The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Ordinarily, the ADA doesn’t protect employees who have temporary physical problems that don’t last long or seriously interfere with their lives. But ailments and conditions that last indefinitely are another matter. That’s especially true for a veteran who the VA has rated as partially disabled by service-related injuries.

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Make sure employees receive the leave they’re entitled to under Cali­­for­­nia’s Fair Employment and Hous­­ing Act (FEHA). If a supervisor terminates an employee under the mistaken belief she’s at-will and can be fired for poor attendance—when she’s really eligible for medical leave—fix the mistake immediately.

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If there is an area of the law that remains confusing for ­employers, it’s arbitration agreements. Here’s the latest twist in the legal saga of what’s a good agreement and what’s not.

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California employers must begin complying with several new wage-and-hour laws enacted in recent weeks. Recent legislation provides overtime pay for domestic workers, mandates more pay for missed “cool-down” breaks, increases damages for minimum wage violations and adds other employer obligations.

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Gov. Jerry Brown recently vetoed two laws affecting employee rights.

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Can’t convince management that they shouldn’t ignore an overtime lawsuit? Share this horror story.

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Settling a case early on can have advantages. One of these is that you can include a confidentiality clause that bars a former employee from talking about the case. Now a Cali­­fornia court has said that such clauses are valid, meaning you can sue a former employee who breaks a confidentiality agreement.

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Here’s an important warning: If the EEOC mails your company a subpoena for information about a pending investigation, you have just days to object—or you’ll lose the right to do so. That’s why you absolutely need a clear process for immediately getting the subpoena to your attorney.

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Employees have just 90 days from the date they receive an EEOC right-to-sue letter to file a federal discrimination lawsuit. However, 90 days isn’t as straightforward a deadline as it might seem.

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As employers continue to try doing more with less, employees sometimes find themselves handling additional duties and responsibilities. That can cause real problems if it results in female employees doing extra work, and they wind up being paid less than male co-workers.

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