Category: Uncategorized

News Notes: Electronic Surveillance Common In The Workplace

A new American Management Association survey reveals that 63% of mid- and large-sized U.S. firms monitor their employees. Financial sector employers utilize electronic observation the most, and manufacturing companies use it the least. According to the report, 35% of the employers surveyed record employees’ phone calls, review voice mail, check computer files and e-mail, or […]

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Terminating Employees: Why Failing To Keep Your Story Straight Can Lead To Expensive Trouble

When you’re faced with the prospect of disciplining or discharging an employee, you may give the worker several different reasons for your decision. However, a new case points out the importance of getting your story straight before you terminate someone. That’s because if you provide conflicting explanations, you may inadvertently give the employee an opening […]

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News Notes: On-The-Job Violence A Big Concern For California Employers

One in five human resource executives reported a violent workplace episode, according to a new survey of Southern California employers by Thomas Staffing Services in Irvine. Respondents expressed the most concern over fist fights, guns, and obscene or threatening phone calls. Nearly all believed preventive measures such as pre-employment screening, tighter security and employee hotlines […]

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Mental Disabilities And The ADA: EEOC Issues New Employer Guidelines

A worker is easily distracted and has trouble concentrating on what he’s doing. A supervisor is hostile and rude to co-workers. Another employee can’t seem to get to work on time and frequently appears groggy and withdrawn. You may think you have clear grounds for discipline or termination in situations such as these, but be […]

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News Notes: EEOC Rakes In Big Cash

After reducing a huge backlog of cases, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed fewer charges last year but significantly increased the amount of money it won from employers. Settlements obtained before cases entered litigation totaled $145.2 million, just shy of the 1994 record of $146.3 million. Lawsuits generated another $51.2 million in awards last […]

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News Notes: ADA Doesn’t Require Transfer To New Boss To Reduce Stress

A new court decision says the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t require you to transfer an employee because of a bad working relationship with a supervisor. Sherrylen Weiler, a Household Finance Corp. manager, claimed she became disabled by depression, stress and anxiety following a performance review in which her supervisor raised his voice and […]

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Pension Plans: Billion Dollar Surplus Nightmare For Employer; How To Stay Legal

  If you have a defined benefit pension plan for your employees, thanks to stock market gains it may contain more money than you’ll need to pay out in benefits. But be careful before you use this “extra” money. One employer recently found there are strict rules about what you can and can’t do with […]

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Exempt Workers: High Court Clarifies Rules On Pay Docking Policies; Why You Should Review Yours Now

You probably know that docking the pay of an employee who is exempt from overtime is fraught with risk-the person could lose their exempt status and you could have to begin paying overtime, as well as back overtime for up to three years. And some courts have said that merely having a written policy giving […]

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Medical Marijuana: Fired Employee Files First Challenge To New Law

In January, we reported on the impact California’s Proposition 215, the Medical Marijuana Initiative, will have on the workplace. Prop. 215 allows marijuana use if it is recommended, orally or in writing, by a physician. But there are many unanswered questions, including when the use of medical marijuana can be grounds for termination and how […]

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Drug Testing: Why Worker Who Tested Positive Won $380,000; Plus a Checklist for Avoiding Trouble

At first glance, this case might seem hard to believe. An employer is ordered to pay big damages to a worker who was fired for testing positive for drug use following a workplace accident. Why? Because of poor documentation and alleged race discrimination, both of which could have been avoided. With this case and the […]

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