8 Questions an Employer Should Ask Before Taking an Adverse Employment Action
As seen in the West Virginia Chamber’s Human Resources Journal.
A wrongful discharge suit can be very costly to your company. These suits involve back pay; reinstatement or front pay until retirement; damages for humiliation and embarrassment; attorney fees; and in some situations, punitive damages. It’s not uncommon to hear of jury verdicts far exceeding $1 million for an individual plaintiff. Attorney fees payable to plaintiff’s counsel can often be assessed, which is on top of the verdict and can easily cost $300,000 to $500,000. Such cases not only expose the company to large monetary risk, they can be very disruptive to both production and morale.
USDOL Using "Hot Goods" as a Child Labor Enforcement Tactic
The U.S. Department of Labor has been using the Fair Labor Standards Act's "hot goods" provision for enforcement purposes. "Hot goods" allows the Department to confiscate items produced in violation of the requirements of the FLSA. In particular, DOL has been using "hot goods" for enforcement against alleged child labor violations. While "hot goods" might make sense to use as leverage with manufacturers of inanimate objects, use against farmers and their perishable commodities can threaten the economic viability of a farming operation. Here's a report on DOL's use of "hot goods" in Oregon and other places.
FELS Can Help:
Since DOL seems to taking a particular interest in child labor enforcement in agriculture, this might be an opportune time to review your compliance procedures. FELS Newsletter subscribers can find child labor compliance resources at this link.
The Continuing Importance and Impact of
E-mail Retention and Destruction Policies
In a time where the use of social media technologies, like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are playing an increasing role in employment litigation, the threats offered by e-mail usage are often considered an afterthought or perhaps forgotten altogether. Yet, with the ubiquitous nature of e-mail in the workplace, some employers fail to fully consider or appreciate the potentially harmful consequences e-mail use can have on the workplace and throughout the course of litigation. Indeed, as with anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies, a well-drafted e-mail usage policy is becoming the sort of policy that should be revisited and updated over time or, for newer businesses just implementing general policies for the first time, drafted correctly from the start.
EMPLOYEE OR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR?
The EDD offers the Employment Determination Guide (DE 38) to help business owners determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Make sure your workers are classified correctly. www.edd.ca.gov/pdf_pub_ctr/de38.pdf
California Supreme Court Rules in Brinker
by Carl Borden, Assoicate Counsel, California Farm Bureau Federation
The California Supreme Court on April 12 issued its much anticipated opinion in Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court (Hohnbaum). While most of its unanimous opinion addressed how a trial court should analyze issues in determining whether to certify a lawsuit as a class action, the Court answered these practical and vexing questions for employers and employees: