The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

A San Francisco civil grand jury has concluded that 38 restaurants built into their prices the cost of providing city-mandated employee health coverage—and then never offered the benefits to workers. The grand jurors’ suspicion: That restaurateurs pocketed a substantial portion of the money.

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Extended Health Care Private Duty Nursing, a Los Angeles-area home nursing agency, has agreed to pay $654,082 to settle a Fair Labor Standards Act complaint that followed a federal probe into its pay practices.

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has given a government employee another shot at a discrimination lawsuit. The case highlights how complicated the litigation process has become, since apparently even the EEOC doesn’t know the rules.

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Employers experiencing economic difficulties can cut positions if need be and not worry that it cost the job of an employee who was out on maternity leave. But beware! If the decision to cut the employee was based on her having taken leave, she can sue.

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The Court of Appeal of California has upheld an arbitration agreement included in an employee handbook. The difference between this case and the arbitration case in “Don’t bury arbitration agreement in handbook”: The agreement was clear and obvious.

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There are some things employers just can’t do, no matter what a senior manager may want. For example, you can’t punish a good employee for pointing out potential legal violations.

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Foothill Ranch-based fashion retailer Wet Seal faces a class-action lawsuit from black current and former employees who allege an internal email complained that the company had too many black workers.

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Some employers favor arbitration agreements as a way to cut down on expensive and time-consuming litigation and avoid rogue juries that often sympathize more with workers than big, bad employers. But the reality is that arbitration agreements often cause more litigation, not less.

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An assistant professor at Chapman University will receive $175,000 and a promotion as part of a settlement in a sex discrimination lawsuit filed against the Orange County institution.

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Sunset Car Wash had no idea it was about to be cleaned out when it took over the lease from Auto Spa Express. A court has ruled Sunset must pay back wages and penalties owed to Auto Spa’s former em­­ployees.

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