California is a great state—for employees who want to sue their employers. Even the wage statements employees get with their paychecks can lead to lawsuits. Advice: Have your attorney take a look at those pay stubs to make sure they comply with California wage-and-hour laws.
Some local California governments have to give preference to minority- or female-owned contractors. Now in an odd twist, the California Supreme Court has said that such preferences are legal only if the local government can show it does in fact discriminate. That could end such preferences.
On Aug. 1, a union representing postdoctoral researchers at the University of California reached a tentative collective-bargaining agreement. The five-year pact between the university system and Postdoctoral Researchers Organize/UAW (PRO/UAW), which represents 6,500 postdoctoral researchers in the UC system, calls for pay increases of at least 3% per year from 2010 to 2015 for researchers earning less than $47,000.
California-based members of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) have ratified a two-year labor agreement with the California Department of Personnel Administration (DPA).
Six California metropolitan areas ranked in the top 50 on Forbes magazine’s 2010 list of the nation’s best cities for working mothers. Forbes rated the cities against criteria that considered women’s income, cost of living, availability of pediatricians, safety, employment opportunities and spending on education.
As we approach the Nov. 2 midterm congressional elections, chances for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act grow dimmer and dimmer. But that hasn’t diminished unions’ push for EFCA-like reforms through the National Labor Relations Board—especially now that a solid three-vote majority of former union lawyers is serving on the board. The battleground clearly has shifted to the NLRB.
Sometimes, a workplace rumor takes on a life of its own. And despite denials, it continues to resurface. If that happens in your organization and the rumor affects an employee’s ability to work, she might be able to sue—even if the original rumor started years before. That’s one reason to crack down on rumor mongers.
The National Labor Relations Board in August approved plans for a mail ballot election to begin Sept. 13 for tens of thousands of Kaiser Permanente employees throughout California. The election will determine if the workers at the health care giant will be represented by one of three unions. Kaiser employees also have the option of voting for no union representation.
Employers that do background checks that come back negative should be able to rely on their good-faith efforts to prevent harm to employees and others. After all, employers should only be liable for harm they reasonably could expect would happen.
A group of in-home health care aides who claim the state illegally reduced their wages can file a class-action lawsuit, following a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. According to the workers, who are part of the state’s In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program, California violated federal law when it cut state employees’ pay in an effort to balance the state budget.