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34 Lab. & Emp. L. 1 (2005-2006)

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    Section of Labor and

Aerican ar Association


Hurricane Katrina roared into the
(mit toast areas of Louisiana, Mis-
sissippil and Alabama, causing mas-
sive flooding and devastating the
lives of over a million people in New
Orleans and the Gulf Coast region.
The area suffered tremendous loss
of life and property, and the health

and safety perils compelled the
evacuation of thousands of families
to inland cities and areas of the
country. Then, Hurricane Rita
struck Texas and Louisiana, bring-
ing with it more flooding and prop-
erty damage and additional loss of
life. While you are undoubtedly

aware of these hurricanes and the
horrendous havoc they caused, I
would like to share with you the ac-
tions the Section of Labor and Em-
ployment Law has taken to respond
to the impact of the two hurricanes.
   Within the first 10 days after
Hurricane Katrina struck New Or-
leans and the Gulf Coast, Section
officers authorized a $10,000 con-
tribution to the Red Cross relief
efforts and established the Section
New Orleans/Gulf Coast Disaster
Task Force. The task force consists
of Section officers and council
members, Section members from
the Gulf Coast region, and repre-
sentatives of our Pro Bono, CLE,
and Equal Opportunity in the Legal
Profession (EOLP) Administrative
Committees. E-mails were sent to
all members of the Section, inform-
ing them of the establishment of
our task force and providing a link
to the ABA task force website for
current information about the re-
lief efforts and opportunities for
volunteers to assist victims.
   Led by our Employment Rights
and Responsibilities (ERR) Stand-
ing Committee Officers and Mem-
bers, and assisted by the EEO, CLE,
EOLP, and Pro Bono Committees
and the Section staff, a free national
teleconference was held Friday,

September 30, 2005, to discuss the
many labor and employment issues
arising from these disasters, in-
cluding Disaster Unemployment
Assistance; payment of wages
earned but not paid; FMLA and
WARN Act issues; affirmative action,
clean-up, and Davis-Bacon obliga-
tions of federal contractors; ADA
and OSHA issues; and union issues
relating to dislocated workers.
Section members and representa-
tives of the EEOC and U.S. Depart-
ment of Labor spoke during this
free conference, in which approxi-
mately 700 lawyers participated
by telephone.
   The Section previously partici-
pated in a free national teleconfer-
ence on Thursday, September 22,
2005, concerning issues faced by
employers and employee benefits
plans as a result of the Katrina and
Rita disasters. This teleconference
was arranged by the six ABA Sec-
tions that participate in the ABA
Joint Conference on Employee
Benefits, including the Section of
Labor and Employment Law and
the American College of Employee
Benefit Counsel.
   The Section New Orleans/Gulf
Coast Disaster Task Force has
requested ideas and suggestions
               continued on page 2

Section Responds to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

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