The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

San Francisco-based First Republic Bank will pay $1,009,644 in overtime back wages to 392 employees in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon. A DOL investigation revealed the bank incorrectly classified workers as exempt from the FLSA.

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Want to stop unfair competition from former employees? Have them acknowledge that customer lists that they may have access to are considered trade secrets and that they can’t solicit customers from those lists after leaving.

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There’s one or two in every workplace: a first-level supervisor who yells and screams at everyone. Bullying probably isn’t the best way to get the most out of employees, but that doesn’t make it illegal.

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Most of the time, an employer needs only to honestly believe the reason given for a termination. However, that’s not true in cases involving the FMLA or California family leave.

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Each year the Human Rights Cam­­paign rates Fortune 500 companies on how well they treat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. Thirty-six California firms couldn’t have scored any better, earning perfect 100s.

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Employers that decide to add an arbitration agreement to their conditions of employment often try to get every employee’s signature on the document. But what if some employees don’t sign? What will you do? Can you count on the agreement being binding anyway? That’s unclear.

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Amendments to Labor Code Chapter 2.5 implementing AB 1844 took effect Jan. 1. The amendments bar employers from asking employees or job applicants for any social media account information.

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Smart employers carefully track performance over the long haul—not just when a manager decides he’s had enough and wants to terminate an employee for poor performance. It’s important to lay the groundwork early on, especially if a new hire has obvious performance problems right after coming on board.

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Judges tend to bend over backward to help so-called pro se litigants—individuals who decide to represent themselves in court. Sometimes, an employer’s best bet is to settle for a small amount—or urge the former employee to find an attorney.

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Temporary workers can still sue even if they no longer work for you because their contracts expired and weren’t renewed.

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