The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has nixed a firefighter’s claim that he should be paid for the time it takes to get to his station and retrieve his firefighting gear before reporting to a different station.

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Here’s something to consider when contracting with a union. If the contract contains a so-called “evergreen clause,” be sure to follow the directions if you want to cancel the agreement after a term.

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Public employees are entitled to free speech under the Constitution—within limits. For example, the speech must involve matters of public importance. Under the right circumstances, arguing with a supervisor may even be protected.

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What you call an employee doesn’t determine whether she’s properly classified as exempt. What matters are her duties. If they are routine and menial in nature, she’s not exempt, even if she holds a lofty title within the organization.

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A court has rejected the DOL’s test to determine whether a worker is an intern or an employee, coming up with a simpler one.

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Some managers think they can handle employees with disabilities on their own. That’s never a good idea. Someone in HR should oversee every aspect of disability accommodations. Leave management out of it—other than requiring every manager and supervisor to report immediately potential disabilities to HR. Otherwise, things can go badly wrong, as they did in one recent case.

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A surgical scrub technician has alleged Sharp Healthcare withdrew a job offer because it regarded her as disabled when she was not.

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Achiote Restaurant in San Ysidro, Ca., faces an EEOC lawsuit after young Mexican men working at the restaurant complained of sexual harassment and retaliation by a male manager.

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Anderson Lumber Co. in Sacramento has lost its bid to decertify Local 150 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters as its employees’ bargaining unit. The controversy arose in 2012 when the two sides were negotiating a successor agreement. The Teamsters have represented Anderson Lumber employees for 50 years.

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A female airplane mechanic who alleged she was fired after she revealed her pregnancy to her employer will receive $60,000 in damages. Sierra Academy of Aeronautics, located near Merced, Ca., agreed to a seven-year consent decree, but admitted no liability.

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