Harassment among the orchids yields settlement in Oxnard

December 16, 2011
One of the largest orchid farms in the United States—Cyma Orchids in Oxnard—will pay $240,000 after the EEOC moved to root out an infestation of sexual harassment.
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Simply failing to find work doesn’t prove defamation

December 16, 2011
When employees are fired, they may have a hard time getting another job. Sometimes, they suspect their former employer is providing a bad reference. And often, a defamation lawsuit will follow.
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Employees must apply before suing for failure to promote

December 16, 2011
Supervisors don’t have crystal balls that help them tell the future or read employees’ minds. Unless an em­­ployee expresses an interest in being promoted, they don’t have to consider him for open positions.
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Take-it-or-leave-it arbitration clause is fine if the underlying agreement is fair

December 16, 2011

The Court of Appeal of California has handed a significant victory to employers that use arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. As long as the underlying terms of the agreement are fair and the arbitration process impartial, the court will send a case to arbitration even if the employee had no choice but to sign the agreement.

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Budget cuts forcing layoffs or reorganization? Take care to spell out justification

December 16, 2011
If you must eliminate jobs, make sure you create a clear paper trail explaining why and how you made the decision to terminate a particular individual. That’s especially important if the employee had discrimination charges pending—or a history of filing them.
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SoCal hotel steps up after firing autistic employee

December 16, 2011
The EEOC and the Comfort Suites Hotel in Mission Valley have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of an autistic desk clerk who sought state assistance to perform his job but was fired instead. It’s a case that shows how the threat of litigation can sometimes result in greater good.
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Warn bosses: No ‘association discrimination’

December 16, 2011

The next time you conduct discrimination training, remind supervisors and managers that discriminating against an employee because of a spouse’s protected characteristic is just as illegal as direct discrimination. That’s what one federal agency has learned the hard way.

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How to cut your 2012 unemployment compensation taxes

December 15, 2011

States, which need to repay the federal loans they took out last year to pay regular unemployment benefits, are slapping tax surcharges on experience-rated em­­ployers. But if you’re willing to budget just a little bit more to pay so-called voluntary contributions, you may actually come out ahead.

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Get ready for a new federally protected class: the unemployed

December 14, 2011
Employers may be surprised to learn there is a growing movement to add the unemployed to the list of people who belong to a protected class. If leaders in the U.S. Senate and the EEOC have their way, it may no longer be legal for em­­ployers to show a preference to hire only those who are currently employed.
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SPFD, firefighter finally see eye-to-eye on settlement

December 14, 2011

A long-running disability discrimination dispute between St. Paul firefighter William Eldridge and the city has finally been settled. Twice in the past seven years, the St. Paul Fire Department told Eldridge he would be terminated because his bad eyesight prevents him from fighting fires ,,,

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