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Employee Lawsuits: Workers’ Comp Release Barred Sexual Harassment Claim; 4 Tips You Can Use

Mary Jefferson, a teacher’s assistant for the California Youth Authority (CYA), said that a CYA teacher and his students regularly used derogatory language when referring to women, such as “bitch,” “whore” and “slut.” Jefferson filed a workers’ compensation claim, contending that she suffered work-related stress from a sexually hostile work environment. Jefferson also filed a […]

Employment At Will: Court Says Supervisor’s Oral Assurances Didn’t Supersede Signed At-Will Agreement; Review Your Policies

During the 12 years Charles Starzynski was a program director for Capital Public Radio Inc. in Sacramento, his supervisor, Paul Corriveau, orally assured him his employment could only be terminated for good cause. Then Starzynski was asked to sign an at-will contract. It stated that his employment was at will and could be terminated at […]

Employee Benefits: Employer Pays More Than $28 Million To Settle Claim That It Improperly Valued ESOP Shares; Precautions To Take

A new threat facing employers is an increase in complex and costly litigation over the handling of employee benefit plans. The potential liability can be substantial, as Occidental Petroleum recently discovered when it agreed to pay $25 million, plus another $3.5 million in attorneys’ fees and expenses, to settle such a dispute. The class action […]

Age Discrimination: Requiring EKG For Older Applicants Deemed Illegal Age Bias; Guidelines For Applicant Exams

Jack Epter, a New York City Transit Authority clerk, applied for a promotion to station supervisor. Because the job was physically demanding, the Transit Authority required applicants to pass a physical exam. Applicants over 40 years old also had to undergo an EKG, something younger applicants had to do only if their physical exam or […]

News Notes: Federal Discrimation Laws Don’t Cover Sexual Orientation

Medina Rene, a butler at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, filed a lawsuit claiming that because of his sexual orientation he endured daily harassment by his male co-workers and supervisor. But the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals threw out his case, reaffirming a 1979 ruling that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation […]

News Notes: WARN Act Payments Must Include Tips And Vacation Pay

When the Las Vegas Sands Hotel casino closed its doors, it gave workers 45 days’ advance notice, rather than the 60 days required under the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining and Notification (WARN) Act. So the Sands was required to pay workers their wages for the remaining 15-day period. Now the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals […]