Do You Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

2017-12-13T21:46:44+00:00 August 5th, 2014|General Labor Law|

In California, an employee who suffered an injury while on the job and while performing job duties is eligible for benefits under the Workers' Compensation Insurance Program. Workers’ Compensation is usually the only avenue for financial assistance after an injury, because employees generally cannot sue an employer in civil court for injuries suffered on the [...]

Is it Legal to Ban Hiring Smokers?

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 August 4th, 2014|General Labor Law|

The city of Toledo could face a hiring ban for tobacco and nicotine users applying for city jobs. The Mayor of Toledo says an administrative policy prohibiting such hires will be put into place soon. Banning smokers has become common in the health-care industry and is spreading to governmental employment to save money on promote [...]

Pregnancy Discrimination Issue to go to Supreme Court

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 August 3rd, 2014|General Labor Law|

The case of a pregnant United Parcel Service (UPS) driver who was denied light duty to accommodate her heavy-lifting restrictions will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court next year. The Court will determine whether UPS’s refusal to give the driver light duty was a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), and whether in [...]

Lawsuit Against Apple Regarding Employee Searches Will Go Forward

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 August 1st, 2014|General Labor Law|

A U.S. District Judge ruled that a class-action lawsuit against Apple regarding employee bag searches and “personal technology checks” can proceed. The suit is brought by former Apple retail store employees who allege these uncompensated security screenings can last between 10–15 minutes each time, including time spent waiting in line to be checked. Accordingly, the [...]

Whistleblower Attorney Sues City for Wrongful Termination

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 31st, 2014|General Labor Law, Wrongful termination|

Joanne Hoeper, formerly top attorney with the San Francisco city attorney’s office, has filed a wrongful termination claim against the city over her demotion and firing. Hoeper alleges in her suit that the city of San Francisco paid plumbing contractors to do unnecessary repairs to private sewer lines. She claims that officials in the city [...]

Are You Getting Paid to Answer Emails and Calls After Work?

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 29th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In California, salaried employees must be paid overtime unless they are considered exempt under federal laws, California laws, or an Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order. Some non-salaried employee may also be entitled to overtime. As wage and hour disputes continue to rise, employees wonder if answering work emails and phone calls off the clock should [...]

Discrimination, Retaliation Case Filed in Sacramento County

2017-03-02T23:51:32+00:00 July 28th, 2014|General Labor Law|

A gender discrimination case has been filed in Sacramento County alleging that the Plaintiff, a woman, was also retaliated against for complaining about the alleged discrimination. The Plaintiff alleged that although she had an outstanding employment record, and previous sales experience with the company, she was told to focus on secretarial tasks and marketing, while [...]

When Can California Employers Require Employees to Use Accrued Leave of Absences?

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 27th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In a decision handed down on July 21, 2014, a California Court of Appeal held employers can require employees to use their accrued leave for absences of less than half a day without undermining overtime exempt status. In the case, Rhea v. General Atomics, the employer required exempt employees to use accrued leave for any [...]

Strip Club Dancers File Suit for Violations of California Labor Laws

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 25th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In April of this year, 11 former dancers from San Jose’s Pink Poodle strip club filed a lawsuit alleging that they were misclassified as independent contractors. They claim they should have been classified as employees, and that they were not paid minimum wage or overtime as they should have been. The women also claim they [...]

Increase in Litigation to Enforce Non-compete Agreements

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 24th, 2014|General Labor Law|

A non-compete agreement or clause, also called a covenant not to compete, is used in employment contracts to get one party (usually an employee) to agree not to enter into or start a similar profession or trade in competition against another party (usually the employer). Non-compete agreements are most common in high-technology, corporate, and sales fields, but they [...]

Delivery Drivers are Employees, NOT Independent Contractors

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 22nd, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Earlier this month, the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit held in Ruiz v. Affinity Logistics Corp. that Affinity Logistics violated California law by misclassifying its home delivery drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Before working for Affinity Logistics, Ruiz worked as a driver for Penske Logistics, a furniture delivery company that had [...]

Employers May Seek Reimbursement from Employees for Training Costs

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 20th, 2014|General Labor Law|

California employers are continuously affected by new laws and regulations. Employers have to ensure they are following wage and hour laws and also educating and training employees about their rights, in addition to making sure employees are trained properly for the duties required by their position. One area where the law favors employers is the [...]

