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Temporary Workers: Union Sues Ventura County For Using Temps

In the latest example of the trend toward challenging the use of temporary workers by government and private employers, Ventura County’s largest labor union, the Service Employees International Union, has sued the county. The union charges that the county paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past year to temporary workers in clerical, maintenance […]

Employment Law Tip: Protect Your Trade Secrets

As the Yahoo! suit against MForma Inc. highlights, things can get ugly if you suspect former employees have walked off with your trade secrets and joined a competitor. The best way to head off trade secrets disputes—and the potentially disastrous business consequences of your trade secrets getting into a competitor’s hands—is to take steps on […]

Retirement Plans: Government Announces New ERISA Enforcement Plan—And New Program To Correct Violations Without Penalties

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) has just released its new enforcement strategy to ensure that pension plans comply with ERISA. The main target: defined contribution programs, particularly 401(k) plans. This means you could be hit with hefty penalties for pension plan administration errors, such as delinquent employee contributions and […]

Training: We’ve Done Our Sexual Harassment Training; What Other Types of Harassment Training Do We Need?

We’ve gotten through the initial round of our required sexual harassment training. Whew! But I want to expand it to include other types of harassment, such as religious harassment, disability harassment, and so on. Which elements do you recommend we include, and should we incorporate this training into the sexual harassment training, or do it […]

ERI Wins Sixth Editorial Award

The Employer Resource Institute, publisher of the California Employer Advisor, has just won its sixth editorial award. CEA’s two-part series on blogging, which ran in the June 2005 and July 2005 issues, earned second prize in the Best Instructional Reporting category of the Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Foundation Editorial Awards. The NEPF Awards recognize excellence […]

Making Managers Manage

Surely one of the most frustrating things about HR is managers who won’t manage. HR sets up its policies, practices, and systems and then managers don’t follow through. Some don’t care, some can’t, and some just don’t have the backbone to make tough calls. One thing’s sure—when things go South, HR’s going to catch the […]

News Flash: New Rules Issued For Federal Contractors

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has issued final regulations revising and simplifying the rules for written affirmative action programs. However, the new regulations also substantially increase the number of employers who must complete the annual Equal Opportunity Survey and submit personnel and compensation data.

News Notes: EEOC Settles Genetic Testing Case

The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad Company will pay $2.2 million to settle a genetic testing lawsuit filed by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC charged that Burlington Northern conducted genetic testing as part of a medical exam required of employees who had filed work-related carpal tunnel syndrome claims. Burlington Northern agreed […]

Employer Liability: New Case Examines When You Can Be on the Hook for Accidents Occurring During an Employee’s Commute; Prevention Steps

Minimed Inc., based in Northridge, hired a pest control company to spray pesticide overnight to eliminate fleas at the office. When clerical employee Irma Hernandez arrived at work the next morning, she noticed a Raid-like smell—and within a few hours she had a headache, nausea, and tightness in her chest. Hernandez told her supervisors she […]