A federal judge has ordered Sunnyvale-based Crazy Buffet to pay its workers $404,000 in damages following a U.S. Department of Labor investigation. The Chinese-food buffet restaurant had a policy of not paying wages to workers, although it allowed them to keep their tips.
Some employees think all criticism equals harassment—the slightest insult triggers an angry response and a formal complaint. When that happens, investigate the claim. If there’s nothing to it, say so and move on. You may be sued, but chances are the case will quickly be dismissed.
A federal court has upheld a California state requirement that nurses who want to renew or apply for a professional license must submit a set of fingerprints along with their applications. The prints are needed to conduct criminal background checks.
Some employees make a hobby out of suing employers. The next time you face a serial litigant, ask your attorney to try to persuade the court to ban further filings. More and more courts are willing to agree.
Determining the amount of overtime pay depends on employees’ hourly rate of pay for the first 40 hours. That can sometimes be more complicated than it sounds, especially for employers that pay their hourly employees a set amount for their entire workweek, including overtime.
In a case that’s already being appealed, a federal district court has ruled that a federal agency must enroll an employee’s same-sex spouse in the employee’s health care plan.
A federal jury in Sacramento unanimously awarded $168 million in damages and lost wages to a physician assistant for various claims lodged against her former employer, Catholic Healthcare West (CHW).
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) monitors and enforces federal contractors’ compliance with the nation’s employment laws. Think of it as a parallel EEOC, but focused only on federal contractors. In many ways, it’s the most powerful government agency you’ve never heard of.
Sometimes an employee promoted to management just isn’t ready for new responsibilities. Maybe she’s having a hard time thinking like an exempt employee, longing for the days when she was entitled to breaks and overtime. Fortunately, if you discipline such employees for neglecting their duties, they can’t later claim they actually were hourly employees entitled to overtime.
It used to be that before an employee or former employee could get into federal court with a benefits-denial case, he had to show that he was a “plan participant.” But following a recent 9th Circuit decision, merely claiming to have been a plan participant is enough.