• The HR Specialist - Print Newsletter
  • HR Specialist: Employment Law
  • The HR Weekly


Can laid-off, injured worker collect workers’ comp benefits?

Q. We had to lay off an injured worker for economic reasons. He has not attempted to work for a year since that layoff. Will he be entitled to temporary benefits under the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act?

Proposed Ohio law would be tougher than WARN

A bill before the Ohio Legislature would require employers to provide more notice of mass layoffs than required by current state law or the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. The new proposal, H.R. 434, would require employers laying off 25 or more employees to give 90 days’ notice.

65% COBRA subsidy extended through May 31


On April 15, President Obama signed into law amendments that extend eligibility for the 65% COBRA subsidy through May 31. The amendments buy time for Congress to consider additional legislation that could keep the subsidy alive until the end of the year.

Facing RIF, employees must show initiative

Workers who lose their jobs in a reduction in force may look at those who were retained and conclude there had to be a discriminatory reason for their misfortune. But before they can successfully sue, employees must show some degree of initiative before they can claim discrimination. An employee who never applies for an open position or who doesn’t actively ask about available jobs isn’t going to win a lawsuit.

N.Y. Department of Labor issues new WARN Act regs


The New York Department of Labor has released new Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act regulations that are more stringent than federal WARN Act provisions. Employers with at least 50 workers (including part-timers) are covered. That means those employers must provide 90 days’ notice of a mass layoff, plant closing or relocation.

Boeing flying low following EEOC harassment settlements


Chicago-based aerospace giant Boeing has agreed to pay $380,000 to settle two sexual harassment complaints filed by employees at its Mesa, Ariz., plant.

Small-group layoff? No need to keep employee just because she’s the oldest


If you are planning a layoff within a small group of employees, the fact that one of the employees about to lose her job is the oldest of the group won’t be the basis for a successful age discrimination claim. It takes more evidence that age was a motivating factor for the employee to win an age discrimination case. That’s because she can’t use statistics to prove the disparate impact on older workers in such a small group.

RIFs and age bias suits: Understand the power of statistics


If you’re like many employers, you offer severance pay when you have to implement a reduction in force. Never pay severance without getting something in return from the employee, namely a release and waiver of liability. There’s an important catch to understand when you ask for such a release from older workers.

They’re not too old to spend $6.2 million


Two scientists fired from the Valley Forge chemical company PQ Corp. are millionaires following a federal jury’s verdict in their age discrimination lawsuit. The two, a 60-year-old woman and a 56-year-old man, filed age bias charges against PQ after the company implemented a mass layoff in 2005. The scientists alleged that all of the employees laid off were over age 55.

Laying off employee who’s out on FMLA leave? Better be prepared to back up the rationale


If an employer has to downsize due to economic conditions, employees who are out on FMLA leave aren’t immune. They can be included in the reduction in force as long as their FMLA status isn’t used as a factor. But employers have to be careful—it will look suspicious if the only employee laid off happens to have been out on FMLA leave or just returned from it.