The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Typically, federal courts tend to uphold the U.S. Department of Labor’s interpretations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. But now the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the DOL’s interpretation of what it means to be an outside salesperson under the FLSA.

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Terminating an employee is never easy. But thanks to a recent California Court of Appeal decision, at least you don’t have to worry about wage statement violations—if you follow the common sense guidelines the court announced.

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Here’s good news for employers that try to do the right thing by fixing harassment they believe did in fact occur: Your liability will be limited if an employee fails to complain to the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within one year of the last act of harassment.

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You may have heard that arbitration agreements are a great way to avoid lengthy and potentially costly employment discrimination lawsuits. But before you decide to use an arbitration agreement, remember that California courts don’t like them very much.

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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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