Auto parts manufacturer Kelsey-Hayes Co. gave employees a summary plan description of their employee benefits plan stating that health insurance would continue at no cost when they retired. The summary didn’t mention the company had the right to modify or terminate benefits, even though the master health care plan paperwork did. Later, when Kelsey-Hayes informed […]
Revised workplace ergonomics rules may be adopted as early as the April 17, 1997 meeting of the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board. We reported in February that California’s ergonomics rules had to be scrapped and rewritten to be less confusing. The reworded regulations have now been prepared. They aim to clarify these main […]
A woman was convicted by a criminal court of creating a phony e-mail message to buttress her sexual harassment case. Adelyn Lee, a former employee of Redwood City-based Oracle Corp., claimed CEO Larry Ellison ordered her termination after she refused to have sex with him on what turned out to be their last date. Lee […]
Governor Wilson has introduced legislation to reform California’s wrongful termination laws. If passed, the measure would put an end to court cases that have allowed employees to sue on the ground that the employer’s actions or practices created a promise-though not in writing-that the person could only be fired for good cause. For example, employees […]
Has an employee ever complained about offensive conduct by a salesperson, customer or vendor? If that behavior veers toward sexual harassment, you may have to step in and stop it. But how you handle the situation may make the difference between resolving the problem, losing a good customer, or worse-being sued.
We recently reported on California’s plan to amend the wage rules to drop the requirement of paying overtime after eight hours in a day, in favor of the federal law that requires overtime pay only after 40 hours in a week. However, some other changes are also in the works. Here’s what you should know.
It’s not always easy to know when inappropriate behavior becomes illegal harassment. While a single offensive comment alone may not be enough to justify a claim, there isn’t always a clearcut test for harassment. In the accompanying story beginning on page 1, the jury found that racial harassment had occurred, but the results in similar […]
You probably know that docking the pay of an employee who is exempt from overtime is fraught with risk-the person could lose their exempt status and you could have to begin paying overtime, as well as back overtime for up to three years. And some courts have said that merely having a written policy giving […]
In January, we reported on the impact California’s Proposition 215, the Medical Marijuana Initiative, will have on the workplace. Prop. 215 allows marijuana use if it is recommended, orally or in writing, by a physician. But there are many unanswered questions, including when the use of medical marijuana can be grounds for termination and how […]
Every time you fire someone, you run the risk of being sued. But your chances of getting hit with a big jury verdict or a hefty legal bill defending yourself can be drastically reduced with proper planning. That’s what one employer found when, because it carefully laid the groundwork to dismiss an employee accused of […]