The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

The California Court of Appeal has upheld a jury’s verdict finding the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) liable for failure to provide a reasonable accommodation and failure to engage in the interactive process.

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Same-sex harassment claims are tough to prove under Title VII. It’s especially hard if the harassment seems more for the purpose of annoying the harassed worker. But that’s not how the California Fair Employment and Housing Act handles same sex harassment, as an employer recently found out.

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An appeals court has reversed a quarter-million-dollar punitive-damages award for sexual harassment. The problem: The employee couldn’t prove the alleged harassment was pervasive or frequent enough to constitute a hostile environment.

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Bumble Bee Tuna and two employees face felony OSHA violations after a maintenance worker was cooked alive inside a 35-foot oven at the company’s Santa Fe Springs facility.

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The Children’s Hospital and Research Center in Oakland has reached a settlement with an employee who had cancer and was fired for taking too much medical leave.

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It’s easier for employees to prove retaliation for complaining about discrimination than it is to prove the underlying complaint. When disciplining someone who has complained, make sure each infraction is iron-clad—and don’t pile on additional dubious charges.

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Surviving relatives of employees who were exposed to nuclear radiation at a La Jolla defense contractor’s facility are now eligible for compensation.

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Here’s an important reminder for managers handling workers returning from medical leave who may qualify as disabled: Placing workers in a temporary job may be part of an accommodation but that doesn’t end the process.

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Here are seven hot-button topics that California HR leaders should stay on top of. Practical advice will help you comply with a shifting employment law landscape.

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C&H Collins-Hartwell Programs, a Southern California provider of medical day care, must pay 32 employees $344,000 in back pay and damages after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found it only paid straight time to workers who worked more than 40 hours in a week.

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