New California Parental Leave Act

2017-12-14T17:06:44+00:00 December 14th, 2017|General Labor Law|

If you’re thinking about taking parental leave from work, how much time are you allowed to take? Recent additions to the California Family Rights Act could now make you eligible for up to 12 weeks of unpaid protected leave. Upon the employee’s request, the New Parent Leave Act (SB 63) would make it unlawful for [...]

Law Changes for Conviction Disclosure on Employment Applications

2017-12-13T21:46:27+00:00 December 11th, 2017|General Labor Law|

California has joined many other states with a “Ban the Box” law aimed at increasing the chances of getting a job by about seven million California adults with arrests or convictions. Adults with criminal convictions and arrests frequently have trouble finding employment because of an arrest or conviction. Many experts believe being employed strengthens community [...]

As if job interviews weren’t stressful enough: What a prospective employer can and cannot ask you under law

2017-12-13T21:46:27+00:00 June 6th, 2017|General Labor Law|

You did it. Finally, that coveted job interview you’ve been waiting for comes to fruition. You do your research, practice answers to typical interview questions and bought a new suit. You’re going to nail it. But then, what starts out as a great interview turns uncomfortable. The person you meet with begins by asking you [...]

Damages totaling $250,000 awarded to Costco employee in harassment suit

2017-12-13T21:46:27+00:00 February 16th, 2017|Discimination, General Labor Law, Sexual Harassment, Wage and Hour|

A federal jury in December awarded $250,000 to a former Costco employee who had to file a restraining order against a male customer who was harassing and stalking her. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that oversees and enforces employment anti-discrimination laws, had accused Costco of failing to stop a man who [...]

California overtime laws: What you need to know

2017-12-13T21:46:27+00:00 February 9th, 2017|Discimination, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Nearly every worker older than 18 is entitled to overtime pay in California. State law mandates that employees cannot work more than eight hours per day, or 40 hours per week, without being paid overtime wages. What is the amount of overtime in California? Under state law, overtime is one-half times a worker’s regular rate [...]

Can Your Employer Forbid You From Talking Politics At Work?

2017-12-13T21:46:28+00:00 December 15th, 2016|Discimination, General Labor Law, Sexual Harassment|

While talking politics always has the potential to be contentious, this year’s election has brought out strong emotions in voters. To minimize the amount of conflict in the workplace, some employers have forbidden workers from discussing politics while on the clock. But is a restriction like this legal? Can an employer forbid you from voicing [...]

Can Your Employer Forbid You From Talking Politics At Work?

2017-12-13T21:46:28+00:00 November 15th, 2016|General Labor Law|

With the presidential election around the corner, politics are on many people’s minds. While talking politics always has the potential to be contentious, this year’s election has brought out strong emotions in voters. To minimize the amount of conflict in the workplace, some employers have forbidden workers from discussing politics while on the clock. But [...]

New Law Protects Employees’ Right to Have Legal Claims Heard Inside the State

2017-12-13T21:46:28+00:00 November 10th, 2016|General Labor Law|

The state of California has the sixth-largest economy in the world. In 2015, the state recorded $2.42 trillion in gross domestic product, beating out the economies of France, India, and Brazil. The state’s success comes from the thriving entertainment and technology industries, and has continued to grow as the economy recovers from the country’s recession. [...]

When Is The Deadline To File A Claim For Wrongful Termination?

2017-12-13T21:46:28+00:00 August 29th, 2016|Discimination, General Labor Law, Wrongful termination|

The phrase “wrongful termination” applies when an employee has been fired or forced to quit or resign for illegal reasons. If you believe that you were wrongfully terminated, you are required to file a claim within a certain amount of time. If you miss the deadline, your claim will be barred and you will not [...]

When Must Your Employer Reimburse You For Business-Related Expenses?

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 August 26th, 2016|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In California, employees are entitled to be reimbursed if they incurred expense or losses on behalf of their employer or during their regular work duties. For instance, California law gives workers the right to be reimbursed for things like equipment, training, travel, uniforms, or other work materials. If you are required to spend money in [...]

Class Action Lawsuit Accuses California State Agency of Systemic Gender Discrimination

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 August 22nd, 2016|Class Action, Discimination, General Labor Law|

A group of California women have filed a discrimination lawsuit against the entire California workers’ compensation system, alleging widespread and systemic discrimination in the way women are compensated for injuries that occur at work. The case, Page et al. v. Parisotto et al. alleges that the workers’ compensation system routinely attributes work-related injuries to the [...]

Ninth Circuit Says Employees Sharing Passwords May Be Criminal

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 August 19th, 2016|General Labor Law, Wrongful termination|

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently held that using a co-worker’s password to access an employer’s computer databases can be considered a criminal action. The case, United States v. Nosal, has been winding through the court systems for almost a decade, and provides insight into what types of employee actions violate [...]

Live-In Vs. Live-Out Employees: Your Rights To Overtime

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 August 15th, 2016|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

A live-in employee like a home health care aide or a nanny has different rules and employee rights when it comes to overtime pay. These workers live inside their employers’ home in order to provide round-the-clock care or assistance. Even though domestic workers may live with their employers, they are not required to be on [...]

