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News Notes: New OSHA Web Site Encourages Worker Complaints

Employees can now use the Internet to file health and safety complaints, thanks to a new Fed/OSHA Web site focusing on workers’ rights. The new electronic complaint filing system, which makes it easier for employees to air their grievances, could bring a flood of new workplace investigations since the agency says that it will forward […]

News Notes: U.S. Senators Back Plan For Mexican Guest Workers

In a recent meeting with President Vicente Fox of Mexico, a delegation of American senators led by Senator Phil Gramm (R-Texas) pledged to initiate a new guest worker program that would bring Mexican workers into the U.S. and effectively grant amnesty to as many as 7 million Mexicans currently working here illegally. According to Gramm, […]

News Notes: Court Tosses Out $15 Million Race-Bias Settlement

The Ninth Circuit has thrown out a $15 million class-action settlement in a case accusing Boeing Co. of workplace bias. A group of employees had challenged the settlement, arguing that it was inequitable because some victims would have received up to 16 times more money than others, and that it didn’t do enough to prevent […]

News Notes: Living Wage Law Survives Constitutional Challenge

  The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal has upheld the City of Berkeley’s living wage law in the face of a challenge to its constitutionality.1Berkeley’s law, enacted in 2000, requires certain city contractors and lessees to pay workers a minimum hourly wage a few dollars higher than state and federal minimums, plus health benefits. […]

Employment Law Tip: Business Safety Overseas

If your employees travel around the world as part of their job duties, they can face a variety of unique safety concerns, including political unrest or acts of terrorism. One of the things you can do to ensure their safety is to make sure they have access to up-to-date information regarding dangerous airports or countries, […]

Pension Plans: Many County Employees May Be Entitled To Higher Benefits

Several counties, and possibly other public employers as well, may soon be paying out a lot more in retirement benefits. The reason is a new decision by the state Supreme Court that said a Southern California county improperly excluded certain cash payments when calculating pensions under the County Employees’ Retirement Law. Retirees File Suit In […]

Bulletin Item: Workers’ Compensation Reform Developments Continue

The Assembly Insurance Committee was recently scheduled to vote on the controversial reform measure (ABX4 1) proposed by Gov. Schwarzenegger just after he took office in November. However, the committee postponed the vote, which likely would have resulted in the bill’s defeat. The governor and legislators have now entered into talks to reach a compromise […]

News Notes: Courts Adopt Internet Policy but Won’t Monitor E-Mail

Employer monitoring of employee Internet access is a hot issue. Federal Ninth Circuit judges recently jumped into the fray by shutting off surveillance software that monitored court employees’ Internet use, stating that such monitoring without prior notice to employees could be illegal. Now the body that governs the federal court system is requiring federal courts […]

News Notes: No Overtime For Truckers, Court Says

A group of truckers sought back overtime pay from their employer, Overnite Transportation Co. The truck drivers argued that when the state Legislature passed A.B. 60 in 1999, reinstating daily overtime—following its repeal in 1997—it abolished a previous “motor carrier” exemption from overtime for workers whose hours of service are regulated by the Department of […]