Age Discrimination Claim Valid Despite Waiver, Court Says

Most employers realize that age is not a legal – or valid – reason to terminate an employee. That doesn’t stop some companies from trying to circumvent the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by asking terminated employees to sign waivers that promise never to sue for age discrimination. That’s what happened to Robert Fisk, an underground miner for Colorado’s Mountain Coal Co. Laying off Fisk, an eight-year employee, in 2009, MCC required him to sign a waiver to …

More Workplaces Offer Flexibility for Caregiving, Study Shows

Finally, employers seem to be getting the message that many of their workers have caregiving demands. Increasingly, both nonprofit and for-profit companies are offering workplace flexibility, paid and unpaid leave, and resource and referral services, according to the 2014 National Study of Employers released today by the Families and Work Institute (FWI), along with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The study polled 1,051 employers with 50 or more employees. “The findings indicate that the issue of family caregiving is on the radar of …

Pension Plan Tweak May Elude Most

The federal agency that insures private pensions is proposing a rule change that would add greater protection for workers who roll 401(k) money into a traditional pension. Workers for years have been able to transfer money from their employer’s 401(k) to its traditional pension plan to buy themselves a bigger lifetime benefit – if the employer allowed it. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation says its new proposal will remove fear among these workers that the amount they roll over from …

Wal-Mart Charged With Age Discrimination

In 2011, Wal-Mart was the talk of the nation when a gender discrimination case against the huge discount store chain went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The plaintiffs in the case lost for procedural reasons, not for anything having to do with their discrimination claims. The accusations of gender discrimination have never been disproved, and several of the plaintiffs in the original case have filed new lawsuits. Fast forward to March 2014, and Wal-Mart’s in the news …

Workers Say Employers Getting Stingy on Pay, Benefits

If the economy’s improving, why do workers say that their employers are getting stingier with pay or benefits, possibly compromising their financial security now and in retirement? In a survey of 5,070 U.S. workers, 76 percent said their company made one change or another in the last two years that weakened their retirement benefits, reduced pay raises, increased out-of-pocket health care costs or premiums, cut back on hours, laid off workers or involved a major restructuring. The survey, conducted by …

Facebook, Others Scale Back 401(k)s

It’s bad enough that employers are doing away with traditional pensions and adopting 401(k)s that foist all the investing decisions onto workers, leaving them vulnerable to the vagaries of the market. Now, according to an analysis by Bloomberg, it appears that many big companies have gotten stingier with their 401(k) matching contributions and vesting schedules. These include IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co., Oracle Corp., Caesars Entertainment Corp., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Whole Foods Market Inc.  and Facebook. (Facebook, Bloomberg reports, gave …