The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

A California Court of Appeal has upheld an arbitration agreement written in English and signed by employees with limited language ability.

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Sometimes, employees hold back on reporting sexual harassment out of fear, especially if the perpetrator is a supervisor. The first you hear about it may be during the termination meeting. If that happens, suspend the employee instead of firing him. That will give you time to investigate.

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that so-called automobile service advisors are nonexempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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When it comes to reductions in force, employers must make sure that they develop a fair, reasonable and explainable selection process. Be prepared to show that the selection was based on sound business decisions and that the layoff wasn’t an excuse to terminate employees who might otherwise have a legal discrimination claim.

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OSHA has ruled that Union Pacific Railroad violated federal whistle-blower provisions when it suspended a machinist who recorded a safety inspection and then forwarded it to the Federal Railroad Administration.

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There are compelling reasons to outsource or at least get legal help with a sexual harassment complaint. First and foremost, the investigation must be quick, thorough and reasonable. Employers that drop the ball and don’t punish what looks like a clear case of sexual harassment face a long, uphill battle in court.

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A federal appeals court has concluded that California employees are entitled to protection from retaliation for reporting safety hazards, even if it’s part of their jobs.

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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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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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