A bus driver alleged that she was fired by the City of Santa Monica because of her pregnancy in violation of the prohibition on sex discrimination in California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The Supreme Court held that under the FEHA, when a jury finds that unlawful discrimination was a substantial factor motivating a termination of employment, and when the employer proves it would have made the same decision absent such discrimination, a court may not award damages, back pay, or an order of reinstatement. Read the rest of this entry »
Effective December 30, 2012, employers with five or more full- or part-time employees in California will need to comply with new regulations regarding pregnancy disability leave. To some extent, the regulations provide clarification and to some extent the regulations impose new requirements. Read the rest of this entry »
In a case with potentially significant ramifications, the California Supreme Court has ruled that employees were not entitled to attorney’s fees when prevailing on a claim for meal or rest breaks. Combined with an earlier case (Brinker) that makes it more difficult for employees to win suits over meal and rest breaks, this case gives plaintiffs’ attorneys less incentive to file these types of cases. Read the rest of this entry »
On June 21, 2012, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 12.8 million Americans will benefit from $1.1 billion in rebates from insurance companies this summer, because of the Affordable Care Act’s 80/20 rule (85/15 in the large group market). These rebates will be an average of $151 for each family covered by a policy. Read the rest of this entry »
Effective January 1, 2012, AB 1136 amended the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 to require an employer to maintain a safe patient handling Policy for patient care units and to provide trained lift teams or staff trained in safe lifting techniques in most general acute care hospitals. The safe patient handling policy must require the replacement of manual lifting and transferring of patients with powered patient transfer devices, lifting devices or lift teams. As part of the injury and illness prevention programs required by existing regulations, employers are now required to adopt a patient protection and health care worker back and musculoskeletal injury prevention plan, which must include a safe patient handling policy component to protect patients and health care workers in health care facilities.
An amendment to San Francisco’s Health Care Security Ordinance will be effective January 1, 2012. Employers that use Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to comply with the law will need to act quickly in response to this amendment. Read the rest of this entry »