An employee comes to you and complains of discrimination and harassment. You’re worried the charges may blow up into something big so you want to keep the matter confidential. Your first instinct may be to call in your lawyer to get to the bottom of things, but that isn’t always the wisest course. An employer […]
Credit reports can be a useful tool for screening job applicants, but using them recently became more complex. That’s because of several important changes to the federal Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act that are effective September 30, 1997. If you violate these provisions or a similar state law, you can be sued for steep penalties, […]
When you’re interviewing applicants, it can be tempting to paint an overly rosy picture of the job to snare a good candidate. But be careful. If what you say isn’t accurate, you could wind up on the wrong side of an expensive fraud lawsuit. We’ll tell you about one employer who recently had this problem […]
You know that inappropriate comments or behavior in the workplace can put you on the hook for big sexual harassment damages. But in a new twist, a law firm employee has won more than a quarter-million dollars because her boss used her to help keep his out-of-the-office, extramarital affair a secret. The jury’s award shows […]
Following years of controversy and false starts, historic workplace ergonomics rules aimed at reducing repetitive motion injuries are in effect as of July 3, 1997. Certain employers whose workers have repetitive motion disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis will have to implement a specific ergonomics program to eliminate or minimize the injury risk.
In April, we reported how a savvy employer successfully defended itself against a wrongful termination claim by conducting a thorough investigation and review of the facts before making the decision to terminate. This month, we look at a case in which an employer had ample opportunities to protect an employee from harassment but didn’t-because […]
Good-natured banter is part of the normal work environment. But when the teasing takes on racial or sexual overtones, you can be sued for millions of dollars-even if everyone laughingly participates in the give-and-take. That’s what happened to a Los Angeles employer who failed to intervene when kidding crossed the line and became illegal workplace […]
When you hear about workers’ compensation fraud, it’s usually by employees. But there are cases where employers are charged with cheating the workers’ comp system. In one of the biggest verdicts of this kind, State Compen- sation Insurance Fund-the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurer-recently won a $3.2 million judgment against a network of Southern California […]
A national car rental firm has just agreed to a whopping $8 million settlement for failing to pay overtime to employees improperly classified as exempt from the overtime laws. The agreement was reached after Agency Rent-A-Car was sued by 395 of its California managers and assistant managers who claimed back overtime and steep penalties.