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Health and Safety: OSHA Updates Avian Flu Guidance

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has unveiled new safety and health guidance for protecting workers from avian flu. The new document, which updates avian flu guidance by OSHA in 2004, alerts employees and employers about the hazards of occupational exposure to avian influenza from infected birds and provides practical recommendations on ways to […]

Age Bias Claims: EEOC Clarifies Rules For Challenging ADEA Waivers

It’s not uncommon for employers to offer older workers early retirement or severance benefits in exchange for having them waive potential age-bias claims they might have under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). But employees sometimes have second thoughts—after they have accepted the benefits. Now the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued new […]

News Notes: Supreme Court Update

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that wage and hour cases filed in state court under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act can be moved to federal court at an employer’s request. Employers might prefer to have a case heard in federal court for a number of reasons, including the higher standard applied to jury verdicts. […]

Wage And Hour: Minimum Wage Hike Approved

The state Industrial Welfare Commission has approved a 50-cent increase in the minimum wage to $6.25 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2001. Another 50-cent increase will take effect Jan. 1, 2002, boosting the hourly minimum to $6.75. The change will also raise the minimum monthly salary that must be earned to qualify as exempt employees. […]

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: Off-the-Job Drinking Linked To Workplace Injuries

A new U.C. Berkeley study concludes that employees who drink off the job are more likely to file workers’ comp claims. The research focused on San Francisco Municipal Railway drivers’ alcohol consumption, medical histories and workers’ compensation claims over a five-year period. In light of this finding, you may want to consider offering employee assistance […]

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, […]

News Notes: New Website Helps Small Businesses Make Health Benefits Decisions

The California HealthCare Foundation has launched a new website to help small businesses make informed decisions about health benefits. The website,, includes a comprehensive checklist to guide you through the coverage selection process—from gathering the business records you’ll need to choosing a broker, comparing policies, estimating costs, and much more.

Bulletin Item: U.S. Supreme Court Takes On Age-Bias Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether age-neutral policies violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) if they adversely impact older workers. The federal appeal courts are split as to whether “disparate impact” claims—which allege that a neutral policy or practice had an adverse, although unintentional, impact on a protected group—are permitted under the […]