News Flash: Supreme Court OKs Arbitration Agreements For Employment Disputes

In welcome news for employers, the California Supreme Court has just issued its long-awaited decision on mandatory arbitration agreements. The court spelled out the minimum requirements for such agreements to be valid and clarified which provisions are illegal. We’ll have a full analysis of the impact of the ruling on California employers, along with a […]

News Flash: IWC Recommends $1 Minimum-Wage Hike

The Industrial Welfare Commission has proposed boosting the state minimum wage to $6.75 an hour by 2002. At its August 17 meeting, the IWC approved a plan for a 50-cent raise on January 1, 2001, and another 50-cent jump on January 1, 2002. The IWC will hold a series of hearings in coming weeks to […]

News Flash: Bills Sent To Governor On E-Mail Monitoring And Personal Liability For Sexual Harassment Of Co-Workers

Our story on a host of important bill spending in the legislature. As we go to press a couple of them have already been passed and are now on the governor’s desk for approval. They include the legislation requiring employersto notify employees if their e-mail will be monitored (A.B. 1822) and the measure that would […]

Whistleblowing: Alaska Airlines Sued By Worker Who Reported Maintenance Problems

John Liotine, the mechanic who first alerted authorities to potential problems at Alaska Airlines’ Oakland maintenance facility, has now filed a $20 million defamation lawsuit against the company. Liotine charged that information on the airline’s Web site suggested he was incompetent and he had accused his supervisors of misconduct because they passed him over for […]

Embezzlement: Information Technology Manager Charged With Embezzling $3.7 Million From Starbucks

In a case that illustrates the high cost of lapses in financial controls, a former Starbucks information technology manager has been arrested and charged with an embezzlement scheme that cost the coffee company $3.7 million. Rosemary Heinen allegedly used her position to set up fictitious businesses, create phony invoices, bill Starbucks millions for services that […]

Employer Liability: Injuries To Employees’ Unborn Children; Safeguarding Your Workers And Yourself

If a pregnant employee is injured at work and her baby is born with health defects or problems, you could get blamed. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to take preventive measures to protect a fetus from harm because some approaches that might seem sensible are actually illegal. We’ll look at a new case involving a […]

Accommodating Employees: Employer Agrees To Settle Suit By Hearing-Impaired Employee

A hearing-impaired worker in Los Angeles who requested a sign language interpreter for meetings–and instead was allegedly told by her supervisors to read lips and try harder–will receive $100,000 to settle her claim that her employer failed to accommodate her under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In a confidential settlement, the government employer also agreed […]

Employee Lawsuits: The Latest Legal Risk When A Disabled Employee Wants To Return To Work; How To Avoid Getting Sued

It’s important to be extra careful when evaluating the abilities of an employee who was previously injured and wants to come back to work. Unless you carefully consider the individual’s current skills and recent medical reports, deciding that the worker can’t perform certain tasks can expose you to an expensive discrimination lawsuit for erroneously regarding […]

Disability-Related Questions And Medical Exams, Part 1: EEOC Releases Guidance On When You Can Get Health Information From Employees

Five years ago, the EEOC issued rules explaining which medical exams you could require and what health questions you could ask job applicants without running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Now, newly released guidance from the EEOC helps clear up some of the uncertainty employers face when these types of issues come up […]

Sexual Harassment: White House Embroiled In Suit By Pastry Chef

Charges of sexual harassment are bubbling in the White House kitchen. Franette McCulloch, a former pastry chef, has charged that her boss of 17 years, Roland Mesnier, made unwelcome sexual propositions to her and then turned hostile when she refused his repeated advances. McCulloch claims that after she complained to White House officials, they said […]