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News Notes: Auto Club Ordered To Pay $576,000 On Sexual Harassment Claim

A San Fernando jury has awarded $576,000 to an Auto Club of Southern California employee who claimed she was repeatedly groped and subjected to unwanted attention for two years by a co-worker who was so persistent that he followed her into the women’s restroom. Cheryl Parker said she reported the problem in writing to a […]

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News Notes: Court Gives Green Light To Privacy Suit Over Hidden Cameras

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has given employees at Consolidated Freightways’ Mira Loma terminal the go-ahead to sue their employer under state law for invasion of privacy after video cameras were discovered hidden behind two-way mirrors in men’s and women’s restrooms. The company argued that the case should be thrown out because a determination […]

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Family And Medical Leave: Court Says Employers Must Notify Workers How “12-Month Period” For Leave Entitlement Will Be Calculated; 3 Practical Steps

Employees who qualify for federal family leave may take up to 12 workweeks of leave within a 12-month period. An employer may choose one of four methods to measure the 12-month timespan, such as a calendar year or a rolling 12-month period. Now, a new ruling from the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals demonstrates […]

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Sexual Harassment Backlash: Big Verdict For Executive Fired Over Harassment Charge

Lawrence Moreau was chief financial officer for Los Angeles-based Direct Express, which was later acquired by Paystation America. Less than three months after starting work, Moreau was fired for allegedly touching two female employees inappropriately. He sued, claiming the charge was unfounded and a company pretext to break his three-year employment contract. Now a Los […]

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Exempt Employees: Court Clarifies That Employers Have No Recourse To Correct Errors If They Have An Actual Practice Of Pay Docking

Docking an exempt employee’s salary is fraught with risk. If your policy is to dock for disciplinary infractions or you improperly dock on a consistent basis, you lose the opportunity to correct illegal deductions—and run the risk of forfeiting exempt status for all workers covered by the policy. A new Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals […]

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Accommodating Disabilities: Employer Hit With Punitive Damages For Firing Supervisor Who Accommodated Epileptic Employee

Kevin Terry, a customer service representative at a Time Warner Entertainment Company office in Fayetteville, Ark., suffered from nocturnal epileptic seizures. His supervisor, Jane Foster, accommodated his condition by allowing him to arrive after the usual starting time and stay later in the evening to make up the missed time. But when angry co-workers complained […]

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Managing The Workplace: What To Do When Employee Religious Beliefs And Free Speech Clash With Diversity Efforts

Many employers try to combat workplace bias with diversity programs that emphasize company commitment to respecting differences, such as sexual orientation. But suppose an employee refuses to participate in a diversity training program, citing religious or political beliefs. Can you discipline the worker? In a recent case, an employer faced just this situation. We’ll provide […]

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Public Employee Whistleblowers: Court OKs Lawsuit By Firefighter Terminated After Reporting Pornography On Station Computers

Whistleblowers have become increasingly common in the American workplace. These employees feel compelled to expose situations they consider wrong. And they risk being ostracized at work, or worse—being fired. A recent federal court decision affecting California once again underscores that both public and private employers should take the proper steps to avoid both liability and […]

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Workers’ Compensation: When You Could Be Liable For Injuries During An Employee’s Commute

San Diego police officer Stephen Molnar was subpoenaed to testify in court on a work-related matter on a day he wasn’t scheduled to report for duty. While driving his personal car from home to the courthouse, he was injured in an automobile accident. Molnar filed a workers’ compensation claim, which was ultimately denied. We’ll explain […]

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