The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Whistle-blowing employees almost always expect to experience retaliation. They start looking for it as soon as they file a complaint or bring a safety issue to their employers’ attention. Smart employers anticipate this and make absolutely sure that any discipline, layoff or other adverse employment action is wholly justified before they implement it.

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Terminating a pregnant employee because she has minor medical restrictions can be very expensive. The move may mean you have to make the employee financially whole—plus pay a large punitive damage award and attorneys’ fees. Here’s the best way to handle temporary medical restrictions associated with pregnancy:

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Employees who believe their employers may be forcing them to participate in a tip pool and may be diverting part of the tips to owners or managers who aren’t entitled to them may or may not have a right to sue on their own behalf.

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The nonprofit California HealthCare Foundation (CHF) has concluded that California’s minimum nurse-to-patient requirement has had little direct effect on the quality of care. The goal of the minimum staffing ratios, implemented in 2004, was the improvement of patient outcomes.

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Remind managers not to punish or otherwise retaliate against employees who report suspected drug use by fellow employees. Such tip-offs may constitute protected activity, and retaliation may lead to a lawsuit.

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According to a recent report, 286 of Fortune 500 companies provide equal benefits to same-sex couples. What’s more, the better the company performs, the more likely it is to offer benefits that serve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers.

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Watch out! Some tests you use to see whether employees or applicants are suitable for a job could screen out individuals with disabilities. You could wind up in court defending against an ADA claim.

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A former lawyer at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP has filed a lawsuit against the law firm for terminating his employment after he wrote a performance evaluation that criticized another associate and partner.

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On Feb. 9, the state of California filed a criminal complaint accusing four Los Angeles car washes, their owners and one manager of wage-and-hour law violations and for creating “a work environment that bordered on indentured servitude.”

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Sometimes, an employee is so disruptive that it doesn’t matter how well she is performing her job. Constant arguments, tension and other elements of a personality conflict can poison the work environment and drag down other employees’ performance. She’s got to go!

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