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 […]
Category: California HR
Many call California the nation’s hot bed for employment laws and regulations. There are many HR considerations that only apply to California employers. Check out these resources to develop a strategically focused HR plan while also staying abreast of critical compliance challenges under California and federal law.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The U.S. Supreme Court has just handed employers one more reason to keep quiet when asked to give a job reference for a former employee. Charles Robinson sued Shell Oil Co. for race discrimination after he was fired. Later, when Shell gave him a negative reference, he filed a second lawsuit charging that the bad […]
The state Insurance Commissioner has taken over control of Golden Eagle Insurance Co., California’s third largest workers’ compensation carrier. The action grew out of concerns about Golden Eagle’s financial solvency. The Insurance Commissioner is optimistic that several insurers will join together to operate Golden Eagle’s business through a new company, San Diego Casualty Insurance Co. […]
Much has been said in recent years about the phenomenon of postal service workers and other employees who go berserk and harm co-workers or innocent bystanders. Now, in a new case, the post office was sued for more than $500,000 when an employee with a violent background attacked a tow truck driver. This lawsuit is […]
Employers are increasingly using surveillance devices to combat theft and drug abuse and improve overall security at work. But you could find yourself in serious trouble under federal and state laws if you’re not careful. We’ll look at two recent cases that focus on some complex issues involved in workplace surveillance.
Sales are down. Expenses are up. You’ve tried everything and it looks as if your only alternative is to eliminate jobs. These not uncommon circumstances can turn into a high-stakes gamble, particularly because the graying of the American workforce puts you at risk for expensive age bias claims. So when you’re facing a restructuring, it’s […]
When you hear about workers’ compensation fraud, it’s usually by employees. But there are cases where employers are charged with cheating the workers’ comp system. In one of the biggest verdicts of this kind, State Compen- sation Insurance Fund-the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurer-recently won a $3.2 million judgment against a network of Southern California […]