Irony Abounds: Tinder CEO Sues Co-Founder for Sexual Harassment

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 19th, 2014|General Labor Law, Sexual Harassment|

Whitney Wolfe, former vice president of marketing for the popular matchmaking app Tinder, has filed a Stockton sexual harassment and discrimination in Stockton lawsuit against her former partners. She is accusing them of creating a hostile work environment that eventually forced her to leave the company. The suit was filed in Los Angeles, California. Wolfe [...]

Answering the Call for Higher Minimum Wage

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 18th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

In early June, the Seattle City Council approved a plan that will require employers to pay a $15 minimum wage. Businesses with more than 500 workers will have to set their minimum wage at $11 by April of next year, and reach $15 in 2017. Large businesses that provide health care will have an additional [...]

Is it Legal to Fire Someone Because of Their Sexual Orientation?

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 17th, 2014|Discimination, General Labor Law|

Crystal Moore, a 23-year member of the Latta, South Carolina police force, was fired by the town’s mayor. The mayor claimed Moore had questioned authority and failed to maintain order at a town council meeting. He denied that the firing had anything to do with the fact that Moore is openly lesbian. A voice recording [...]

Do You Have Insurance After Leaving a Job?

2016-08-08T22:30:14+00:00 July 16th, 2014|General Labor Law|

For many employees, taking or leaving a job comes down to one thing: healthcare insurance. Both Federal and California programs offer some leeway so employees are not necessarily constricted to a job just because of a need for healthcare. After leaving a job, an employee can generally continue his group health coverage for himself and [...]

Employee Social Media Rights

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 15th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wrongful termination|

An employee of Hills and Dales General Hospital in Michigan received a written warning about violating the hospital’s values and standards of behavior policy due to something she posted on Facebook. The policy prohibited employees from “engaging in or listening to” gossip and negative comments at work. The employee filed a charge against the hospital [...]

What is Reporting Time Pay

2017-12-13T21:46:45+00:00 July 13th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Earlier this year the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District adopted a Commuter Benefit Rule. Certain Bay Area employers will now be required to offer commuter benefits to employees by September 30, 2014. The purpose of the rule is to encourage carpooling and use of public transportation. The new Rule [...]

New Ordinance Requires S.F. Bay Area Employers to Provide Commuter Benefits to Employees

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 July 12th, 2014|General Labor Law|

Earlier this year the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District adopted a Commuter Benefit Rule. Certain Bay Area employers will now be required to offer commuter benefits to employees by September 30, 2014. The purpose of the rule is to encourage carpooling and use of public transportation. The new Rule [...]

Update to California Whistleblower Protection Act

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 July 11th, 2014|General Labor Law|

The California Whistleblower Protection Act authorizes state employees and members of the public to report improper governmental activity to the California State Auditor. The “whistleblower” is the employee or member of the public who informs the Auditor about the activity. An “improper governmental activity” is any action by a state agency or state employee that: [...]

Will the NBA Commissioner’s Ruling Against Clipper’s Owner Donald Sterling Hold Up in Court?

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 July 10th, 2014|General Labor Law|

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the National Basketball Association (NBA) and fined $2.5 million after a recording of him making racist and sexist statements surfaced. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that Sterling would not be allowed to have any further association with the Clippers or the NBA. Silver also [...]

Proposed Law Regarding Changing Work Schedules

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 July 8th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

On July 22th, 2013, George Miller, a Democratic congressman from California, and Rosa DeLauro, a Democratic congresswoman from Connecticut, introduced the Schedules That Work Act (H.R. 5159). The proposed legislation would grant employees or temporary workers a right to request schedule changes based on caregiving responsibilities, education and training pursuits, health conditions, or the ability [...]

What is the Difference Between an Independent Contractor and an Employee

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 July 7th, 2014|General Labor Law|

Are you an independent contractor or an employee? You may be surprised to learn that just because you signed an “independent contractor agreement” or received a 1099 form rather than a W-2 form that does not necessarily mean you are an independent contractor. In fact, if your employer characterizes you as an independent contractor when [...]

Supreme Court to Take on Retiree Benefits

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 June 17th, 2014|General Labor Law|

This week, the US Supreme Court decided to hear M&G Polymer USA LLC’s challenge to a district court ruling that says the company has to pay retiree’s health care benefits for life, according to the Court’s web site. The collective bargaining agreement in this case, failed to state exactly how long retirees health benefits lasted. [...]

Is it legal for My Employer to Fire Me Without a Written Warning?

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 June 14th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wrongful termination|

In law, one question often leads to others. When an employee asks if it was legal to be fired without warning, the answer is “it depends.” If the employee was part of a union, then the union agreement will cover what steps an employer must take to fire an employee. If the employee had a [...]

Is Making Employees Work on Holidays Legal?

