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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

If, like many employers, you include an arbitration clause in your employment applications, take note of a recent California Court of Appeal case.

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The California Fair Employment and Housing Act requires employees to file complaints with the appropriate state agency within one year of an alleged discriminatory act. But what happens if the employee delays going to the agency and instead tries to resolve the complaint using the employer’s own internal process?

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Many California employers are viewing a recent decision by a federal appeals court as a setback. The court upheld the right of local governments to pass ordinances that essentially force employers to provide a certain level of funding for employee benefits.

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A federal district court judge recently approved a $33 million settlement reached between Citigroup and female financial advisors in its Smith Barney unit.

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Don’t think that employees who take their retirement benefits in a lump sum can’t sue for alleged fiduciary breaches. A recent federal appeals court decision says although retirees are not technically employees anymore, they still have standing to sue …

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A class of television writers reached a $4.5 million settlement in an age discrimination lawsuit it brought against International Creative Management (ICM), one of Hollywood’s “Big Five” talent agencies.

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have allowed California farm workers to seek union representation using a card-check system that was opposed by the farming industry. Although the California Assembly and Senate passed the legislation after a summer of wrangling over details, Schwarzenegger spiked the bill …

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Do you have employees who live and work in another state, but whose jobs sometimes bring them to California? Then you may be making a big overtime mistake if you pay them as if they were working in their home states.

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recently signed an ordinance that will require employers to offer workers at least one of three commuter-benefit options: a pretax election to offset commuting costs, an employer-paid benefit or employer-provided transit.

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A cash-balance pension plan is one in which the employer contributes a set amount each month on behalf of an employee. The employee eventually collects pension benefits based on the cash balance in his or her account. Some employees have claimed that such plans favor younger employees and therefore are illegal …

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