Employee Social Media Access

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 December 26th, 2015|General Labor Law|

Social media is quickly becoming part of the social fabric of our country. It is as common and normal as a casual conversation in the school hallway or workplace break room. Because it occurs over the Internet, however, those casual conversations are memorialized in more than the minds of the participants. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and [...]

Constructive Discharge Statute of Limitations

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 December 24th, 2015|Discimination, Uncategorized|

Employees sometimes reach a point of being so dissatisfied at work that they just have to quit. The reasons can be many, but when they quit because of illegal discrimination, a lawsuit may be filed. In these circumstances, the act of resigning may also be known as constructive discharge. Employers are prohibited from discriminating against [...]

The Supreme Court Will Rule Again on ACA Contraceptive Requirement

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 December 23rd, 2015|General Labor Law|

The Affordable Care Act will again be tested in front of the Supreme Court in the coming months over its requirement for the provision of certain birth control medications or procedures. The Court had previously decided a case brought by Hobby Lobby that the Act’s requirement for such measures could violate the religious liberty of [...]

The Drones are Coming

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 December 22nd, 2015|General Labor Law, Uncategorized|

Just a few years ago, we were introduced to the notion of military drone aircraft that could carry out bombing missions. Now we are presented on a regular basis with potential new domestic uses of drones. Amazon wants to use drones to deliver packages. Citizen enthusiasts are buying drones and flying them around our neighborhoods. [...]

Non-Compete Employment Agreements

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 December 21st, 2015|General Labor Law|

Many employers require employees to sign an agreement restricting them from working for business competitors for a period of time. These are commonly known as non-compete agreements. The concept is that an employee can do harm to his employer if he leaves and begins working for a competitor. Many, if not most, of these agreements [...]

Spousal Health Risk Assessments

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 December 20th, 2015|General Labor Law|

Many health insurance carriers are encouraging their coverage holders to participate in health risk assessments as part of wellness programs. These initiatives are a way to deal with health issues early and at less cost. When the insurance is under an employer-sponsored plan, employers hold some leverage over their employees to participate. Spouses and dependants [...]

Holiday Parties

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 December 18th, 2015|General Labor Law, Sexual Harassment|

During the holiday season, employers and employees should be aware of potential problems that can result from office holiday parties. Sponsors and participants both need to exercise good judgment at these events. One of the first considerations is whether employees are paid for attending. If attendance at a party is required by the employer, overtime-eligible [...]

Many Employers Offering “Gig” Work

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 November 30th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

Working from home is an arrangement that has been gaining momentum for a number of years. Employees like the flexibility of not having to report to an assigned location, and employers are freed from providing costly office space. The newest workplace phenomenon, however, is "gig" work. The ride sharing company, Uber, is the most notable [...]

EEOC: Pre-Employment Examinations Must Be Job-Related

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 November 27th, 2015|Discimination|

Employers use various means to decide who they want to hire. Typically, there are a set of qualifications one must meet, such as an education level and/or type, an amount of relevant experience, a particular license, or even a physical ability. In addition to these requirements, employers may administer a test to determine the degree [...]

NLRB Finds Verizon Employee Handbook Provisions Overly Broad

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 November 25th, 2015|General Labor Law|

The National Labor Relations Board has again reminded employers that its policies must not have a “chilling” effect on employees’ rights that are guaranteed under the National Labor Relations Act. The agency has been very active lately in reviewing employer policies, typically found in employee handbooks, and challenging those it believes may violate the Act. [...]

New Law Establishes Pay for Non-Productive Time for Piece-Rate Workers

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 November 23rd, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Employees who are paid on a piece-rate basis were given a shot in the arm by the California Legislature this year with a bill that will add to their pay. The Governor signed AB 1513, which goes into effect January 1, 2016. The new law requires piece-rate workers to be paid for rest and recovery [...]

EEOC, Equal Employment Opportunity Act, LGBT, Title VII

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 November 19th, 2015|Discimination|

The rapidly advancing movement of society toward equal rights based on sexual orientation will likely see its next watershed moment in the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. In the case of Kimberly Hively v.Ivy Tech Community College, the court will decide whether Equal Employment Opportunity regulations legally extend [...]

