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Leased And Temporary Workers: Why You Could Be On The Hook For Unintended Benefits; Action To Take Now

Supplementing your regular workforce with staff provided by an employee leasing company has become an increasingly popular way to keep administrative and benefit costs down and maintain labor flexibility. Many who use leased workers and long-term agency temps consider themselves immune from the risky misclassification problems that have plagued employers who use independent contractors. But […]

News Notes: Workers Lose Wage-and-Hour Retaliation Lawsuit

Six former ticket sales employees of the Seattle SuperSonics won more than $13 million in damages last year after being fired for complaining about overtime violations and retaliation. But now, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, which covers California, has thrown out the retaliation claims. The court said the workers could not sue for retaliation […]

News Notes: Delayed Harassment Claim Thrown Out

In one of the first sexual harassment decisions in California since the U.S. Supreme Court issued new guidelines this summer (see CEA August 1998), an employee who waited almost two years before complaining about being harassed has had her case dismissed. The federal court found the employer had exercised reasonable care to prevent and remedy […]

News Notes: Court Nixes Rehab Benefits For Undocumented Worker

An undocumented employee who was injured on the job has had her request for rehabilitation benefits thrown out by the California Court of Appeal. Margalese Ortega-Ruiz injured her back while working at a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant in Santa Monica. After she filed a workers’ comp claim and requested vocational rehabilitation benefits, the restaurant discovered she wasn’t […]

Managing The Workplace: Court Clarifies When You’re Protected From Being Personally Sued For Termination Decisions

If an employee is “at-will,” it usually means you can discharge the person at any time for any lawful, non-discriminatory reason. But what if a manager is motivated by improper, though not illegal, personal concerns when recommending an employee be fired? In a new decision, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that as long […]

Employee Defamation Suits: Loose Lips And Sloppy Investigations Land Employers In Court

Workplace investigations have become a critical function of human resource managers. If an employee is accused of wrongdoing and you don’t conduct a prompt and thorough inquiry, you run the risk of being sued and hit with big damages for claims ranging from sexual harassment to wrongful termination. But as several recent cases show, conducting […]

Legislation Update: Governor Signs New Bills On Unemployment Claims And Health Coverage; What You Need To Know

Governor Wilson recently approved two laws, one of which will make it easier for smaller employers to offer health benefits to part-time workers, and the other which changes the unemployment insurance rules to allow benefits to employees who are victims of domestic violence. Both measures take effect on January 1, 1999. Here are the key […]

News Notes: Ex-Worker Who Took Family Leave Sues For Refusal To Rehire

A former employee who claims his employer refused to rehire him becausehe took too much family leave can sue under the federal Family and MedicalLeave Act, according to a federal appellate court. Mark Duckworth had takena 52-day medical leave from his job at Pratt & Whitney, Inc., becauseof a punctured lung. When he was subsequently […]

News Notes: EEOC Backlog Reduced; Race Bias Charges Most Common

Although the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has receivedan average of more than 85,000 charges a year since 1992, the agency recentlyannounced it has slashed its pending caseload by nearly half in the lastthree years, partly by offering more mediation-based alternative disputeresolution. Complaints of race discrimination top the list (36% of allcharges filed), followed by […]

Independent Contractors: IRS Issues Employer-Friendly Rules For Resolving Classification Disputes

An IRS audit claiming you misclassified workers as independent contractors rather than employees can be frustrating and expensive to resolve. But recent changes in IRS procedures for handling independent contractor classification problems may take some of the sting out of dealing with the government. New Rules For Independent Contractor Disputes Under the prior rules, if […]