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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

The NLRB has ordered a Sacramento-area lumber company to restart contract negotiations with the union that represents its employees.

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Four former servers at Woodland Hills’ Cables Restaurant will split a $5.7 million jury award. The ­servers who range in age from 49 to 70 claimed new management cleaned house in 2010 and replaced the workers with women in their 20s.

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Mira Loma-based Schneider Logis­­tics has agreed to settle charges it cheated a group of warehouse workers out of $4.7 million in wages. The company, which handles logistics for Walmart, agreed to the settlement without admitting any wrongdoing.

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San Francisco has “banned-the-box” on employment applications and has added other restrictions on private employers’ ability to obtain and use criminal history information. The City and County of San Fran­­cisco Board of Supervisors passed the Fair Chance Ordi­­­­nance in February, and the new law goes into effect Aug. 13.

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Here’s something to think about when you revise your handbook or send out an announcement outlining your benefit plan: Be sure to tell workers that benefits can change at any time and that this year’s offering isn’t a promise that the benefits described will continue indefinitely.

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Here’s some good news for em­­ployers facing a clearly frivolous lawsuit: The employee bringing the lawsuit may find himself on the hook for the employer’s legal fees. That only seems fair since ­employers often have to foot the bill for an employee’s successful lawsuit.

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When an employee requests time off for an FMLA-related reason, you should inform her she may be eligible and provide information on how to request leave. But sometimes, the employee may not want to use FMLA leave. Don’t force her.

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Here’s a good reason to make sure your supervisors aren’t targeting some employees for poor treatment: If they boast about their attitude outside of work, those statements may be used against them—and the company.

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San Diego-based Fashion Graphics has agreed to pay back wages and penalties while voluntarily stopping all shipments until the $171,000 is paid to its current and former employees. The screen printer supplies such retail chains as Macy’s, Walmart, Kohl’s and Hot Topic.

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What’s an employer to do when it becomes clear employees want to vote on a union? One strategy may surprise you.

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