CaliforniaHR

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Known as the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, Assembly Bill (AB) 1522 passed the Assembly along a party-line vote and is pending in the Senate. The bill would implement a number of new Labor Code provisions requiring employers to provide paid sick leave for their employees. It would apply to all employers regardless of size, and would include public employers, the state and municipalities.

News Updates
June 27, 2014

This book summarizes the key substantive employ­ment laws of California and discusses the ways in which they most differ from the federal statutes that guide most of the rest of the country. The book is written from the perspective of an experienced HR professional who, for the first time, is tasked with managing a workforce in California. Such a person would likely ask basic questions, like:

News Updates
June 20, 2014

In a long-awaited decision, California’s highest court on May 29, 2014, affirmed a 2012 state court of appeals decision vacating a $15 million judgment in a misclassification class action brought under state law. In the lawsuit, which was brought against U.S.

News Updates
June 13, 2014

California voters legalized the use of medical marijuana in 1996. Twenty years later, in 2016, will they also give the nod to the recreational use of marijuana?

News Updates
June 6, 2014

As the days grow warmer, California employers with outdoor places of employment should think about compliance with California’s Heat Illness Prevention Regulations (Cal. Code of Regs. tit. 8, § 3395). To comply with the regulations, California employers should take four essential steps:

*Develop and implement written procedures for addressing heat illness prevention. 

*Train employees and supervisors. 

*Provide adequate water.

*Provide adequate shade.

Coverage

News Updates
June 6, 2014
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Just about every place you go, everywhere you turn, people are tapping on their smartphones. And as the devices get more sophisticated, the legal issues surrounding them are getting more complicated.

Businesses are grappling with all of these issues in the workplace. With their electronic devices, workers can record discussions in the office, or take pictures or videos of co-workers.

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May 30, 2014
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Ambiguity in settlement agreements can sabotage finality and certainty as a recent California decision shows. Where a settlement agreement is silent regarding litigation costs, an employee can obtain mandatory costs as the prevailing party under state law because the settlement proceeds constitute the required “net monetary recovery,” the California Court of Appeal ruled.

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May 23, 2014
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The California Supreme Court heard oral arguments April 2, 2014, in an appeal brought by a former employee who claims the lower courts incorrectly determined that his disability discrimination claim was barred because he misappropriated someone else’s Social Security number to apply for the position.

News Updates
May 16, 2014

Covered San Francisco Bay Area employers without an already-existing and compliant commuter benefits plan have until Sept. 30, 2014, to select at least one of four commuter benefit options, notify employees of how to take advantage of the benefits, and register with the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program (CBP).

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May 9, 2014
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An employer did not violate the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by requiring an employee to undergo a fitness-for-duty evaluation after it had restored her to her position following a medical leave of absence for psychological issues, the California Court of Appeal ruled. Reversing a permanent injunction prohibiting the employer from requiring the evaluation, the court noted the request for an evaluation was appropriate, given the employee’s erratic conduct prior to her leave and the requirement that she carry a weapon as part of her job.
 
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May 2, 2014
 
States are doing everything possible these days to lure businesses away from each other—and as a high-tax state, California is a major target of these efforts.
 
One high-profile competitor is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who’s been trying to persuade California employers to flee the state’s “tax and spend” policies. In ads, media interviews and trips to the state, he tries to entice businesses with the prospect of lower taxes and minimal regulations.
 
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April 25, 2014
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A number of bills that, if enacted, will affect private-sector employers are pending in the California legislature, including proposals to increase the minimum wage and require paid sick leave. Several of these bills are discussed below.
Additional Minimum Wage Increases Proposed (SB 935)
 
News Updates
April 18, 2014
 
California employers are acutely aware of the typical schedule worked by employees: eight hours a day, five days a week. As we have become accustomed to doing, California law generally requires employers to pay employees overtime wages for hours worked in excess of eight hours during any 24-hour period. But in many cases, limiting employees to working only eight hours a day is not the most convenient for either the employee or the Company. End of the story? Not so fast.
 
News Updates
April 11, 2014
An employee may affirmatively decline to use leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) even if the underlying reason for seeking leave would have invoked FMLA protection, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
 
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April 4, 2014

Sending a former employee’s wrongful termination claim to an arbitrator, the California Court of Appeal ruled that his employment arbitration agreement was not unconscionable and deserved to be enforced. The court found that the agreement’s limitations on discovery and on “just cause” terminations, among others, were not substantively unconscionable, and so reversed a lower court order denying arbitration.

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March 28, 2014
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So far, as the second year of a two-year California legislative session, 2014 has been more noteworthy for what hasn’t happened, than for what has. The legislature made no attempts to override any of the governor’s 2013 end-of-session vetoes. Rather, legislators have re-introduced bills to try again to pass them and get the governor’s signature, or to tweak previous unsuccessful proposals in an effort to win the governor’s approval.
 
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March 21, 2014
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The concept of “work/life balance” is a hot topic nowadays. Employees who also need to care for young children, elderly parents or other family members are seeking ways to get it all done.
 
In response to growing demand from employees, and in an effort to enhance their reputations, many companies now offer flexible-work options. This may involve working from home to avoid a grueling commute, switching to a part-time schedule or a variety of other arrangements.
 
News Updates
March 14, 2014

On July 1, 2014, the first phase of California’s minimum wage increase will go into effect, and the wage will rise from the current $8 per hour to $9. Then, in January 2016, the minimum wage will go to $10 per hour.

News Updates
February 27, 2014