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Sexual Harassment: New Legislation Exposes You To Liability For Low-Level Supervisors’ Misconduct

Under California law, you can be automatically liable for harassment committed by your managers and supervisors even if you had no notice of the problem and did nothing wrong. But just who qualifies as a supervisor has long been a troubling and important question because your chances of being held responsible increase as more employees […]

News Flash: Mentally Disabled Employee Wins Record ADA Verdict

A Wisconsin jury has awarded over $13 million in damages to a mentally retarded janitor who claimed he was fired because of his disability—the largest verdict ever in a case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The EEOC had filed suit on behalf of Donald Perkle, who worked […]

News Flash: Limits On Retirement Benefits To Go Up

Employees will be able defer a maximum of $10,500 to their401(k) plans next year, rather than the $10,000 cap currently in effect, under newcost-of-living adjustments announced by the IRS that go into effect January 1. Inaddition, the maximum annual benefit that can be funded through a defined benefit planwill rise to $135,000 from $130,000, although […]

News Notes: Holiday Wage-and-Hour Mistakes Prove Costly For Retailer

If you’re considering hiring minors to help out during the holiday season, be sure to double-check the rules. Toys ‘R’ Us has just agreed to pay $200,000 to settle Labor Department allegations that the toy retailer violated federal rules covering the employment of minors. The government charged that 14- and 15-year-olds were hired to work […]

News Notes: New ADA Ruling Protects Seniority Systems

Last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that, in most cases, an employer doesn’t have to make an exception to an established seniority system to provide an accommodation to a disabled worker. Now, the same court has clarified its original ruling, going even farther in protecting seniority policies. The case involved a disabled […]

News Notes: EEOC Expands Anti-Discrimination Protection To Undocumented Workers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued new enforcement guidelines stating for the first time that federal anti-discrimination laws protect undocumented workers. According to the EEOC, illegal immigrants who are subjected to workplace discrimination, sexual harassment or retaliation can sue their employers and receive lost wages, punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. A court could also […]

News Notes: Cash-Balance Retirement Plans Spark Controversy And Legislation

IBM¹s recent announcement that it was converting from a traditional pension plan to a cash-balance plan triggered angry employee protests and age discrimination allegations. Now, government agencies and federal legislators are vowing to take a closer look at the impact cash-balance plans have on older workers. Unlike traditional pension plans in which workers earn most […]

News Notes: New Law Expands Right To Time Off For Court Appearances

A new measure signed by Governor Davis expands existing law that permits employees to take unpaid time off from work to serve on a jury or act as a witness. The new law specifies that an employee who is a victim of domestic violence or other crimes may also take time off to attend court […]

News Notes: IRS Issues New Mileage Rates for 2000

The IRS has increased the mileage rate commonly used to reimburse employees for business use of a car from 31 cents to 32.5 cents per mile. The new rate applies to miles driven beginning January 1, 2000.