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Religion in the Workplace: Court Strikes Down Ban on Religious Advocacy; What You Can Do

The federal appeals court that covers California recently ruled that a public employer violated employees’ free speech rights when it banned religious discussion and materials in the workplace. The decision highlights the need for public and private employers alike to exercise care in adopting policies that restrict employees’ religious activities at work. Join us this […]

Independent Contractors: How to Protect Yourself–Before You’re Called in for an Audit

The problem can surface without warning. A former independent contractor applies for unemployment benefits, but the state can’t find any record that the person was on your payroll or that you paid unemployment taxes. Before you know it, you’re being audited and facing huge penalties for all the workers you may have misclassified as independent […]

Drug Testing: High Court Rules on Testing in the Workplace; Law Still Unclear

Drug testing has long been a murky area for employers. Now the California Supreme Court has just issued its first decision that sheds some light on the issues and makes a sharp distinction between drug testing applicants and testing existing employees. However, although the case has important implications, it isn’t the sweeping clarification employers had […]

News Notes: Ergonomics Developments

In a victory for ergonomics advocates, Digital Equipment Corporation was recently ordered to pay almost $6 million to three computer users who claimed that Digital’s keyboards caused arm, wrist and hand injuries. Other keyboard makers, including IBM and Compaq, have successfully defended themselves against similar claims-though they now issue warnings to their employees and users. […]

News Notes: Supervisor Who Fails To Report Harassment Not Liable; Potential Problems For Employers

Several recent cases have held that individual supervisors can be personally forced to pay damages for violating California’s tough sexual harassment laws. But what if a supervisor simply fails to take action to prevent harassment or doesn’t report it to senior management? The California Court of Appeal recently ruled that supervisors aren’t personally liable unless […]

News Notes: Time To Prepare And Post OSHA Form 200

During the month of February each year, most public and private employers are required to post OSHA Form 200 in a conspicuous place. This ‘Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses’ calls for details about on-the-job injuries and illnesses that occurred between January 1 and December 31 of the preceding year. Unless you’re in […]

Drug Policy Should Require Workers to Inform You When They’re Impaired

Drug Policy Should Require Workers to Inform You When They’re Impaired In light of California’s new law legalizing medical marijuana use discussed in the accompanying story, now is a good time to take a look at your current drug and alcohol policies to make sure they cover situations where your employees’ work could be affected […]