The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Don’t make a common employer mis­take and assume that someone who is declared 100% disabled under a workers’ compensation claim can’t also be entitled to reasonable accommodations for a different job.

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Most employees can’t be fired for their legal, off-duty activities. But that’s not true for some government employees. For example, police officers, judges and teachers have a higher duty to the citizens they serve, and they can be terminated for off-duty conduct.

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Timing is everything. Suggesting retirement before any decision has been made to terminate an employee may show age discrimination. Discussing it after informing the employee that he’s been terminated doesn’t.

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The nonpartisan California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) has urged state law­makers to consider rejecting some or all of six new collective bargaining agreements negotiated with state employee unions in March.

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After a five-day strike, registered nurses have started returning to their jobs at Children’s Hospital in Oak­land. The nurses, represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, walked out on May 5 over a dispute about health care benefits.

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A report recently issued by Worksafe, a California advocacy group, found that California Hispanic workers are more than 50% more likely to die at work than non-Hispanic workers.

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John Muir Health agreed to settle bias charges brought by the EEOC, claim­ing the East Bay hospital system dis­­criminated against job applicants ­perceived to have latex allergies.

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On April 27, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act protects a company’s right to include a class-action waiver in its arbitration agreement even though a state law bars such provisions as unconscionable. The case involved a retail consumer transaction, but it could have important implications for employers that use arbitration agreements.

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Disneyland Resort workers have filed a lawsuit claiming the Walt Disney Co. is violating state law by encoding workers’ identification cards with their Social Security numbers. The workers say they’re worried that the encoded information on their ID cards could be accessed using barcode scanners such as the kind commonly available as smartphone apps.

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Employers and employees can agree that up to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep time does not have to be paid.

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