DOL’s Amendments to White Collar Overtime Exemptions Reviewed by House Subcommittee

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 November 17th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

The U.S. Department of Labor's proposed revisions to the "white collar" exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act are attracting attention from Congress. The House Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations held a hearing in October to hear concerns from business interests. The white collar exemptions specify a salary level at which employees may be [...]

U.S. Supreme Court to Clarify Collective Action Certifications in Overtime Case

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 November 2nd, 2015|Class Action, Wage and Hour|

Lawsuits alleging unlawful treatment of employees by their employers often involve groups of employees who have been subjected to the same practice. These are known as both class-actions and collective actions. In these cases, there are typically one or more class representatives who have filed the suits and who identify groups of people who have [...]

Employer Access of Employee Social Media Accounts in California

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 October 30th, 2015|General Labor Law|

Consistent with its constitutional right of privacy, California has statutory provisions that prohibit employers from invading the social media space of existing and prospective employees. With the advent of technology-based social media opportunities, snooping by employers has become more of an issue in the workplace. While an employer may legitimately monitor communications by employees during [...]

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Brings Conscientious Objectors to the Forefront of Discussion

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 October 28th, 2015|Discimination|

One of the most notable ripple effects of the Supreme Court's decision regarding same-sex marriage rights has been the refusal of Kim Davis, Kentucky's Rowan County Clerk, to issue marriage licenses. While the public's interest in this drama may be about the gay marriage issue, employers are interested in issues of workplace religious accommodation. Employees [...]

DJ Sues Taylor Swift in Colorado Federal Court, Alleging Interference with His Employment Contract

2017-12-13T21:46:36+00:00 October 26th, 2015|General Labor Law, Sexual Harassment|

Taylor Swift may learn the hard way that interfering with another person's livelihood can be costly. The music recording star has been sued in Colorado for allegedly causing a disc jockey to be fired. The suit, pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, alleges that Swift made an unfounded allegation of [...]

Halliburton Employees Nationwide Gain in Overtime Settlement

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 October 23rd, 2015|Wage and Hour|

Wage and hour overtime violations by employers are probably more common than ever detected by the U.S. Department of Labor. Employers have obligations to follow the Fair Labor Standards Act and to self-monitor their compliance. The regulations that permit the exemption of certain employees from overtime requirements can be hard to interpret and apply. So [...]

Vaping in California: Can I Vape at Work?

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 October 21st, 2015|General Labor Law|

The use of electronic cigarettes, also known as “vaping,” is growing in popularity as the use of traditional tobacco products is dropping. Restrictions on smoking and use of other tobacco products in work and public places has no doubt contributed to the decline in tobacco use, and it probably has helped fuel the increase in [...]

California’s Fair Pay Act

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 October 19th, 2015|Discimination, Wage and Hour|

California’s laws regarding gender based pay discrimination will be amended effective January 1, 2016 by the Fair Pay Act, recently signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. While the state has long had a law on the books prohibiting discrimination in pay based on gender, the legislature passed the law because of a continuing disparity [...]

Top Four Employment Cases to Watch in the United States Supreme Court

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 October 16th, 2015|Class Action, Discimination, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

There are four cases worth watching in the upcoming term of the United States Supreme Court that may affect aspects of the employer/employee relationship: Eligibility of wage and hour lawsuits for collective (class) action status; The timeline for filing a discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; The ability of unions to [...]

California Personnel File Rights

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 28th, 2015|General Labor Law|

Employees in California, or their representatives, have a right to view and obtain copies of their personnel files within 30 days of submitting written requests to their employers. Inspections must be made at reasonable times and intervals as determined by the employer. The Department of Labor Standards Enforcement advises that a reasonable interval is once [...]

The California Waiting Time Penalty

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 25th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Under California labor law , employees who give adequate notice of quitting, or who are discharged, are entitled to be paid their final wages on the date they quit. If the employer fails to make payment on the quit date, it must pay the former employee one day's wages for each day that payment is [...]

Lactation Accommodation in California

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 23rd, 2015|Discimination, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Accommodation for mothers to express breast milk while at work is required by federal law as well as California law. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2010, requires a covered employer to provide unpaid break times to an employee to express milk for her infant child under one year of age [...]

What Does California Law Say About Meal Periods?

