In 1994, we reported on the case of a black engineer and his supervisor who sued Hughes Aircraft. The engineer claimed he was denied promotions and raises because of his race. His supervisor charged that managers pressured him to fabricate negative performance reviews about the engineer, and when he refused to comply, turned him down […]
The U.S. Supreme Court has just handed employers one more reason to keep quiet when asked to give a job reference for a former employee. Charles Robinson sued Shell Oil Co. for race discrimination after he was fired. Later, when Shell gave him a negative reference, he filed a second lawsuit charging that the bad […]
The state Insurance Commissioner has taken over control of Golden Eagle Insurance Co., California’s third largest workers’ compensation carrier. The action grew out of concerns about Golden Eagle’s financial solvency. The Insurance Commissioner is optimistic that several insurers will join together to operate Golden Eagle’s business through a new company, San Diego Casualty Insurance Co. […]
Much has been said in recent years about the phenomenon of postal service workers and other employees who go berserk and harm co-workers or innocent bystanders. Now, in a new case, the post office was sued for more than $500,000 when an employee with a violent background attacked a tow truck driver. This lawsuit is […]
Employers are increasingly using surveillance devices to combat theft and drug abuse and improve overall security at work. But you could find yourself in serious trouble under federal and state laws if you’re not careful. We’ll look at two recent cases that focus on some complex issues involved in workplace surveillance.
Sales are down. Expenses are up. You’ve tried everything and it looks as if your only alternative is to eliminate jobs. These not uncommon circumstances can turn into a high-stakes gamble, particularly because the graying of the American workforce puts you at risk for expensive age bias claims. So when you’re facing a restructuring, it’s […]
At first glance, this case might seem hard to believe. An employer is ordered to pay big damages to a worker who was fired for testing positive for drug use following a workplace accident. Why? Because of poor documentation and alleged race discrimination, both of which could have been avoided. With this case and the […]
When you hear about workers’ compensation fraud, it’s usually by employees. But there are cases where employers are charged with cheating the workers’ comp system. In one of the biggest verdicts of this kind, State Compen- sation Insurance Fund-the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurer-recently won a $3.2 million judgment against a network of Southern California […]
It’s a familiar scenario: The new employee you hired just isn’t working out. Her performance is poor, and she repeatedly falls short on assignments. You’ve warned her that she isn’t meeting your company’s standards, yet she still fails to improve. You decide to fire her. Before you act, you should know about a recent court […]
In a blow to employers, the California Supreme Court has ruled that three school districts can be sued for giving enthusiastic job references that left out a vice-principal’s history of alleged sexual misconduct with students. This decision highlights the risks of giving reference letters, even when everything you say is positive.