Category: HR Management & Compliance

There are dozens of details to take care of in the day-to-day operation of your department and your company. We give you case studies, news updates, best practices and training tips that keep your organization fully in compliance with ever-changing employment law, and you fully aware of emerging HR trends.

News Notes: Can Union Contracts Bar Discrimination Lawsuits?

Mandatory arbitration of employment disputes continues to be controversial. One unresolved issue has been whether union contracts can require workers to arbitrate all employment disputes. The U.S. Supreme Court has now agreed to rule on this question.11 Although arbitration clauses for various workplace disputes have been used for years in union contracts, courts have disagreed […]

News Notes: Giants Sued Over Charges of Recruiter’s Harassment

The San Francisco Giants have been sued for sexual harassment by 13 baseball players who claim they were harassed by a scout in the Dominican Republic. The players alleged the scout demanded sex from them in exchange for keeping them on a Giants’ farm team, and when they refused, he terminated them. The players argued […]

Wrongful Termination: Why Employee Won $250,000 After Telling Employer He Had Cancer

You know you may have an obligation to accommodate a disabled employee or risk a lawsuit for disability discrimination. But you might not be aware that in California you can also be sued for discriminating against workers with certain medical conditions–even if they are notdisabled and do not need an accommodation. That’s what happened recently […]

Family Leave Eligibility: Do You Have To Count Time As A Temp?

With more companies turning to temporary and leased employees to meet staffing needs, some tricky legal issues can come up. For example, employees are only eligible for family leave after they’ve worked for you for 12 months. But what if a person spent some of that time as a temp through an employment agency? According […]

Reducing Retaliation Lawsuit Risks: Employee Fired For Taking Soda Wins $400,000—What Court’s New Ruling Means To You

A California appellate court has upheld a hefty jury award to an employee who was fired for purportedly stealing a soft drink from his employer’s convenience store. The termination came just hours after the employee testified against the company in a co-worker’s unemployment hearing—suggesting the real reason for the firing was the testimony, not the […]

News Notes: Court Rules You Can Correct Family Leave Mistakes

A court has decided that an employer who granted federal family leave to someone who wasn’t qualified to take it can later correct its mistake, despite a government regulation that says otherwise. The employer in the case had told a pregnant worker, Susan Seaman, that she was entitled to family leave, but it turned out […]

News Notes: Congress May Make Inside Sales Employees Exempt from Overtime

Legislation is pending in Washington that would treat certain employees who perform inside sales work the same as outside salespeople when it comes to overtime pay. Inside sales personnel are currently entitled to overtime after 40 hours of work in a week. However, a bill making its way through the House of Representatives would exempt […]

News Notes: Worker Fired For Speaking Spanish Wins Big

In what may be the first jury award involving an employer’s English-only policy, an employee for Baccarat Inc. has won $500,000 in damages after claiming that she was fired for speaking Spanish. Irma Rivera worked as a saleswoman at one of Baccarat’s showrooms. After a new company president took over, Rivera alleged that she was […]

News Notes: Republicans Maneuver To Stop Use Of Undercover Employment Testers

Republicans in Congress have said they will support a budget increase for the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission—but there’s a catch. They’re demanding that the agency promise to stop using undercover “testers” who pose as job applicants for the sole purpose of scoping out whether your hiring practices are legal. The lawmakers also want to […]

Termination Agreements: Recent Case Says Commonly Used Language Exposes Employers To New Risks

When you ask an employee to sign an employment termination agreement in exchange for severance benefits or other payments, you probably include language making clear that the agreement supersedes any prior understandings there may have been between you and the employee. But a new case suggests this commonly used provision has some significant hidden risks—and […]