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Bulletin Item: More Workers’ Comp Premium Hikes on the Way

The Workers’ Comp Insurance Rating Bureau has just recommended that California insurers raise their workers’ comp premiums by 12 percent next year. Although insurers remain free to compete and determine how much to charge for insurance, many carriers rely on the bureau’s cost-of-claims data to determine premium increases.

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News Notes: Big Defamation Award Against Union Tossed Out

The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a nearly $1 million award to a dry cleaning firm and its owner for allegedly defamatory statements made by a union during a collective bargaining dispute. While meeting to discuss ongoing wage negotiations, the union president informed union members that the company president was hiding money […]

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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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Ergonomics: CAL/OSHA Considering Petition To Alter Ergonomics Rule

On February 20, 2003, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board held a public meeting to consider a petition filed by the California Labor Federation to alter the requirements of the state’s ergonomic rule. At the meeting, the standards board voted to convene an advisory committee to consider the petition, which seeks to drop […]

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Bulletin Item: U.S. Supreme Court Has A Number of Employment-Related Cases on 2003-2004 Docket

Those cases include General Dynamics Land Systems Inc. v. Cline, where the high court will consider whether the federal age-bias law permits employees over age 40 to sue because other workers also over age 40 were treated more favorably based on age. In Raytheon Co. v. Hernandez, the justices will decide whether the Americans with […]

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News Notes: Clothing Retailer Settles Wage Claims

Clothing retailer The Wet Seal Inc. has agreed to shell out up to $1.3 million to settle a dispute with as many as 500 California store managers who claimed they were improperly classified as exempt from overtime pay because they performed primarily nonexempt work, such as stocking and helping customers. In a separate development, The […]

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Hiring Employees: EEOC Proposes Definition Of Who’s An Applicant For E-Cruiting Purposes, Part 1; What You Should Know

In response to the meteoric rise of Internet-related high-tech recruiting, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), working with several other federal agencies, has released long-awaited proposed guidelines defining who employers must count as an applicant to comply with federal recordkeeping and affirmative action rules. In this first installment of our two-part series on the […]

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Health Reform Action to Correct 30-hour week Unlikely Before 2015

Congressional aides from both chambers of Congress and both parties said they do not expect immediate action on changing health care reform’s 30-hour a week definition of a full-time workers, or on banning “skinny” health plans that do not cover major categories of health benefits. The staffers predicted that even if enrollment is lower than […]

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Short Takes: Personal Use of Company Computers

I’d like to keep my employees from using their company computers for personal stuff like e-mail. Can I prohibit this? 400+ pages of state-specific, easy-read reference materials at your fingertips—fully updated! Check out the Guide to Employment Law for California Employers and get up to speed on everything you need to know. In general, while […]

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WA County Will Pay $215,000 to Quell HIPAA Allegations

A county government in Washington state agreed to pay $215,000 in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, after its report of a minor breach led to an HHS investigation that found “general and widespread noncompliance” with HIPAA privacy and security rules. The incident originally reported by Skagit County, Wash., in […]

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