News Notes: Employees Limited To Workers Comp For Chemical Exposure

Three unskilled laborers who were hired to clean a film lab at Metrocolor Laboratories in Los Angeles sued, claiming Metrocolor told them to use a particular cleaning substance without revealing that it contained hazardous chemicals that can cause brain and nervous system damage. The workers’ skin became soaked with the liquid as it rained down […]

News Notes: “Mailbox Rule” Applies To Benefit Plan Claims

Karla Schikore, a Bank of America employee, resigned and requested a lump-sum payment of her retirement benefits. She swore that she’d mailed the bank a form electing to receive lump-sum benefits more than a year before, as required under the terms of the bank’s retirement plan. Unfortu-nately, the bank said it had never received the […]

News Notes: Bush Proposes Extending Unemployment Benefits

President Bush has proposed a new package of emergency grants and unemployment assistance to help states deal with increased unemployment following the Sept. 11 attacks. Workers in states where the total unemployment rate has jumped by 30% above the Sept. 11 level would be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits, which would […]

News Notes: Military Service Members Eligible For New Savings Plan

The federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan, a 401(k)-type program previously available only to federal civil service and postal workers, will now be open to uniformed members of the armed services while on active duty and to reservists while on military-pay status. A special enrollment period runs through Jan. 31. More information is available at the TSP […]

English-Only Rules: New Law Banning Language Restrictions To Take Effect; Strategies To Ensure Compliance

California employers have long faced complex discrimination issues because of the state’s diverse population. And now a recently enacted state law imposes new restrictions on employers’ ability to set workplace language rules. Language Restrictions Must Be Justified Under the new measure, A.B. 800, it’s illegal to adopt or enforce a policy that limits or prohibits […]

Cutting Workers’ Comp Expenses: Employer Wins $6.3 Million From Insurer For Unfair Claims Practices; How To Monitor Reserves

How your workers’ compensation insurer manages your claims can have a big impact on your premiums. In a recent case, an employer whose premiums skyrocketed and dividends dropped for several years sued its insurer for overestimating the amounts needed to be held in reserve to pay claims—and won. This case underscores that keeping an eye […]