News Notes: WARN Act Violation Requires Employers To Pay only For Workdays

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) requires employers with 100 or more employees to give workers at least 60 days’ written notice of a pending mass layoff or plant shutdown. Instead of giving notice, you can pay workers for the 60-day period. Now, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, which covers California, has […]

News Notes: Employers Sued By Testers For Hiring Discrimination

Undercover testers-individuals who apply for jobs solely to scope out hiring bias-continue to cause trouble for some employers. The owner of five San Francisco McDonald’s franchises is the latest lawsuit target. Several African-American job seekers were allegedly told that no positions were available or were told to apply in a “ghetto” neighborhood. Others were flatly […]

Settling Wage And Hour Disputes: New Case Suggests Important New Provision To Add To Your Agreements

Employers frequently insert confidentiality provisions into termination and settlement agreements to prevent others from learning the details of the arrangement or other sensitive information about the company. And once an employee signs such an agreement, you may think that’s the last you’ll hear of it. But a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision shows that nothing […]

Sexual Orientation Claims: Gay Worker Charges He Was Forced To Quit; How To Keep Harassment Problems From Mushrooming

You may think an employee who hands in their resignation can’t hold you legally responsible for their decision to quit. But a worker who claims their working conditions were intolerable can try to turn a resignation into a lawsuit for “constructive discharge.” As a new ruling involving sexual orientation bias demonstrates, you can avoid being […]

A Harassment Investigation That Worked: What The Employer Did Right

To defend yourself against a lawsuit by an employee terminated for sexual harassment or other misconduct, it’s essential to thoroughly investigate the accuser’s complaint, as the accompanying story illustrates. Here are the key steps Lucky Stores took which led the court to find it had acted properly before discharging the employee accused of harassment:

Managing Sexual Harassment Backlash: Employer Dodges Alleged Harasser’s Suit; Four Practical Strategies

As employers are finding out all too often, getting tough and firing employees who harass other workers can bring on another big headache-a wrongful termination lawsuit. Although the California Supreme Court addressed this troublesome issue earlier this year, it’s been unclear exactly what steps you should take to protect yourself from being sued by an […]

Terminating Employees: Jury Orders Employer To Pay $28 Million To Worker Fired For Lodging EEOC Complaint; How To Manage A High-Risk Discharge

Suppose you decide to terminate an employee as part of a reduction in force. You treat the worker the same as others selected for layoff and offer the same severance benefits. But the person turns around and sues, claiming the real reason you fired him was to retaliate for a discrimination claim he filed with […]

News Notes: New Survey About Family-Friendly Benefits

What are employers doing to help employees balance work and family needs? A survey by the Families and Work Institute of 1,000 employers with 100+ employees reveals that 90% of the employers gave workers time off to attend school events, and half let employees stay home with a mildly sick child without using vacation or […]

News Notes: Supervisor Personally Hit With Big Harassment Verdict

An employee who claimed her boss sexually harassed her was awarded nearly $400,000 in damages—but the supervisor, not the employer, will have to pay the tab. Maria Kaul worked for a short time as a secretary for Orion Systems, Inc., in Santa Clara. She claimed her boss, Morton Kessler, repeatedly commented on her clothing, kissed […]