The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

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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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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