ProfNet Experts Available on Fast-Food Wages, Whistleblowing, Detroit's Bankruptcy

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Aug 12, 2013, 13:58 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area. If you are interested in interviewing any of the experts, please contact them via the contact information at the end of the listing. To receive these updates by email, send a note to with the industries you cover, and we'll add you to the appropriate edition. 

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  • Fast-Food Wage Rebellion: Long Odds for Workers
  • Blowing the Whistle
  • The Impact of Detroit's Bankruptcy


  • Staff Writer – The Flume (CO)
  • Sports Copy Editor – The Lima News (OH)
  • Copy Editor – Bauer Publishing (NJ)


  • Media 411: Get to Know the NLGJA
  • Grammar Hammer: That Which Doesn't Kill Us Makes Us Stronger
  • Anatomy of a Perfect Pitch: Reporters Share Query Responses That Hit the Mark



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Fast-Food Wage Rebellion: Long Odds for Workers
Curt Grimm
Professor and Charles A. Taff Chair of Economics and Strategy
University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
"Income inequality is one of the key economic issues of our time. It has significantly increased over the past 30 years and continues to do so. We will see more and more of such efforts to raise wages. Fast-food workers will find it very difficult to gain both wages and jobs. Companies have the option to substitute technology for workers, as continues to be the trend throughout the economy. Computer ordering, rather than server ordering, is on the horizon in table service, fast-casual and-fast food restaurants. In short, restaurant workers have little leverage. Their best outcome would be an increase in the federal minimum wage as proposed by President Obama."
Grimm's research has focused on the interface of business and public policy with strategic management, with a particular emphasis on competition, competition policy, deregulation and microeconomic reform.
Media Contact: Greg Muraski,

Blowing the Whistle
Michael Stockham
Thompson & Knight, Dallas
"Employees who report suspected corporate wrongdoing are not automatically safe from employer retaliation under federal whistleblower laws, according to a recent federal ruling. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that only those who file complaints directly with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), rather than through internal channels, should expect federal protections under the Dodd-Frank Act. This decision creates some uncertainty for whistle-blowers, but won't change the significant risks that companies already face from whistle-blowers. This may lead to an uptick in complaints being made directly to the SEC as employees bypass corporate compliance channels and go first to the SEC to assure their place in line for financial recoveries and protections against being fired or disciplined. The court's decision is based on the plain text of the statute, so it may well be adopted by other appellate courts."
Media Contact: Barry Pound,

The Impact of Detroit's Bankruptcy
Ira Herman
Thompson & Knight, New York
"There have been fewer than 500 municipal bankruptcies filed since the 1930s, when changes to federal law first allowed cities to seek bankruptcy protection. Now that Detroit has filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, elected officials, labor leaders, municipal bond market participants and legal experts across the nation are focused on the Motor City. While other cities face economic pressures, the level of Detroit's debt relative to its operating leverage is probably greater than in any other city. Detroit's bankruptcy most assuredly will be precedent-setting. The key economic and legal question is to what extent a Chapter 9 bankruptcy filed under federal law can be used to modify a city's obligations to its workforce, retirees and municipal bondholders, despite state laws guaranteeing payment of these obligations."
Media Contact: Barry Pound,



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  • MEDIA 411: GET TO KNOW THE NLGJA. If you've never heard of The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, then read on to find out more about this media association which has been around since 1990.
  • GRAMMAR HAMMER: THAT WHICH DOES NOT KILL US MAKES US STRONGER. Nietzsche's famous quote served as the lead-in for this week's topic – when to use that vs. which. Cathy Spicer, aka The Grammar Hammer, helps us decide *which* one to use:
  • ANATOMY OF A PERFECT PITCH: REPORTERS SHARE QUERY RESPONSES THAT HIT THE MARK. One of the most common questions we hear from ProfNet members is: What's the best way to respond to a ProfNet query? We decided to go right to the source and ask reporters for some examples of the best query responses they've received:

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