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 21st, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

California labor law requires the provision of meal periods at certain intervals during the workday. At a minimum, if an employee is required to work for more than five hours, a meal break of at least 30 minutes must be provided. If the workday goes for 10 hours, a second meal break of the same [...]

Target Employment Tests: What Kind of Testing is OK in a California Workplace?

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 16th, 2015|Discimination, General Labor Law|

Testing of applicants for employment or testing of employees for advancement is one of the most common employment practices in the workplace. As common as it is, however, it can be subject to intense legal scrutiny in some instances. Most employers use some form of an employee test to hire workers, even if it is [...]

NLRB Handbook Guidance

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 14th, 2015|General Labor Law|

The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board issued a memorandum earlier this year warning employers of employee handbook language the Board considers unlawful.  Agency staff had reviewed a number of employers' handbooks and identified examples of provisions that were considered to be contrary to provisions of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations [...]

School-Related Leave in California

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 11th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

One of the more unique employment rights required by law is the ability of parents to take time off from work to participate in their children's school activities. Nationally, only nine states require private employers to grant school leave. California happens to be one of those states. California Labor Code Section 230.8 prohibits an employer [...]

Five Things You Need to Know About the Proposed Overtime Regulations

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 4th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

For the first time in many years, the United States Department of Labor will make significant revisions to its rules regarding the "white-collar" overtime exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees. These rules determine who must be paid for overtime work under federal law. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, covered employers must pay overtime [...]

Best Practices for Workplace Diversity

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 September 2nd, 2015|Discimination, General Labor Law|

Diversity in the workplace seems like a long and winding road. It has been 51 years since passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and workplaces are still not largely representative of our increasingly diverse population. In addition, during that time, additional groups of people have been added to the "protected classes" ­  those [...]

Are All Non-Compete Clauses Illegal in California?

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 August 31st, 2015|General Labor Law|

The California Business and Professions Code prohibits contracts that serve to restrain trade. One such restraint that may be common in other states but is illegal in California is a non-compete clause in an employment contract. Under such a clause, the employee is typically prevented from working for a competitor for a period of time [...]

The Case of the “Devious Defecators”: Genetic Information Breach Leads to Big Verdict

2017-12-13T21:46:37+00:00 August 28th, 2015|Discimination, General Labor Law|

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act is a relatively obscure law that was enacted in 2008 by Congress to prevent use of genetic information in employment practices. It had not been tested to any degree of notoriety until recently when a federal court jury awarded $2.2 million to a pair of employees who had filed suit [...]

Tax Credits Under the Affordable Care Act: What Are They and How Can They Benefit You?

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 26th, 2015|General Labor Law|

The Affordable Care Act provides tax credits for people who are not provided with health insurance through their employers and cannot afford to buy it themselves. Sounds pretty simple, but, as usual with government regulations, there is more to it than that. The ACA is intended to make health insurance coverage prevalent in the United [...]

What’s Next for Same Sex Rights?

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 26th, 2015|Discimination, General Labor Law, Sexual Harassment|

The United States Supreme Court’s historic decision that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry has set off a significant wave of reaction in the country, both positive and negative. This could be the most polarizing topic that has divided Americans in many years. In case you are not familiar with the Obergefell case, [...]

Whistleblower Protections in California

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Discimination, General Labor Law|

Whistleblower laws, those that protect employees who report wrongdoing by their employers, have been in place for a number of years at the federal level and in every state in the union. Federal laws protect federal workers who report government wrongdoing, and also private employees who report federal law violations or misappropriation of federal funds [...]

Same-Sex Marriage and Employment Benefits

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 24th, 2015|Discimination, General Labor Law|

The United States Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage both settled some issues of employment benefits and left some in doubt. For the rights afforded by the Family and Medical Leave Act, the decision came at a very opportune time. The U. S. Department of Labor in February had enacted a rule that included same-sex [...]

California AB-987 Clarifies Religious and Disability Discrimination Prohibitions

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 24th, 2015|Discimination, General Labor Law|

In response to a disturbing ruling in a California court of appeal case, the legislature passed, and the Governor signed, an amendment to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. The amendment clarifies the law by specifically prohibiting discrimination or retaliation against employees or others who request an accommodation due to religion or disability. In [...]

