The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

The Papa John’s pizza chain has come through for employees left in the lurch when a franchisee in Sacra­­mento abruptly closed eight stores.

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Good news for employers: Workers can’t go to state court to re-litigate an employment discrimination case based on the same underlying facts that already failed in federal court.

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Here’s some good news for employers that want to use arbitration as a way to resolve employment disputes instead of relying on federal or state courts: Imposing a fair arbitration policy on applicants as a condition of employment is fine.

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Workers who delivered the San Diego Union-Tribune will split a $5 million judgment against the paper’s former owner. A state judge ruled that about 1,200 carriers who worked for the paper from 2005 to 2007 were employees, not independent contractors.

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Just as women have the right to dignity in a workplace free of sexual harassment, so do men.

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We’ve said it before, but it needs to be said again: Simply having a sexual harassment policy in your handbook won’t save you from a lawsuit. It’s all about what you do with that policy.

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Don’t even think of including in your job application a shortened statute of limitations for resolving employment disputes.

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Here’s something to consider before you place an employee on disability leave following an em­­ployer-ordered medical exam. That employee may end up being considered disabled—even if the exam revealed no real medical problems. Essentially, by examining him and placing him on leave, you are regarding him as disabled. He can then sue for disability discrimination.

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Always count military leave as time worked. Simply pretend the worker is present and earning leave and other benefits. That principle applies to both your attendance policies and your FMLA practices.

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

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