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Expect Enron fallout to sway retirement offerings

With the collapse of giant energy trader Enron Corp. grabbing headlines, expect new skepticism and tough questions from employees about the makeup of your company’s own retirement plan. Hundreds of …

Night-Shift Liability


Q. Our company doesn’t have a policy on night shifts, but we’ve asked one of our hourly employees to work from 1 to 9 p.m. without any supervision. If something should happen to the employee while on night duty, are we liable for it? I’ve checked with my state labor department and workers’ comp office, and they say we’re not. —L.R., Florida

EPLI coverage: Shopping for lawsuit security


Even if you draft airtight employment policies and provide expert training, your company could still end up among the increasing number of businesses facing …

‘Gross Misconduct’ Cancels COBRA Coverage


Q. Do I have to provide a COBRA notice for an employee who is terminated for a positive drug test shortly after starting work? —D.W., Colorado

Paid family leave: Lots of talk in states but little action

Despite dozens of bills being introduced on paid family leave in state legislatures this year, only one made it into law. Oklahoma passed legislation requiring employers to allow workers to …

The countersuit: How to fire back at frivolous lawsuits

When a disgruntled employee files a meritless lawsuit against your company, don’t just defend yourself. Call his bluff by filing a …

Independent contractors, others can be plan beneficiaries

J.L. Hollis worked as a sales rep for Hendrick Graduate Supply House for more than 10 years. Then he signed an agreement that reclassified him as an independent contractor. He still …

EEOC rewriting rules on retiree health benefits

The U.S. Equal Employment Oppor-tunity Commission (EEOC) is taking a fresh look at age discrimination in retiree health benefit plans. The commission rescinded its policy that had said employer plans …

Mental health benefits: Know federal, state parity laws

When Congress reconvenes, one of the hottest issues will be whether to add new teeth to a five-year-old federal mental-health parity law. Under the law, companies offering mental health coverage …

Push for contraceptive coverage gets shove from federal court

If you’re not already covering prescription contraceptives with your health plan, there’s new pressure to do so. For the first time, a federal court has ruled that excluding …