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 May 23rd, 2014|General Labor Law|

There are few things more disgruntling to an employee than finding out they have to work on a holiday. Plans to go out of town can go up in smoke in seconds. This often leads employees to wonder whether they have any rights to time off on holidays. In California, hours worked on weekends and [...]

Employee Social Media Rights

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 May 22nd, 2014|General Labor Law|

Legal issues concerning employee use of social media are on the rise. Issues vary from whether employees were wrongfully terminated for using Facebook or Twitter at work to whether employers can make employees share their social media passwords. Though there is still a lot of ambiguity regarding employee rights and social media, state legislatures and [...]

Department of Justice Settlement Provides Road Map to National Disability Law Compliance

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 May 21st, 2014|General Labor Law|

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice entered into a statewide settlement agreement with Rhode Island resolving violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for several thousand residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The settlement will give the state ten years to comply with the ADA by better integrating those with disabilities into [...]

New Decision Made on Telecommuting as Disability Accommodation

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 May 16th, 2014|Discimination, General Labor Law|

Employers with “telecommuting” policies should take care -- employees might request working from home as a disability accommodation. That’s according to a decision handed down by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in , E.E.O.C. v. Ford Motor Company, filed 4/22/14. The case involved a woman who bought steel for the car company’s manufacturing and [...]

Is Tip Pooling Legal?

2016-08-09T22:13:31+00:00 May 13th, 2014|General Labor Law|

Whether working in a small coffee house or renowned steak house, employees working for tips rely largely on the additional money they can take home after a shift. In California, there have been several cases and laws addressing tips and the many questions associated with them. Is it ok for an employer to require employees [...]

San Francisco Employers May Not Consider Criminal History When Hiring

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 May 12th, 2014|General Labor Law|

San Francisco recently enacted the Fair Chance Ordinance, which takes effect August 13, 2014. This new legislation restricts the ability of private employers to inquire about and consider criminal history information when hiring or promoting employees.  The Ordinance applies to private employers located or doing business in the City and County of San Francisco with [...]

What’s the Difference Between an Independent Contractor and an Employee?

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 May 4th, 2014|General Labor Law|

Sometimes employers want it both ways. They want the convenience of having an employee they can depend on regularly, without the risk of having to pay unemployment or workers compensation, or risk wrongful termination suits. These employers will sometimes tell employees they can be “independent contractors.” Then they treat them as employees – telling them [...]

Employers Have to Reasonably Accommodate Disabilities

2016-08-09T22:22:58+00:00 May 3rd, 2014|General Labor Law|

Disability accommodation seems to create a lot of confusion among employees. Workers sometimes believe that they can’t lose their job if they become sick or disabled, and it just isn’t that simple. To be covered by disability law, your employer must have at least five employees. Some laws require more employees to be applicable.   Additionally, [...]

Working Off The Clock Brings Two Insurance Adjuster Cases to Appeal

2016-08-09T22:29:00+00:00 April 29th, 2014|Class Action, General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Employees can be in a tough spot when they have to get their jobs done, but aren’t supposed to have overtime. Two recent Court of Appeals decisions involving insurance adjusters who alleged they worked “off-the-clock” illustrate that point. In Williams v. Superior Court, whether or not class should be certified has been decided three separate [...]

Preparing for a Job Interview

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 April 28th, 2014|General Labor Law|

Job applicants are often encouraged to prepare for an interview by researching their potential employer and anticipating certain questions. An applicant may be so set on thinking of how to answer questions, they may not realize there are certain questions employers may not ask. In fact, asking certain questions that would compromise an applicant’s privacy [...]

New Rules Aim at Preventing Wage Theft

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 April 26th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

Altered time cards, pressure to work off the clock, and misclassifying employees to avoid paying overtime or benefits, are illegal employer practices that have earned the title “wage theft.” Many low wage earners are victims of wage theft, particularly in the fast food business. Employees rarely come forward for fear of losing their job, or [...]

Truckers Face New National Database for Drug Test Results, Refusals

2017-12-13T21:46:46+00:00 April 15th, 2014|General Labor Law|

Will truckers test results for drugs and alcohol – including their refusal to test – be part of a nationwide database? The Secretary of the Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is directed to establish and maintain a national clearinghouse for “verified positive alcohol and controlled substance test results and test refusals” for [...]

Hearing Set in Landmark Employee Arbitration Case

2017-03-02T23:52:11+00:00 April 11th, 2014|Arbitration, General Labor Law|

One of the important cases in the so-called “arbitration wars” recently got a hearing date Oral argument has been set in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation before the California Supreme Court for Thursday, April 3, 2014. A ruling could provide important information on how arbitration agreements are handled.  In this case, the trial court ordered the [...]