The San Francisco Retail Workers Bill of Rights

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 23rd, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

If you work for a retail establishment in San Francisco, you have specific rights that may not be known to you. The Retail Workers Bill of Rights became effective in December, 2014 and affects employers who are considered to be a "formula retail establishment" under San Francisco ordinances. An FRE is a retail business that [...]

Your Employment Rights: The Federal Family and Medical Leave Act

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 12th, 2015|General Labor Law|

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act is a law that was enacted by Congress in 1993 to provide employees with the right to take off work for certain medical reasons without fear of losing their jobs. The Act applies to public sector employers and to private employers with 50 employees or more, and seeks [...]

The Three Main Things You Need to Know About Employment Rights for Military Personnel

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 10th, 2015|General Labor Law|

Veterans and current members of the United States Armed Services are entitled to various protections of their employment rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act. The protections are designed to ensure employment stability for service members, which also helps facilitate the staffing of the various branches of the military. The three core components [...]

OSHA Issues Guidance on Transgender Bathroom Access

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 7th, 2015|Discimination|

One of the fastest changing legal landscapes in our country is that involving LGBT rights. Most notably, a recent United States Supreme Court ruling acknowledged the right of gay persons to marry a partner of the same gender. This recognition of legal rights for persons who do not fit what has traditionally been considered the [...]

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave for California Workers

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 5th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

If you live or work in California, you have no doubt heard about the mandatory paid sick leave law passed by the State Legislature. On July 1, 2015, California became one of only four states with this progressive employment right for workers. To be eligible, a worker must work for at least 30 days for [...]

Your Employment Rights: The California Family Rights Act

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 August 3rd, 2015|General Labor Law|

Recent changes have been made to the California Family Rights Act regulations, which impact employee rights in the State of California. Since 1993, California has provided family leave employment rights under the California Family Rights Act. The recent amendments to the regulations that implement the CFRA went into effect on July 1, 2015. The CFRA [...]

New Protected Class Established in Military Equal Opportunity Program

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 July 29th, 2015|General Labor Law|

United States federal anti-discrimination laws cover outlined “protected classes.” A protected class is a characteristic of a person which cannot be targeted for discrimination. The following characteristics are considered protected classes by federal law: Race Religion Color National origin Age Sex Pregnancy Citizenship Familial status Disability Veteran status These protected classes are created by different federal [...]

FedEx Settles Worker Classification Suit for $227 Million

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 July 27th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

The classification of workers as either employees or independent contractors has been a major issue across the nation. In an attempt to protect employee rights, the fight to properly classify independent contractors as employees has increased in order to ensure they are properly being paid and receiving benefits. Amongst the employers involved in the classification [...]

Former Sony Employees Claim Employer’s Negligence Allowed Hack

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 July 23rd, 2015|General Labor Law|

Last year, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. was hacked by North Koreans, angered over the portrayal of their country in the movie, “The Interview.” The hackers gained access to Sony employees’ personal information, possibly including social security numbers, driver’s license and passport numbers, bank and credit-card information, and medical records. In response, former Sony employees are [...]

California Labor Commissioner Rules Uber Driver is Employee

2017-12-13T21:46:39+00:00 July 21st, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

On June 16, 2015, the California Labor Commissioner's office ruled that Uber drivers are employees, not independent contractors. The ruling is expected to have a major impact on how the ride-sharing service operates in California, now that it will be expected to treat drivers like employees. The California Labor Commission found that because of the [...]

San Francisco “Retail Workers Bill of Rights” Soon to Go In Effect

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 July 17th, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

On July 3, 2015 the “Retail Workers Bill of Rights” will go into effect in the City of San Francisco.  The Retail Workers Bill of Rights is series of new ordinances that outline employment rights applying to “Formula Retail Establishments” in San Francisco. Under the new ordinances, covered employers must meet the following five major [...]

Confidentiality Agreements for California Employees: Are They Legal?

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 July 15th, 2015|General Labor Law|

Confidentiality agreements, in the employment context, prevent employees from using or disclosing confidential information of the employer. These agreements are also sometimes called nondisclosure agreements. They may be an agreement in and of themselves, or they may be part of a larger agreement that includes other topics. California law generally provides that any agreement that [...]

