Severance Agreements: Older Worker Who Signs Release Can Still Sue You; Supreme Court Rules

Once a terminated employeehas signed a release promising not to sue and has cashed theirseverance check, you probably think you are free from their legalclaims against you. In most cases, you’d be right. But you couldbe in for an expensive surprise if the employee is 40 years orolder and your paperwork isn’t perfect. That’s because […]

News Notes: Commercial Driver Random Alcohol Testing Rules Revised

Under federal Department of Transportation rules, if you employone or more commercial drivers who operate certain types of vehicles, you must comply with detailed drug and alcohol testing, training and record keeping regulations. As of January 1, 1998, the percentage of drivers you’re obligated to randomly test for alcohol use has been lowered from 25% […]

News Notes: Mental Health Parity Rules Begin

A new federal law now in effect says that if you offer mental health benefits, they must have the same aggregate lifetime and annual limits as medical benefits. The law applies to employers with 50 or more employees. There’s an exemption for employerswho can show the parity requirements will increase their costsby more than 1%. […]

News Notes: Supreme Court Upholds Tough Standard For Polling Union Workers

The U.S. Supreme Court has clarified the rules for when employers can poll unionized workers about their support for the union.The case involved a Mack Truck dealership that had recently changed ownership. Several employees allegedly made statements to the new employer indicating they did not want to be part of the existing union. When the […]

News Notes: Victims Of Workplace Violence Entitled To Workers’ Comp Notice

A new California law requires you to give employees who are victims of a crime at work written notice informing them they are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries, including psychiatric problems. The notice generally must be provided within one working day of the crime and delivered personally or by first-class mail.

Age Discrimination: Important New Proposals To Beef Up California’s Age Bias Laws

In a controversial decision last year, a California Court of Appealruled that you can discharge high-earning employees over age 40and replace them with lower-paid workers, provided your motivationis to save money and not discriminate against older employees. The California Supreme Court recentlyrefused to review the ruling. But now, two important proposalsare pending in Sacramento that would, […]

News Notes: Worker With No Desk And No Duties Can Sue For Age Bias

Although many employers don’t realize it, you can be sued for wrongful termination even if the person quit instead of being fired. That’s because employees can claim they were ‘constructively discharged’ when working conditions become so intolerable that a reasonable person would be compelled to quit. In one recent case, a 56-year-old country club secretary, […]

News Notes: Clinton Makes Push For Workplace Child Care

President Clinton’s sweeping $21.7 billion child care initiative includes $500 million in tax incentives to encourage employers to provide more employer-sponsored child care. Under the plan, which is still subject to Congressional approval, employers would get a 25% tax credit for building or expanding child care facilities. Several other bills are pending in Congress which […]

News Notes: Employee Who Revealed Trade Secrets Barred From Working In Field

In a new approach to dealing with leaks of trade secrets, a court barred a high-tech employee from performing any work in his field for two years after he allegedly disclosed confidential documents to a competitor during a job interview. The case involved David Allouche, who worked for National Semiconductor Corporation in Silicon Valley. Allouche […]

News Notes: Injured Employee Caught Playing Golf Convicted Of Workers’ Comp Fraud

An employee who was discovered playing golf while collecting workers’ compensation payments has pleaded no contest to insurance fraud and could face jail time. William LaForge, who was just a few months away from retirement, injured his back when he fell on the steps outside the Daly City high school where he had been an […]