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Compensation & Benefits

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 …

Rx for drug testing: A firm policy, legal knowledge

If you’re not testing employees for drugs yet, some of your best excuses are going up in smoke. New testing devices are cheaper and less invasive than urine tests. Example: Products …

Worker who can’t perform her job isn’t entitled to intermittent leave

While Minnie Hatchett was on a business trip, a hotel skylight crashed down on her head. As a result of her injuries, she could perform routine work, such as answering phones …

Disabled worker isn’t entitled to work-at-home accommodation

Lynn Heaser blamed the air quality in her office at Toro for her health problems, which were diagnosed as everything from allergies to chemical sensitivities. She asked to work from …

Partial-week suspensions can strip workers’ exempt status

Los Angeles and its Department of Water and Power occasionally suspended salaried employees without pay, and now it may have to pony up overtime for groups of employees. The …

Employees in ‘unique’ jobs can use broad comparisons to show pay bias

Nancy Kroh successfully sued for gender discrimination, claiming her male colleagues were treated more favorably. But on appeal, the court tossed the award out. The com-pany convinced the appeals court that …

FLSA Limits Work Done by Volunteers, Unpaid Interns


Q. I run a small advertising office. A college student has asked to join our staff for the summer. She proposed to work every day for a couple months at no cost. It would be great to get some free help. Is there anything wrong with hiring her? —G.I., Maryland

Try to offer same job to returning worker, not just same title, salary

Linda Cooper operated a locomotive, but when her personal problems pushed her into depression, she was forced to take a series of leaves of absences. Eventually, Cooper’s doctor cleared her …

Unsigned contracts can lock you in

After negotiations to open a new restaurant, a company gave chef Roland Schnider a final draft of a three-year employment agreement that covered salary, benefits, bonuses and an ownership interest in …

You can limit domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples

If you’re thinking about extending benefits to employees’ domestic partners, be prepared to defend any limits. When the Chicago school board decided to extend spousal health benefits to domestic partners …