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News Notes: Binding Arbitration Legislation Struck Down

In 2000, Sacramento lawmakers enacted SB 402, requiring counties and other local agencies to submit, under certain circumstances, to binding arbitration of economic issues that arise during negotiations with unions representing firefighters or law enforcement officers. Now the California Supreme Court has struck down the law, ruling that it interferes with state constitution provisions giving […]

News Bulletin: FMLA Opinion Withdrawn

The Ninth Circuit Court recently withdrew its decision in Gradilla v. Ruskin Mfd. that held leave taken to accompany a spouse to a funeral was not protected family leave. The opinion was withdrawn at the request of the parties, which means employers can no longer rely on the decision. Continue watching California Employer Advisor for […]

News Bulletin: Pending Legislation Affecting Employers

The State Assembly recently passed a bill (AB196) that would prohibit employment discrimination based on perceived gender, which includes trans-gender individuals and those who do not fit gender stereotypes. In Washington, the House passed a bill (HR 100) that would permit employers to offer retirement investment advice to employees and require that employers provide plan […]

News Bulletin: Retail Grocery Store Draft Ergonomics Guidelines Available for Review

OSHA is seeking comments on its second set of draft ergonomics guidelines for the retail industry. The guidelines, published on May 9, include ways to implement ergonomic solutions, train employees, prepare injury reports, and evaluate progress. Another section provides preventive approaches that may be used by the industry, including recommendations for specific departments in grocery […]

Exempt Employees: Federal Government Proposes Overhaul of Who’s Exempt from Overtime, but California Rules Still Stricter

The U.S. Department of Labor recently published a proposal to update the 50-year-old Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations defining white-collar exemptions. The new rules could take effect by the end of the year after a public comment and review process. But, as explained below, the changes probably won’t have much impact on California employers […]

Employee Travel: 8 Tips for Keeping Employees’ Fear of Flying from Grounding Your Business Interests

One of the more perplexing issues employers have been facing as our country grapples with war and terrorism threats is employees’ fear of flying. Indicators of this troubling problem show up in scaled-back plans for work travel for the near future. In addition, recent concerns about the contagious severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak is […]

Severance Pay: Court’s Ruling that Severance Package Wasn’t an Employee Benefit Plan Has Expensive Consequences for Employer

A new federal court case involves an all-too-familiar scenario. An employer acquired a new business and had to terminate the old workforce. The employer, however, needed to keep some workers around for a few months, so it offered them a severance deal. But when the employer later tried to change the severance terms, it found […]