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Fitness-For-Duty Exams: Court OKs Them Even If Injured Workers Return With No Restrictions; Procedures To Implement Now

  Suppose you have an employee who is off work because of an injury. When the employee’s doctor gives them the green light to return without limitations, you may still be concerned that the person cannot do their job properly. So you ask the worker to first undergo a fitness-for-duty evaluation. If the employee refuses, […]

Employer Liability: New Ruling Holds Employers Responsible For Injuries To Unborn Children; 5 Ways To Protect Yourself And Your Workers

If a pregnant employee is injured at work and her baby is born with problems, the child can later sue you for damages. That’s the latest word from the California Supreme Court. This new decision could open the door to expensive lawsuits involving fetal injury claims-which won’t be covered by workers’ compensation laws that limit […]

News Notes: Change In I-9 Forms Delayed

Last month’s Bulletin mentioned that the Immigration and Naturalization Service had asked Congress for an additional year to comply with its mandate to modify the I-9 form. The INS has just been given a six-month extension. Although the INS has announced some interim rule changes, you can continue to use the current I-9 form. We’ll […]

News Notes: Loose Lips And Thoughtless Comments Get Employers Sued

In two recent cases, employers are facing lawsuits based on inappropriate comments the complaining employee never heard or saw. In the first case, a Mexican-American applicant rejected for a position at State Farm Insurance got the green light to sue because the hiring manager later allegedly referred to another employee as a “dumb Mexican.” Although […]

News Notes: COBRA Notice To Employee Must Also Go To Spouse

Employers with 20 or more employees who provide health benefits must notify terminated workers of their continuation rights under COBRA. But a new federal appeals court ruling has confirmed you’re required to separately notify the employee and the worker’s spouse of their COBRA rights.7 To protect yourself, Ina Potter, a partner with the San Francisco […]

News Notes: Psychiatrist With Attention Deficit Disorder Awarded Almost $1 Million

A psychiatrist suffering from attention deficit disorder has won $902,000 after suing his employer under state anti-discrimination laws for failing to accommodate his own psychological problems. Stanley Swenson Jr. worked at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for 15 years. He claimed his condition made it difficult for him to keep up with patient charts and […]

ADA Reasonable Accommodations: Recent Cases Examine How Far You Must Go

Most employers know that state and federal anti-discrimination laws require you to offer reasonable accommodations to disabled workers to allow them to perform their jobs. But applying this seemingly straightforward rule to real-life situations is often trickier than it sounds. In several recent cases, employers have found themselves on the wrong end of expensive lawsuits […]