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Disability-Related Questions And Medical Exams, Part 1: EEOC Releases Guidance On When You Can Get Health Information From Employees

Five years ago, the EEOC issued rules explaining which medical exams you could require and what health questions you could ask job applicants without running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Now, newly released guidance from the EEOC helps clear up some of the uncertainty employers face when these types of issues come up […]

Exempt Employees: IWC Approves Changes To Rules For Overtime Exemptions

Following a contentious debate, the Industrial Welfare Commission has approved new wage orders that modify the definitions of managerial, administrative and professional employees who are exempt from overtime. The new standards bring California in line with the federal rules defining employees who are exempt from overtime. And supporters of the changes say this will make […]

Sexual Harassment: White House Embroiled In Suit By Pastry Chef

Charges of sexual harassment are bubbling in the White House kitchen. Franette McCulloch, a former pastry chef, has charged that her boss of 17 years, Roland Mesnier, made unwelcome sexual propositions to her and then turned hostile when she refused his repeated advances. McCulloch claims that after she complained to White House officials, they said […]

Workers’ Compensation: Lawsuit Against Tosco Tries End Run Around Workers’ Comp Limits

A Tosco worker injured in a catastrophic 1999 explosion and fire at the company’s Martinez refinery and the family of another worker killed in the disaster have filed a lawsuit against Tosco. Employees who are injured on the job are generally limited to workers’ comp benefits. But this lawsuit attempts to sidestep this restriction by […]

News Notes: State Issues Workers’ Comp Fact Sheet For Employees

A free new 10-page “fact sheet” designed to be given to injured workers has been developed by the state Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation. “Working After a Job Injury” explains employees’ rights and responsibilities in returning to work after a workplace injury. It covers such issues as work restrictions, modified jobs, disability […]

News Notes: $2.5 Million Award Stands Against Employer For Rushing Injured Employee Back To Work

In a dispute over an employer’s workers’ comp return-to-work policy, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to overturn a $2.5 million award to an employee of Dillard Department Stores in Nevada. Deloris Beckwith, a 64-year-old sales manager, hurt her back on the job and filed a workers’ comp claim. Beckwith charged Dillard tried to make […]

News Notes: Harassment Complaint Used As A Pretext To Terminate Employee May Cost Employer $3.4 Million

Loren Peterson, the former president of financial printer Bowne of Los Angeles, was fired after allegedly admitting he violated the company’s sexual harassment policy. The incident involved comments he was accused of making while dancing with secretary Maria Gonzales on a company-sponsored trip to Club Med. But Peterson charged that the company used this as […]

News Notes: Corrective Action Blocks Suit Over Negative Performance Review

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal has ruled that a negative performance evaluation didn’t support an employee’s retaliation claim because the employer promptly corrected the problem. Aybike Kortan, a clinical psychologist with the California Youth Authority, received a bad review after she complained about a supervisor’s harassment. The court said the poor review, while retaliatory, […]

News Notes: Maker Of Wonder Bread Ordered To Pay $131 Million For Race Bias

A San Francisco jury has ordered the nation’s largest wholesale baker to pay $11 million in compensatory damages and a whopping $120 million in punitive damages to African-American workers who said they were subjected to racial slurs, unequal treatment and other indignities by co-workers and supervisors at three Bay Area plants. Workers testified that they […]