Can Employees Waive Their Right to Bring A Class Action Lawsuit?

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 August 8th, 2016|Class Action, General Labor Law|

It is not uncommon for an employment contract to include various terms that dictate how disputes between an employer and an employee should be resolved. Many employment agreements contain arbitration clauses that force workers to settle most types of disputes outside of court in front of a neutral arbitrator. The contract may also dictate which [...]

What is Wrongful Termination for At-Will Employees?

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 July 29th, 2016|General Labor Law, Wrongful termination|

In California there are two types of workers: at-will employees and contract employees. Most workers are at-will employees, meaning that they do not have a contract to work for a specified period of time. In order to fire a contract employee, an employer must have good cause under the terms of the contract. For instance, [...]

Can You Get Fired For Dating A Coworker?

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 July 27th, 2016|Discimination, General Labor Law, Sexual Harassment|

Americans who work full-time spend more hours per week in the office than they do anywhere else. It is not surprising then that workplace romances are common and many people meet their significant other or spouse while at work. While a workplace romance is often exciting and entertaining for the employees involved, many employers frown [...]

Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Protects Employees From Another Level of Employment Discrimination

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 July 25th, 2016|Discimination, General Labor Law|

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is a federal statute that was enacted in 2008 to protect employees and other individuals from being discriminated against on the basis of his or her genetic information. As genetic testing gets more advance, it is becoming more common for people to have their genetic information tested. For example, [...]

Department Of Labor Expands Sex Discrimination Protections For Federal Contractors

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 July 22nd, 2016|Discimination, General Labor Law, Sexual Harassment|

A federal contractor is a person or company that provides services to the federal government. Since the government does not employ its own army of construction workers, every time the government wants to build something it needs to hire a federal contractor. For instance, suppose that the government wants to build a new building. The [...]

Accommodations for Nursing Mothers: What Must Your Employer Do Under California Law?

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 July 20th, 2016|Discimination, General Labor Law, Wrongful termination|

New mothers know that breast milk provides the best nutrition for their infants. After returning to work from maternity leave, most mothers will need to pump breast milk during working hours in order to avoid pain and keep their milk from drying out. Employers are required to make accommodations for nursing women in the workplace. [...]

California Tightens Restrictions on Smoking in the Workplace

2017-12-13T21:46:29+00:00 July 18th, 2016|General Labor Law|

California has led the country in anti-smoking legislation for decades. Recently, the state changed its smoking laws and significantly increased the number of businesses and employers which are required to provide a smoke-free working environment. The new law also raises the smoking age from 18 to 21. The new law will cover almost all employers, [...]

Can An Employer Ask A Potential Employee About His Or Her Criminal Record?

2017-12-13T21:46:30+00:00 June 2nd, 2016|Discimination, General Labor Law|

Nearly one in four Americans have some type of criminal record. Whether it is a misdemeanor arrest for a youthful indiscretion or a more serious felony offense, any type of criminal record can hurt job seekers in their search for employment. California law provides multiple types of protections for job seekers with a criminal past. [...]

Changes Coming Soon To Federal Overtime Exemption Rules

2017-12-13T21:46:30+00:00 June 1st, 2016|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) dictates which employees must be paid overtime, and which employees are exempt from the overtime rules. Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed changes to the FLSA rules regarding overtime, and these rules were submitted for review in March of 2016. The DOL is expecting the [...]

Does It Matter When You Take Your Breaks Under California Law?

2017-12-13T21:46:30+00:00 May 13th, 2016|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

California is one of the few states in the country that mandates rest breaks and meal breaks for employees. Employees are allowed to take meal breaks of at least 30 minutes, as well as ten-minute rest breaks. Not only does California law mandate these breaks, but it also determines when these breaks should be taken. [...]

How Much of Your Appearance Can Your Employer Regulate?

2017-12-13T21:46:30+00:00 May 11th, 2016|Discimination, General Labor Law, Sexual Harassment|

Most workplaces have some type of dress code. Some require uniforms, while others allow each employee to make his or her own fashion choices. When it comes to the dress code, how much of your appearance can your employer regulate? In general, California law allows employers to set their own rules for employee’s dress and [...]

Weighty Issues: Is Obesity Considered a Disability Under California Law?

2017-12-13T21:46:30+00:00 May 10th, 2016|Discimination, General Labor Law|

It’s no secret that the country as a whole is getting heavier. While many people are not affected by carrying a few extra pounds, very heavy individuals often have a difficult time in the employment arena. Obese people face discrimination when seeking employment, and may need extra accommodations at work based on their size. When [...]

San Francisco to Become First U.S. City to Mandate Paid Family Leave

2017-12-13T21:46:31+00:00 May 6th, 2016|General Labor Law|

The city of San Francisco is poised to become the first in the nation to mandate paid family leave for private-sector employees. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a new city ordinance that would require employers in the city to provide up to six weeks of fully-paid family leave. California state law already [...]

