The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Air Force contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, based in San Diego, will pay 901 workers more than $945,000 after government auditors found the company had not paid them the prevailing wage mandated by the federal McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act.

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As long as you can show a business necessity for asking an employee to undergo a mental examination, there’s no ADA or Fair Employment and Housing Act liability. Erratic, insubordinate behavior that continues after a request to stop is a good business reason.

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Generally, older employees who are turned down for promotions or aren’t hired must show that the person who was hired was younger. But how much younger? That question has now been answered by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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FMLA leave is an entitlement and interfering with that leave or punishing a leave taker will backfire. It may even mean personal liability for a manager who decides to punish an employee with an adverse action like termination or demotion.

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A controversial bill to increase California’s minimum wage recently failed to pass in the state Legislature. The bill would have phased in a $3 per hour increase to the minimum wage rate and also would have imposed annual cost of living increases.

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It’s a violation of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act for a supervisor to use an employee’s sexuality as a vehicle for making work life miserable. That’s true even if it wasn’t motivated by sexual desire. Bullying someone through sexual threats is sexual harassment.

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Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, heart disease is a disability. The employee doesn’t have to prove that in his particular case, the condition limits a major life activity.

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The Court of Appeals of California has upheld class-action certification allowing several employees to represent over 200,000 fellow current and former employees who claim they weren’t provided appropriate meal periods or premium pay for missed breaks.

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When an employer (or plan administrator) denies a request to receive an ERISA-covered benefit, it must inform the employee that he must appeal by a certain date, typically 180 days. When the 180th day falls on a weekend, those days aren’t counted.

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The Court of Appeal of California has ruled in a case testing the limits of calling workers independent contractors. Employers should review their independent contractor arrangements to make sure they meet California requirements.

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