The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

The National Labor Relations Board has appointed William A. Baudler as the regional director to its regional office in Oakland, where he is responsible for enforcing the National Labor Relations Act in northern California and northern Nevada.

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Employees and employers alike have embraced San Francisco’s generous paid sick leave law, according to a new survey by the nonprofit Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The law, enacted in 2007 after being approved by San Francisco voters, requires employers to credit workers with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work.

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Under limited circumstances, employers and nonexempt employees can agree to set a salary that covers regular work and overtime.

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The former personal assistant to Lars Ulrich filed a lawsuit claiming the Metallica drummer violated state and federal laws by failing to pay him overtime. Steven Wiig claimed he worked between 50 and 70 hours per week, on duty at Ulrich’s home, in recording studios and during Metallica’s worldwide tours.

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If you want to create independent contractor relationships, get expert legal advice on how to structure the contract.

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Many employees who might otherwise have considered retiring have decided to keep working for the foreseeable future. These employees may feel threatened if they are passed over for promotions. By itself, that probably isn’t enough to make them contemplate a lawsuit. But add a supervisor’s ill-timed suggestion that the employee should retire, and you may end up facing an age discrimination lawsuit.

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Los Angeles sportswear manufacturer Tapout would have been better off paying up in the first place. All former employee Michelle Thomas originally wanted was overtime pay and some disputed commissions she said she had earned. But now that a California Superior Court jury in L.A. has ruled, Tapout is on the hook for $3.2 million, including $2.4 million in punitive damages.

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A recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision highlights unexpected problems employers can face when gay employees are harassed because of their sexual orientation. The case—Dawson v. Entek International—illustrates what can go wrong when harassment occurs, HR is slow to respond and retaliation is alleged.

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a strongly worded opinion chastising an employer for trying to dodge liability for not giving 60 days’ notice that it would close a facility, as required by the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

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More than 2,700 staffers at five hospitals run by Hospital Corporation of America will get pay raises following ratification of a new contract by members of the United Healthcare Workers-West (UHW) union.

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