A California Court of Appeal has ruled independent contractors can’t sue you for race-based termination of their contracts. But, despite media reports calling this decision a major employer victory, you still need to proceed cautiously when dealing with independent contractors. Here’s why.
Tag: Supreme Court
It’s common to ask employees who accept early retirement to agree to waive future legal claims against you in exchange for higher pension payouts. But is it legal? Two years ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that Lockheed Corporation violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when it did just that. The […]
Your employee handbooks and manuals probably state that the policies are not intended to create a contract and are subject to change. This is a common provision employers use to maintain the flexibility to modify their personnel practices and procedures. But now, in a recent case many employers will find startling, one company learned this […]
Same-sex harassment is illegal under California law if the harassment is “because of” a person’s gender. The concept is easy to apply when the perpetrator and the victim are gays or lesbians of the same gender. But is crude behavior by a heterosexual employee against someone of the same gender-such as making sexually explicit jokes […]
It’s not uncommon for employers to lay off workers and then outsource their job responsibilities to save money on employee benefits and other expenses. But now, a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling has exposed some serious hidden risks in this and similar practices.
Auto parts manufacturer Kelsey-Hayes Co. gave employees a summary plan description of their employee benefits plan stating that health insurance would continue at no cost when they retired. The summary didn’t mention the company had the right to modify or terminate benefits, even though the master health care plan paperwork did. Later, when Kelsey-Hayes informed […]
You probably know that docking the pay of an employee who is exempt from overtime is fraught with risk-the person could lose their exempt status and you could have to begin paying overtime, as well as back overtime for up to three years. And some courts have said that merely having a written policy giving […]
The U.S. Supreme Court has just handed employers one more reason to keep quiet when asked to give a job reference for a former employee. Charles Robinson sued Shell Oil Co. for race discrimination after he was fired. Later, when Shell gave him a negative reference, he filed a second lawsuit charging that the bad […]