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News Notes: Court Approves Weekly Overtime In California

A court has rejected a bid by labor groups to block the Industrial Welfare Commission’s recent changes to California’s overtime laws, set to take effect January 1. Unless overturned by a higher court, this latest development clears the way for overtime to be required only after 40 hours in a week rather than after eight […]

E-Alert Item: Labor Department Unveils New Website For Disability Awareness

The U.S. Department of Labor has launched, a new online resource to promote disability awareness. The site is a collaborative effort across multiple federal agencies and includes information on employment, health care and other topics. It contains a resource section for employers, with guidance on legal responsibilities regarding disabled employees and applicants and links to […]

Wage and Hour: Hourly Rate Going Up for Exempt Computer Software Pros

Under California wage and hour law, computer software professionals can qualify for overtime exemption if they meet certain duties requirements and are paid a specified hourly rate, set annually based on inflation rates by the state Department of Industrial Relations. On Jan. 1, 2007, the minimum hourly rate for exempt computer software professionals will be […]

Tool of the Week: 21-Point Safe Terminations Checklist

Terminating an employee is one of the most unpleasant tasks an employer faces. And the fact that you also need to keep track of a complicated set of legal concerns only adds to the stress. Most employers are acutely aware that if you make a mistake, you could be facing an expensive employee lawsuit.

Employment Law Tip: Workers’ Comp Costs Down—Are You Getting the Best Deal?

Last week, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that insurers’ workers’ compensation costs have plummeted by 70 percent since the workers’ comp reforms of 2003 were implemented—and as a result, pure premium rates will remain unchanged for now. Poizner noted, though, that insurers should continue to pass on the cost savings to businesses in the […]

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. […]

Bulletin Item: OSHA Releases Draft Ergonomic Regulations for Poultry Industry

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking comments on its recently released regulations for poultry processing facilities. The regulations include an overview of injuries common to this industry, ways to develop and implement safety strategies, and examples and tools available to improve ergonomic practices. Comments are due by Aug. 4, 2003.

Healthcare Reform Happened—Now What?

By BLR Founder and CEO Bob Brady Whatever you felt about it, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—arguably the most far-reaching piece of social legislation in the last several decades—is now law. Employers around the country—including BLR—are scrambling to figure out what the upcoming changes mean. It’s a huge challenge because federal regulators haven’t […]