EEOC Proposed Regulations on Employee Wellness Programs

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 July 13th, 2015|Discimination, Uncategorized|

Employers sometimes offer wellness programs to their employees as a benefit of employment or health care coverage. Wellness programs include payment of health club memberships; insurance premium reductions for engaging in healthful activities; exercise and dietary challenges; and even premium reductions for improving measures of health, such as weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure. These [...]

Abercrombie v. Fitch: United States Supreme Court Clarifies Title VII Religious Accommodation.

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 July 9th, 2015|Discimination|

Have you ever wondered whether an employer can legally refuse to hire you because of one of your religious practices? Many people have, and the United States Supreme Court recently issued an opinion clarifying employee rights in this area. Abercrombie and Fitch was sued by a Muslim woman, Samantha Elauf, who unsuccessfully applied for a [...]

DriveNow’s Independent Contractor Problem: Why Does It Matter?

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 July 7th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

DriveNow, which operates electric car sharing services in the San Francisco Bay area, was recently sued in a California state court by one of its drivers, Marcelo Costas. The allegations against DriveNow, a BMW subsidiary, include violations of federal, state, and city labor laws. Costas alleges that DriveNow classified him, as well as other drivers, [...]

Things to Consider if You Think You Were Wrongfully Discharged

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 July 3rd, 2015|Wrongful termination|

If you believe you were illegally fired, or “wrongfully discharged,” there could be a number of legal remedies you can pursue. More often than not, though, a lawsuit is not the first step. Below are a few considerations about wrongful termination claims. Document Everything There are a number of reasons an employer can give for [...]

3 Instances in Which You Should be Getting Paid Overtime

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 July 1st, 2015|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Our nation’s lawmakers have recently focused on political agenda items dealing with employment law. Higher wages and overtime regulations are amongst the employment issues getting the most attention. With major legal changes predicted dealing with employee rights, it is important for employees to understand whether they currently qualify for overtime. Below are three instances in [...]

Judge Keeps Uber Employment Lawsuit Out of Arbitration

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 June 29th, 2015|Arbitration, General Labor Law|

A recent ruling by a United States District Court judge in San Francisco was a win for California Uber-drivers. In the case, Ronald Gillette et al. vs. Uber Technologies et al., the plaintiff, Ronald Gillette, brought the suit late last year with hopes of making it a class action. The lawsuit specifically claims that Uber, [...]

Supreme Court Rules on Abercrombie Employment Discrimination Case

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 June 26th, 2015|Discimination|

On June 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the case Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch. The discrimination case examined whether Abercrombie & Fitch Co. improperly denied employment to a woman who wore a head scarf to her interview. The Supreme Court held that the plaintiff has a case against Abercrombie, [...]

$3 Million Settlement as Result of Failure to Reimburse Employees for Business Expenses

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 June 24th, 2015|Class Action, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In April 2015, medical device company Stryker Corp. and its subsidiary Howmedica Osteonics Corp. settled a class action labor lawsuit for $3 million. The plaintiffs in the suit, Tanner Trosper v. Stryker Corporation, alleged Stryker and Howmedica violated California labor codes and unfair competition laws by failing to reimburse sales associates for business expenses. The [...]

What is Donning and Doffing, and Are You Getting Paid for It?

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 June 22nd, 2015|Wage and Hour|

“Donning and doffing” refers to the time employees spend putting on (“donning”) and taking off (“doffing”) mandatory personal protective work equipment, and many employees feel they should be compensated for this time. In one recent lawsuit, former Taylor Farms employees allege they were illegally not paid for donning and doffing, were denied rest and meal [...]

The Link Between Wrongful Termination and Defamation

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 June 18th, 2015|Wrongful termination|

Increasingly, plaintiffs bringing wrongful termination suits against former employers are also tacking on claims of defamation. This strategy has proved beneficial for plaintiff employees. In fact, one disgruntled employee, Robert Sallustio, lost his claims of wrongful termination and retaliation, but won a defamation judgment against his former employer. He was awarded nearly $5.7 million last [...]

Preliminary Approval for $15 Minimum-Wage in Los Angeles

2017-12-13T21:46:40+00:00 June 16th, 2015|Wage and Hour|

The Los Angeles City Council has given preliminary approval for a plan that will gradually raise the minimum-wage to $15 over the course of 5 years. This will make Los Angeles, California the largest city in the nation to adopt a major raise to the minimum-wage. The current minimum-wage in Los Angeles is $9 an [...]