Family Leave Rights Expanding

2017-12-13T21:46:47+00:00 April 11th, 2014|General Labor Law|

Baseball season recently started, and with it came an unusual controversy. Daniel Murphy, second basemen for the Mets, was criticized for missing the team’s opener and one subsequent game to make the birth of his first child. Major League Baseball rules allow up to three days of paternity leave, but Murphy faced disapproval even though [...]

Are College Athletes School Employees?

2016-08-09T22:39:56+00:00 April 8th, 2014|General Labor Law|

In an answer to the question of whether college athletes are employees, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) director in Chicago said Northwestern University football players receiving grant-in-aid scholarships, are considered employees and have the right to vote to unionize. With this ruling, many questions have arisen as to its application and implications. First, it is important [...]

Labor Commission Ruling Challenged

2016-08-09T22:40:34+00:00 March 5th, 2014|General Labor Law|

Defendant employer American Corporate Security appealed from an order of dismissal after a demurrer of the defendant Labor Commissioner was sustained.  The employer argued that it had no way to challenge procedural unfairness. The court ruled the company has an adequate remedy because it can its points in defense to the Labor Commissioner’s action.  On [...]

Supreme Court Grants Review in case of false employment documents and failure to disclose conviction

2017-03-02T21:49:46+00:00 March 4th, 2014|General Labor Law|

The California Supreme Court has granted review in an Appellate Court case on the issue of whether an employee’s failure to disclose a criminal conviction to obtain employment, may bar a recovery under discrimination statutes. The court held that the employee was ineligible to hold the employment position (union organizer) because of the conviction.  The [...]

Retaliation Claims and their Standard of Proof

2017-03-02T23:50:33+00:00 January 30th, 2014|General Labor Law|

A hospital had an agreement with the University of Texas to offer vacant staff physician posts to university faculty members.  A physician of Middle Eastern descent who was a faculty member and a hospital staff physician made bias claims to his alleged harasser’s supervisor. He made arrangements to work at the hospital, then quit the [...]

Workplace Harassment May Depend on Status of Harasser

2017-03-02T21:49:28+00:00 January 27th, 2014|General Labor Law|

Employer liability for workplace harassment may depend on who is doing the harassing – a coworker or supervisor.  If the supervisor’s harassment culminates in a tangible employment action –, the employer will be held strictly liable.  Without that, it could be determined that the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and/or correct harassing behavior. In [...]

Home Healthcare Worker Ruled to Have Assumed the Risk of Being Injured by Alzheimer’s Patient

2017-03-02T21:51:02+00:00 January 22nd, 2014|General Labor Law|

An appeal from a Los Angeles County Superior Court case resulted in a decision that states the home care worker assumed the risk she might be injured on the job.  The worker in question was warned that the patient in question could be become violent.  The worker said she had experience with similar patients and [...]

Decision Handed Down on Workers Classification on Overtime

2017-03-02T21:50:11+00:00 January 16th, 2014|General Labor Law, Wage and Hour|

A former assistant manager at Safeway Inc. sued her former employer alleging that she was improperly classified as exempt from overtime pay, because she spent the majority of her time doing non-manangerial tasks like bagging groceries and stocking shelves.  She sued for unpaid overtime and an advisory jury and the Los Angeles County trial court [...]

Teacher’s Fitness to Teach Receives Ruling

2017-12-13T21:46:47+00:00 December 13th, 2013|General Labor Law|

The San Diego Unified School District dismissed a teacher on grounds he had touched a student inappropriately. A Commission on Professional Competence determined the district had not adequately proven the teacher’s immoral conduct, unfitness to teach, or persistent violation of district rules. The district petitioned the superior court for a writ of mandate, which vacated [...]

City’s Attempt to Outsource Work Fought

2016-08-09T23:08:43+00:00 November 25th, 2013|General Labor Law|

The Costa Mesa City Employees’ Association sued alleging that a city plan to contract out for some services violates state law and the parties’ collective bargaining agreement. The matter has not been heard yet. But on July 15, 2011, the trial court granted a preliminary injunction enjoying the Defendant city from contracting with any of [...]

Employers of Exempt Employees Not Required to Ensure Meals Taken

2017-03-02T21:45:05+00:00 November 13th, 2013|General Labor Law|

The trial court determined that the employer in question didn’t have to pay overtime to a class of employees who earned 1.5 times minimum wage when more than half the employees pay comes in commissions. Muldrow v. Surrex Solutions Corp.