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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Employers confronted with sexual harassment claims generally do one of two things: either ignore the problem and hope it goes away or face it head on. Ignoring it is, of course, the wrong decision.

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More California employees will be eligible to take paid family leave starting July 1. That’s when grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and parents-in-law will be added to the list of relatives for whom caregiver leave is authorized.

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Some bosses openly resent it when subordinates announce that they’re pregnant. Warn them to never do or say anything that indicates anger, disappointment or annoyance.

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Employers increasingly understand the financial burden of defending wage-and-hour class-action lawsuits—not to mention possible settlement payments or damages following un­­suc­­cessful attempts to defend those suits. There are some practical steps you can take to dodge the threat of a costly class-action lawsuit.

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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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