The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Merced-based Alia Corp., which owns 20 McDonald’s franchises in the Cen­­­­tral Valley, will pay $100,000 to settle a former supervisor’s disability discrimination suit. The man claimed Alia illegally demoted him because of his intellectual disability.

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States will play an important role in implementing the provisions of the ACA. For California employers with between 50 and 100 employees, recent legislative developments may add some complexity to ongoing discussions about the ACA’s “shared responsibility” or “play-or-pay” requirements.

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A 40-year-old vocal teacher is suing the School of Rock chain of music schools, claiming she was harassed because of her age and wrongfully terminated in retaliation for engaging in protected activities.

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An employee can lose a sexual har­­assment lawsuit and still win on retaliation if she can show she was fired for complaining about harassment. Don’t let that happen to you.

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Before offering a retirement package that’s contingent on giving up the right to sue, make sure you comply with the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requirements. That includes giving the employee time to review the agreement and talk to a lawyer.

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Here’s some good news for em­­ployers: Employees can’t use “me-too” evidence pointing to widespread discrimination against many classes of employees if their initial claim only alleges discrimination against a specific subgroup.

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Here’s incentive to give managers more control over their own schedules. It could prevent one dis­­gruntled employee from turning a simple lawsuit into a class action that covers everyone else with a similar job. That might make the difference between a small verdict and a huge one.

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A California Court of Appeal re­­cently held that an arbitration agreement was unenforceable because it was unconscionably one-sided.

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Employers that do business in several states often have a single employee handbook covering all workers at all locations. If that de­­scribes your organization, be careful about how you handle details like arbitration agreements.

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Do you employ workers on a piece-rate basis but require them to stick around when things are slow or perform other tasks between the piecework? If so, watch out!

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