Revolutionary

UPS driver information