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News Notes: Court Applies Reasonableness Standard For Adverse Employment Actions

Francisco Vasquez, a Los Angeles County probation officer, sued the county for discrimination and retaliation after he was involuntarily transferred and a warning letter was placed in his personnel file. The federal Ninth Circuit threw out Vasquez’s lawsuit, however, finding neither act was an adverse employment action. The transfer wasn’t adverse simply because Vasquez preferred […]

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Employee Uniforms: Fashion Giant Hit With Lawsuit Over Dress Requirements; What’s Permitted–And What’s Not

Current and former employees of Polo Ralph Lauren have filed suit in San Francisco against the fashion retailer. Their claim? That the employer violated state wage and hour rules by requiring them to spend thousands of dollars a year on the company’s clothing to wear on the job. The lawsuit is causing heads to turn […]

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Workplace Legislation: Last-Minute Bill Signing Impact Employers

As the enactment deadline for the 2001-2002 state legislative session came down to the wire, Gov. Davis signed a variety of important employment-related bills into law. We’ll provide a complete rundown of all the new measures in a Special Report next month. But here’s a look at some of the more significant new laws, which […]

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News Notes: Workers’ Compensation Hike On The Way

The state Insurance Commissioner has recommended a 10.5% increase in the pure premium rates for workers’ compensation insurance as of Jan. 1, 2003. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau had requested a 13.4% increase, but the commissioner questioned some of the bureau’s future cost estimates.

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News Notes: Employers Paying More For Absenteeism, Survey Says

A new absenteeism survey by Commerce Clearing House Inc. indicates that absenteeism costs climbed to an all-time high in 2002—even though absenteeism itself dropped slightly. Employers spent an annual average of $789 per employee for unscheduled days off, up from $755 in 2001. While workers listed illness as the most common reason for calling in […]

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News Notes: New Guidelines For Federal Contractor “Separate Facility” Waivers

Employers of 50 or more workers with federal contracts totaling at least $50,000 per year must comply with affirmative action reporting requirements enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). But contractors can seek a “separate facility” waiver from these requirements for their facilities that aren’t connected to the government contract. Now the […]

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News Notes: Benefits Plan Singling Out Workers On Medical Leave Violates ERISA

When Professional Risk Management acquired Applied Risk Management, the companies’ agreement provided for all active Applied employees to automatically be transferred to Professional without a break in health benefits coverage. But workers on medical, disability or other extended leave weren’t transferred until they returned to active duty, and they consequently lost health coverage until they […]

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Bulletin Item: New Hourly Rates for Certain Exempt Professionals

As of Jan. 1, 2003, the new hourly rate that you must pay certain computer software professionals in order for them to qualify for overtime exemption will be $43.58. And the new hourly rate for exempt licensed physicians and surgeons paid on an hourly basis will be $56.21. The California Department of Industrial Relations adjusts […]

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