Sexual Harassment: California’s High Court Affirms Automatic Liability for Harassment by Supervisors, But Employers Can Take Steps to Limit Victim’s Damages

In a new ruling, the California Supreme Court has affirmed employers are automatically liable for sexual harassment committed by supervisors, but damages for an employee who doesn’t take reasonable steps to avoid or report supervisor harassment can be reduced. We’ll examine the new case and suggest smart employment practices that can help you limit damages—and […]

Disability Discrimination: Supreme Court Upholds Non-Rehire-for-Drug-Use Policy Violation; Caution Still Required. 3 Practices to Keep You Out of Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld an employer’s refusal to rehire a former employee who violated the company’s drug use policies. This means employers may continue to use neutral policies, but an employee can still prove the employer intentionally discriminated against them and is just using the policy as a pretext to hide wrongdoing. We’ll […]

Reasonable Accommodation: Court Examines Limits to Employer’s Obligation to Engage in Interactive Process with Disabled Employee

When Pacific Bell service technician Clarence Allen became disabled, his doctor told the company the disability prevented Allen from performing anything other than sedentary work. Allen then asked Pacific Bell to accommodate his disability by allowing him to return to his service technician position without requiring him to climb poles and ladders. Requested Accommodation Denied […]

Americans with Disabilities Act: New EEOC Fact Sheet Guides You in Accommodating Diabetics in Your Workplace

During the past five years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has seen a 13 percent increase in the number of charges filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) alleging discrimination based on diabetes. And according to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately one million cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year in the […]

Health and Safety: Employee Obesity Can Create Risks in the Workplace; Low-Cost Approaches to Tip the Scales in Your Favor

No doubt you’ve heard that Americans are getting heavier. The Surgeon General reports that in 1999, 61 percent of adults in the United States were overweight, twice as many as in 1980. And as of 2001, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly a quarter of all Californians were obese. These numbers—and the […]

News Notes: Reminder To Post Cal_OSHA 300A Log

From February 1 through April 30, 2004, most public and private employers are required to post the Cal-OSHA Form 300A annual summary log of injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2003. You must display the summary in a conspicuous place where you normally post notices to employees. During the posting period, you’re responsible for making […]

News Notes: Big Sex-Bias Settlememt At UC Lab

The University of California has agreed to pay out $9.7 million in damages—and possibly millions more in attorney’s fees—to settle a class action lawsuit alleging sex discrimination against 3,200 female workers at the university-run Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The lawsuit alleged women experienced bias in promotions and were paid less than male employees who performed […]