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 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 […]
In the first HIV case of its kind filed by the EEOC under the Americans with Disabilities Act, an applicant whose job offer was withdrawn after the person tested positive for HIV has agreed to a $90,000 settlement. The applicant signed an employment contract to be an entertainer on a Dolphin Cruise Line ship. But […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
In the first California court decision addressing your obligation to accommodate alcoholic employees, a court has given employers more leeway to terminate workers who continue to drink after unsuccessful efforts at rehabilitation. Here’s what the new case means for your employment practices.
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 […]
You notice a strange odor as you walk by an employee standing on the street in the smokers’ area outside the entrance to your building. Then you realize the person is smoking marijuana. You may think you have clear grounds for discipline, termination or even calling the police. But taking action against the worker could […]
You pick up the telephone and there’s someone on the other end asking about a former employee. It sounds like a human resource manager doing a standard reference check. But do you really know who’s calling?