The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

If you ever have to consider cutting staff via a reduction in force, be sure to consider who among your employees might feel aggrieved enough to cause big legal trouble.

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Recently the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that a public employee cannot be discharged because he may have supported his boss’s opponent in an election. Now, however, a federal court has limited the impact of the ruling for employees whose positions involve policymaking or employee confidentiality.

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Joined, Inc., has agreed to issue $439,000 in back pay to 58 workers following a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division investigation.

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The University of California-Berkeley has promised to look more closely into charges its head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin moved too slowly to inform university officials that assistant coach Yann Hufnagel had sexually harassed a female reporter covering the team.

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Under California law, not every work product amounts to a trade secret. For example, an ordinary customer list with information generally available through open sources isn’t subject to protection.

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BitMICRO in Fremont will pay more than $160,000 in back pay, overtime and penalties to engineers it brought in on the cheap from the Philippines.

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A Southern California marketing firm will pay $150,000 in back pay and overtime to resolve charges it misclassified employees as independent contractors.

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Some employees seem to believe that as long as they engage in whistleblowing, they’re immune from getting fired. That’s not true.

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In March, the California legislature approved the nation’s highest statewide minimum wage.

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California employers who want to bind their workers to arbitration have to jump through a number of hoops. For one thing, you need to produce an agreement signed by the employee.

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