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: 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 […]

Investigating And Terminating Employees: How One Employer Did It Right

Every time you fire someone, you run the risk of being sued. But your chances of getting hit with a big jury verdict or a hefty legal bill defending yourself can be drastically reduced with proper planning. That’s what one employer found when, because it carefully laid the groundwork to dismiss an employee accused of […]

Racial Harassment: Employer Ordered To Pay $1.9 Million; Why Teasing Even Among “Friends” Can Land You In Court

Good-natured banter is part of the normal work environment. But when the teasing takes on racial or sexual overtones, you can be sued for millions of dollars-even if everyone laughingly participates in the give-and-take. That’s what happened to a Los Angeles employer who failed to intervene when kidding crossed the line and became illegal workplace […]

News Notes: Court To Review Microsoft Independent Contractor Case

Late last year, software giant Microsoft Corp. was ordered by a federal Court of Appeal to extend retroactive pension and stock purchase benefits-potentially worth millions of dollars-to employees improperly classified as independent contractors. (See CEA November 1996.) But now, the court says it will reconsider its decision-a potentially positive signal for Microsoft. A change in […]

News Notes: Help On New Health Insurance Laws Available

Several federal laws affecting employee health benefits were added last year, including the Health Insurance Portability Act, the Mental Health Parity Act and the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act. To help clear the confusion about these complex regulations, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a booklet that answers some of the most common […]

News Notes: Race Discrimination Claim Upheld, Damages Reduced

In 1994, we reported on the case of a black engineer and his supervisor who sued Hughes Aircraft. The engineer claimed he was denied promotions and raises because of his race. His supervisor charged that managers pressured him to fabricate negative performance reviews about the engineer, and when he refused to comply, turned him down […]