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.

Avoiding Defamation Suits: Use Caution When Discussing Ex-Employee Turned Competitor-A 4-Point Checklist

  Have you ever fired an employee and then worried that he would join a competitor and “bad mouth” your organization to important customers or vendors? One employer in that situation went a little too far in trying to control the damage to its reputation-and found itself ordered to pay the former employee $1 million […]

Wage and Hour: Not Paying for “Off-The-Clock” Work Lands Employers In Hot Water; When You Do-And Don’t-Have To Pay

It’s obvious you have to pay employees for all the hours they spend doing their job. But violations of this rule by employers are common, and they can be very expensive. A few years back, for example, Nordstrom had to set aside millions of dollars to settle a class action lawsuit charging numerous “off-the-clock” violations. […]

Hostile Environment: How Mishandling A Harassment Complaint Cost One Employer $894,000

  In April, we reported how a savvy employer successfully defended itself against a wrongful termination claim by conducting a thorough investigation and review of the facts before making the decision to terminate. This month, we look at a case in which an employer had ample opportunities to protect an employee from harassment but didn’t-because […]

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 […]