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Ergonomics: OSHA Announces New Ergonomics Strategy Based On Voluntary Guidelines, But California Employers Still On The Hook

Last year the federal Department of Labor repealed the controversial Clinton-era mandatory ergonomics regulations but promised to develop another strategy for reducing workplace injuries stemming from ergonomic problems. Now, rather than apply a single ergonomics standard to a broad range of industries, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has come up with a new […]

Electronic Surveillance: California Supreme Court Rules On When A Phone Conversation Is Confidential; How To Monitor Employee Calls Without Getting Sued

A new California Supreme Court ruling highlights a state law that prohibits the secret tape-recording of phone conversations. Although the case didn’t involve an employer-employee dispute, it has important workplace implications. We”ll explain the decision and provide guidelines on when you can legally monitor employee phone calls. Wife Allegedly Plots To Kill Sick Husband The […]

Sexual Harassment: Court Says Foreign Hotel Room Can Be Work Environment; Steps To Prevent On-The-Road Harassment

Suppose an employee complains that a co-worker sexually harassed her while traveling on business during off-duty hours. Can you be held liable for the alleged misconduct? In a recent case, a federal appeals court ruled that an employee who was allegedly raped by a co-worker in a Rome hotel could sue her employer. We”ll tell […]

Age Bias: Court Dismisses Suit By 62-Year-Old Engineer Who Lost Overseas Assignment Because Foreign Government Objected To His Age

Employees who work for you on overseas jobs are generally covered by state and federal anti-discrimination laws. But suppose a foreign client wants one of your employees off the job for reasons that violate U.S. employment laws. You could be faced with having to change the employee’s assignment or lose your client. Bechtel Corp. ran […]

Immigrant Workers: Supreme Court Says Employers Can’t Be Ordered To Pay Back Wages To Illegal Workers; Practical Impact

When the National Labor Relations Board determines that a worker’s firing violated federal labor laws, it generally orders the employer to reinstate the worker and pay back wages. But what if the worker wasn’t legally permitted to work in the United States in the first place? The U.S. Supreme Court previously ruled that the NLRB […]

Job Bias: Court Considers Marital Status Discrimination Claim; Avoiding Problems

In her first year as an Orange County deputy district attorney, Victoria Chen dated, and later married, Devallis Rutledge, a high-level management attorney in the district attorney’s office. After working there many years, Chen sued the county, arguing that she was discriminated against because of her relationship with Rutledge, who she claimed was not in […]

News Notes: Federal Employees Discouraged From Using Cell Phones While Driving

The U.S. General Services Administration has asked federal agencies to discourage employees from using handheld wireless phones while driving government vehicles. Citing pending legislation around the nation to regulate the use of cell phones while driving, the GSA stated that the government should assume a leadership role in promoting cell phone safety by its employees. […]

News Notes: Big Race Bias Settlement For Route Drivers

McKesson Water Products Co., a drinking water processing and delivery company, and Groupe Danone (which recently acquired McKesson) will pay $1.2 million to settle a race bias class action lawsuit brought by the EEOC. The lawsuit charged that African-American drivers were assigned to water delivery routes in low-income communities, which were less profitable than routes […]