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News Notes: Employee Forced To Quit For Revealing Prison Abuses

After Terence Allen, a Hawaii Department of Corrections physician, publicly disclosed the alleged mistreatment of inmates, he was investigated by the internal affairs division, denied a promotion and locked out of the facility. The federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has now ruled that the department retaliated against him for exercising his free speech rights. […]

News Bulletin: Government Hunting Down Late Form 5500 Filers

The federal Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service have announced that they’re tracking down delinquent filers of Form 5500, which is required to be filed annually for benefit plans. And in December 2002, the agencies plan to begin sending out letters of inquiry to delinquent filers. Penalties for late filing can be steep, […]

News Notes: Court Clarifies Date Of Injury For Purposes Of Determining Workers’ Comp Liability

  A California appeal court has ruled that for purposes of determining whether an employer is liable for an employee’s occupational disease or cumulative trauma injury, the date of injury is when the employee first suffered either temporary or permanent disability—not when medical treatment was received. The ruling is important because, with work-related disease or cumulative […]

New Ruling on Liability for Injuries to Contractor’s Employee

In a series of cases in recent years, the California Supreme Court has discussed the circumstances under which an employee of an independent contractor can sue the hirer of that contractor for work-related injuries, rather that just collect workers’ compensation benefits. Now the high court has further clarified when you can be sued for damages […]

EEOC Announces Crackdown on “Systemic” Discrimination

Last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that strengthening its nationwide approach to investigating and litigating systemic cases of discrimination is now an agency-wide top priority. According to the EEOC, systemic cases involve a “pattern or practice, policy and/or class cases where the alleged discrimination has a broad impact on an industry, […]

Managers Need Questions—Not Answers

Yesterday, we looked at Dan Oswald’s thoughts on control vs. collaboration. Today, more wisdom from Oswald. He suggests that managers shouldn’t try to have all the answers; the real key to great management is asking the right questions.

Workers’ Compensation: Insurance Commissioner Approves Big Premium Rate Increase

The state Insurance Commissioner has approved a 10.1% premium rate hike for workers’ compensation insurance in response to increases in medical costs that have battered workers’ comp insurers. Although the approved boost is only advisory, increases adopted by the commissioner are frequently used by the industry as a guidepost to set policy prices.

Survey Says–Economic Slump Hits HR Departments

By BLR Founder and CEO Bob Brady A warm “Thank you” to the 2,800 HRDA readers who responded to our recent survey concerning the effect of the economic slump on your organizations and your departments! Here’s a summary of the results. Smaller Businesses Hit Hardest While the slumping economy is hurting businesses of all sizes, […]

New Law Bans Texting While Driving; Download a Sample Policy Now

Now that the state budget stalemate has finally ended, Governor Schwarzenegger has gotten back to the work of signing bills sent to him by the legislature, and his last day to do so was September 30. One of the first bills penned into law expands the existing ban on driving while using a cell phone […]