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News Notes: New Case Explains When Public Sector Employees Can Be Disciplined For Political Activities

Most public and private employers know it’s illegal to take action against employees because of their political activities. But a recent case highlights an important exception to this rule for public employees who qualify as “policymakers.” A terminated deputy sued a newly elected sheriff, alleging she was forced out of her job because she had […]

News Notes: IRS Clarifies Pension Amendment Notice Rules

The Internal Revenue Service has issued new regulations which clarify that plan administrators must provide 15 days’ written notice before the effective date of retirement plan amendments which result in a significant reduction in future benefit accrual. The rules apply to both defined benefit and money purchase plans. If some plan participants don’t receive notice […]

Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Health Care Reform in 2012

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would hear a challenge to the massive health care reform law (also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA) enacted in March 2010. The Court revealed how important it considers this case by scheduling five and a half hours of oral […]

News Notes: Government Expanding Use Of Undercover Testers

Federal agencies responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws are stepping up their use of ‘testers’-individuals who act as job applicants for the sole purpose of scoping out whether your hiring practices are legal. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is now utilizing outside vendors to conduct the testing. And the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the […]

News Notes: Employee Benefits Data Now Available

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has just released a new survey showing the latest trends in employee benefits. The study describes what medium and large private employers offer in terms of paid leave, health and retirement benefits, and life insurance, and it provides a useful benchmarkfor comparing your own employee benefit plans. When it […]

News Flash: Court Rebuffs Temps’ Claim For Benefits

A federal court in California has thrown out a lawsuit we mentioned in the August 1999 issue of California Employer Advisor, which was filed by long-term temps contending that, even though they were paid by employee-leasing agencies, they should be considered regular Atlantic Richfield Co. employees entitled to receive benefits. The temps sought retirement benefits, […]

News Notes: Court Says Employer Can’t Charge Independent Contractors For Workers’ Comp Coverag

  Although the workers’ compensation system is designed to provide protection for injured employees, employers can obtain workers’ comp coverage for independent contractors under certain circumstances. Now a California appeal court has ruled that providing them with coverage will subject both the employer and the contractor to other workers’ comp law provisions—including the prohibition on […]

News Notes: High Court Extends Deadline For Some Race Claims

  The U.S. Supreme Court has clarified that employees have four years rather than two to file bias claims under the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. Section 1981, which prohibits race bias in employment relationships. The decision makes it easier for employees to file such claims. The case involved a group of African-American […]

Feds Provide Form for Companies to Attest Objections to Reform’s Contraceptive-coverage Mandate

New health reform rules finalize policies for non-profit organizations that object on religious or moral grounds to gain an exemption from having to “contract, arrange, pay or refer for” contraceptive coverage.  The final rules reflect public feedback received in response to Feb. 6, 2013 proposed rules (78 Fed. Reg. 8456). In the proposed rule, the […]