Employment Law

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A lineman for Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy will collect $40 million from Qwest Telephone as a result of a 2004 accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Employers are now free to set the percentage of employee tips that can be placed in a tip pool. In years past, several court decisions conflicted with the U.S. Department of Labor’s position restricting the amount of tips an employer could require to be pooled.

When disciplining conduct that violates company policies, remember that you have leeway to come up with appropriate punishment based on the specifics of each incident. Just make sure you document the conduct, what rules it violated and why each employee deserved the punishment he or she received.

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.