California Supreme Court Finds Employers Must Give Workers a Chair

2017-12-13T21:46:33+00:00 May 5th, 2016|General Labor Law|

The California Supreme Court recently handed down a ruling that will help workers whose jobs require constant standing. The state’s highest court clarified what constitutes “suitable seating” as well as when an employer must provide seating for standing workers. For years, California law has required employers to provide employees with suitable seating whenever a job [...]

Uber Settles Lawsuits Over Independent Contractor Status of Drivers

2017-12-13T21:46:33+00:00 May 3rd, 2016|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Uber, the massively popular ridesharing company, has agreed to settle two large class action lawsuits based in California and Massachusetts.  The lawsuits centered around whether the company’s drivers should be considered full-time employees or independent contractors. In California, Uber agreed to settle the claims of approximately 385,000 drivers for a total of $84 million. If [...]

5 California Statutes That Could Force Your Employer To Pay Your Attorneys Fees

2017-12-13T21:46:33+00:00 April 13th, 2016|General Labor Law|

In general, each party to a lawsuit pays its own attorneys’ fees. In limited instances, a judge may order the losing side to pay the winner’s legal fees and costs. If you file a lawsuit against your employer in the state of California, here are five statutes which you could use to recover your legal [...]

Spear-Phishing: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

2017-12-13T21:46:33+00:00 March 23rd, 2016|General Labor Law|

Spear-phishing: It sounds like an aquatic sport, but it isn’t. Spear-phishing is when a cyber attack is targeted at a specific employee. Spear-phishers try to convince an individual employee to provide information or money. They can be very convincing because they do their homework, researching business and individual information to make their emails look completely [...]

Your Rights: Your Employer Must Keep Your Health Information Separate and Secure

2017-12-13T21:46:34+00:00 March 21st, 2016|Discimination, General Labor Law|

We live in a privacy-oriented society. Information security breaches have highlighted costly errors for businesses and employers across the country like never before. Personally identifiable information is any information that can be used to identify a specific person. Examples of PII include a person’s name, address, home phone number or email address, and Social Security [...]

Why You Should Take the Initiative to Keep Personal and Business Email Separate

2017-12-13T21:46:34+00:00 March 18th, 2016|Discimination, General Labor Law|

The National Labor Relations Board’s position is that employers cannot prohibit employees from using company email after hours for nonbusiness purposes. The reason for this position is that reasonable employees could believe that they would not be allowed to engage in concerted activity, such as union organizing, under such a ban. But even though the [...]

NLRB: Blanket Instructions to Not Discuss Investigations Violate the NLRA

2017-12-13T21:46:34+00:00 March 16th, 2016|General Labor Law|

Over the last year, the National Labor Relations Board has been turning up the heat on employers who violate the National Labor Relations Act. Employers are scrambling to rewrite handbooks and policies that violate the NLRA, including blanket confidentiality provisions that keep employees from talking about the terms of their jobs. A “blanket” confidentiality provision [...]

Be Careful: The Top Five National Safety Violations

2017-12-13T21:46:34+00:00 March 11th, 2016|General Labor Law|

Want to stay safe at work? Follow the lead of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and California OSHA. OSHA is the federal agency charged with ensuring “safe and healthful working conditions” for America’s workers. It performs this function by educating workers and employers, training, and enforcing safety-related laws and rules. OSHA covers most employees [...]

United States Supreme Court to ERISA Health Plans: Injured Party Can’t Be Required to Reimburse After the Money Is Gone

2017-12-13T21:46:35+00:00 March 1st, 2016|General Labor Law|

Have you ever wondered whether someone who wins a lawsuit has to pay back his health insurance company for medical claims it paid on his behalf?  Recently, the United States Supreme Court held that a man who had spent his settlement money could not be required to pay his health plan back. Robert Montanile was [...]

In California, Whistleblower Protections Extend to Reports of Matters of Personal Interest

2017-12-13T21:46:35+00:00 February 1st, 2016|General Labor Law|

Did you know that, in California, you have whistleblower protections even when you have only reported a personal issue to the authorities? That's the holding of a recent appellate court. For their 25th wedding anniversary, Rosa Lee Cardenas' husband bought her an expensive ring. Every day, when she arrived at work, she placed the ring [...]

At-Will Employment in California: What Is It?

2017-12-13T21:46:35+00:00 January 27th, 2016|General Labor Law|

Can California employers fire their employees for no reason? The answer might surprise you: generally, yes, they can! California follows what is known as the "at-will" employment doctrine. This means that, unless an exception applies, a California employer can fire an employee for no reason or even for no good reason, as long as the [...]

Bumble Bee Foods’ Worker Death Settlement

2017-12-13T21:46:35+00:00 December 29th, 2015|General Labor Law|

Occupational safety rules are established and enforced by both federal and state agencies. As one might expect, with the many employers across the nation and the limited resources of the governmental agencies, enforcement is difficult. For this reason, self-monitoring and compliance with standards is the most important way to ensure workers are kept safe at [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]