Legal Briefs.


Unequal pay rates? Be ready to show a business motive

James quit and sued for sex discrimination, saying he had to pay $3,000 for health insurance while a woman in the same position got it free. But the employer was able to show in court that the woman had negotiated the free insurance during her hiring, but she was offered a salary $3,000 less than James. Case dismissed. (Snyder v. Potsdam, ND NY)

The lesson: Make sure you have solid, business-based motives for paying similar employees differently--and document those reasons.

Don't assign disciplinary points for reporting injuries

A federal court awarded a Wisconsin machine operator $100,000 in back wages and compensatory damages after he was fired soon after reporting an on-the-job injury. The court said the company's policy of assigning disciplinary points to staff who report injuries violates OSHA whistle-blower laws. (Acosta v. Dura-Fibre)

The lesson: Never punish a worker for suffering or reporting an injury. OSHA...

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