The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

As of Jan. 1, California employers with 15 or more employees must provide up to 30 days of paid leave to employees making organ donations, and up to five days of paid leave to employees who donate bone marrow.

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Orange County’s Laundry Room Clothing had a hard time making payroll during the depths of the Great Recession. Now the men’s fashion manufacturer must make amends big time to the employees it stiffed.

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The rules for meal and rest breaks just got a little more flexible for some California employers, following enactment of a new state law that exempts some construction workers, commercial drivers, security guards and utility workers from the state’s usual break requirements.

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What happens if a union passes a dues increase in the middle of the year—perhaps in an election year? Can the union collect the increased amount and then adjust it at the beginning of the next year? According to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, that’s exactly the way to handle the increase.

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The Court of Appeal of California has ruled that employees can’t pursue related claims in different forums at the same time.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently postponed until next year a requirement that certain partially self-insured employers must report any one-time or lump-sum payments to persons entitled to Medicare benefits. The requirement was to have applied to payments made in connection with settlements, judgments or awards involving the release of potential liability for medical expenses.

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Do you use standardized tests to determine if applicants meet the minimum requirements for a job? If so, remember this: An applicant who fails a fairly administered test (after receiving a conditional offer of employment) can’t go out and take the test privately and then demand reconsideration.

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The Wilshire Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles will pay more than $1.3 million following a National Labor Relations Board ruling that it engaged in unfair labor practices during contract negotiations with a hotel workers union.

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The EEOC has published its final regulations implementing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). They take effect on Jan. 10. The new regulations clarify when employers may be liable for acquiring genetic information.

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Sometimes, supposedly disabled employees try to play their employers by piling on new, incessant demands for reasonable ADA accommodations. For better or worse, it’s often best to just go along, especially if the accommodation won’t cost much. It could keep you out of court.

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