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Wrongful Termination: Court Says Employer Could Fire Hospital Employee Who Refused To Drop Personal-Injury Lawsuit Against Patient; Caution Required

Suppose an employee sues one of your clients or customers. Then, when you insist that the employee drop the lawsuit because it’s bad for your business, the employee refuses. Can an employee fired in this situation sue you for wrongful termination? In a new case, a California appeals court said a hospital-employer was within its […]

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Employee Privacy: New Decision Spotlights Limits On Your Right To Discipline Workers For Off-The-Job Activities

John Strahan, a sergeant for the Washoe County, Nev., Sheriff’s Department, was a member of a motorcycle club called Blind Justice. He allegedly attended motorcycle events, wore Hell’s Angels T-shirts and hung out with other bikers, including some who were convicted felons. When Strahan was demoted to deputy sheriff, he filed a lawsuit contending he […]

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Disabled Workers: Employee Can Sue For Workplace Injuries Caused By Employer’s Failure To Accommodate

Typically, workers’ compensation is the only remedy for an employee who is injured on-the-job. But a California Court of Appeal now says that if the injury stems from your not reasonably accommodating an employee’s disability, the employee can bypass workers’ comp and sue you for damages. Disabled Employee Injured At Work Marilyn Bagatti was an […]

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News Notes: Opt-Out Arbitration Clause Saves Lopsided Agreement

The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently tossed out a mandatory arbitration agreement signed by a Circuit City employee because it was unduly lopsided in the employer’s favor (see CEA March 2002). But in another case involving identical arbitration provisions, the court has ruled that employee Mohammad Sharfuddin Ahmed was required to arbitrate his […]

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News Notes: Employee Forced To Quit For Revealing Prison Abuses

After Terence Allen, a Hawaii Department of Corrections physician, publicly disclosed the alleged mistreatment of inmates, he was investigated by the internal affairs division, denied a promotion and locked out of the facility. The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has now ruled that the department retaliated against him for exercising his free speech rights. […]

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News Notes: New Case Focuses On Union Contract Exception To Overtime Pay Rates

California overtime pay rules don’t apply to unionized employees if the union contract sets premium overtime rates as well as a regular hourly rate that’s at least 30% over the minimum wage. Examining an older version of this exemption, a California Court of Appeal explained that it permits an employer and union to negotiate how […]

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News Notes: OFCCP Sets Guidelines For “Functional” Affirmative Action Plans

Recent changes to affirmative action program rules permit government contractors to organize plans based around their functional or business units, rather than based solely on an establishment’s location. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has now issued guidelines for contractor requests to submit a “functional” affirmative action plan, or FAAP, including whether the functional […]

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News Notes: On-The-Job Injuries Continue To Decline

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the number of workers with injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work edged down in 2000, continuing a steady decline since 1992. Approximately 1.7 million injuries and illnesses occurred in 2000, a drop of about 2.3% from 1999. Some workers, however, continue to have high […]

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Family And Medical Leave: Court Rules On When Workers Can Take Leave To Offer Psychological Care For Ailing Family Members

A new ruling from the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals focuses on a little-known provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act that permits employees to take leave to provide psychological comfort and assistance to family members with serious physical or mental illnesses. We”ll explain the court’s ruling.

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