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E-Alert Item: Legal Update: High Court To Consider Several Employment Cases During New Term

On October 7, 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court reconvened for a new session. The court’s docket this term includes a case involving whether physician-shareholders can be counted as employees for purposes of determining employer coverage under the Americans with Disabilities Act and a case regarding whether state employers can be sued for violations of the […]

Bulletin Item: More Workers’ Comp Premium Hikes on the Way

The Workers’ Comp Insurance Rating Bureau has just recommended that California insurers raise their workers’ comp premiums by 12 percent next year. Although insurers remain free to compete and determine how much to charge for insurance, many carriers rely on the bureau’s cost-of-claims data to determine premium increases.

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 Flash: IWC Recommends $1 Minimum-Wage Hike

The Industrial Welfare Commission has proposed boosting the state minimum wage to $6.75 an hour by 2002. At its August 17 meeting, the IWC approved a plan for a 50-cent raise on January 1, 2001, and another 50-cent jump on January 1, 2002. The IWC will hold a series of hearings in coming weeks to […]

News Notes: Few Employers Comply With Little-Known Parking Cash-Out Law

Under an obscure law, certain employers that provide free parking must give cash to workers who don’t drive to work. The law applies to employers with 50 or more employees who are located in an area that violates air quality standards and who subsidize employee parking spaces the employer doesn’t own. But a new study […]

There’s An App for THAT?

The U.S. Department of Labor has just announced the launch of its first application for smartphones: a timesheet to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, users can track regular work hours, break time, and any overtime hours for one or more […]

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.

News Notes: Largest Ever Gender Bias Suit Files Against Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart is facing what could be the largest discrimination lawsuit ever brought against a private U.S. employer. Six female employees of Wal-Mart have filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco charging the retailing giant with widespread discrimination against women. They are asking that the case be certified as a class action on behalf […]

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 […]

News Notes: New Privacy Regulations Announced

The Bush Administration has released new regulations addressing medical privacy rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Group health plans generally have until April 14, 2003 to comply with the new rules.