Pension Plans: Billion Dollar Surplus Nightmare For Employer; How To Stay Legal

  If you have a defined benefit pension plan for your employees, thanks to stock market gains it may contain more money than you’ll need to pay out in benefits. But be careful before you use this “extra” money. One employer recently found there are strict rules about what you can and can’t do with […]

Disability Discrimination: Court Says Look For Alternative Jobs, Even If Workers Don’t Ask; How To Avoid Accommodation Traps

Your obligation to accommodate disabled workers may be much broader than you think. According to a new California Court of Appeal ruling, if one of your employees becomes disabled and can’t perform their job, you must suggest possible reasonable accommodations-even if the employee doesn’t ask for your assistance. What’s more, you might be required to […]

Workplace Scheduling: Daily Overtime Scrapped; Other Revolutionary Changes May Be On The Way

Major changes are in the pipeline that could dramatically alter how California works. First, in a historic development, daily overtime for most workers may be eliminated. And other proposals are under consideration on such important issues as comp time, alternative workweeks and family leave. Here are the details, along with how they might affect you.

News Notes: Incomplete Summary Plan Descriptions Can Be Costly

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 […]

News Notes: New Ergonomics Rules Close To Adoption

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 […]

News Notes: Wrongful Termination Law Reform Proposed

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 […]

Hostile Workplace: When Does Vulgarity Cross The Line?

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 […]