Employment Law

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The U.S. Department of Transportation regulates interstate truckers’ hours under the Motor Carrier Act, not the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). And loaders, who usually work in just one state, also fall outside the FLSA if the work involves the safe transport of cargo they load in interstate commerce. Recent case: Arnold Garza and several [...]
A California court has sentenced a company owner and a foreman to a year in jail for allowing unsafe working conditions that led to a roofer’s accidental death.
The Supreme Court of Texas has ruled that, under some circumstances, an ordinance that governs the work of public employees and specifies benefits may be enforceable as a contract.
Attorney General Lisa Madison has ordered Central Management Services (CMS), the state agency that processes workers’ compensation payments, to turn over records relating to 230 claims from correctional officers at Menard State Prison. The claims cover repetitive stress injuries allegedly linked to the locking mechanisms on the cells at the prison.
The California Division of Occu­pa­tional Safety and Health has fined a public works contractor more than $235,000—and threatened to put it out of business and criminally prosecute executives—after a welder suffered severe burns in a workplace flash fire.

The Supreme Court of Texas has ruled that an employer can’t seek dam­ages under a covenant-not-to-­compete if the underlying agreement doesn’t satisfy standards set out in Texas state law. That means all your efforts to protect the company from a former employee are wasted unless the agree­ment is rock solid.

It’s been an open question whether Cali­for­nia’s Fair Employment and Hous­ing Act allows employers to punish a mentally ill employee whose disease makes her act out. Now the answer is clear: You can punish mentally disabled employees for threats or violence against co-workers.
Some people will do anything to get out of work early, including lying about their child’s health. One employer did the smart thing and demanded proof when it became suspicious.

Once a lawsuit has been filed, courts sometimes issue immediate orders—called injunctions—to prevent irre­parable harm. But to get an injunction, the party seeking the order has to show what harm could occur—and convince the court it will probably win the case on its merits. That’s unlikely if the litigant waits too long to ask for relief.

Q. Are there specific rules on when I must pay my employees?