The HR Specialist: California Employment Law — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Page 75
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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Many employers have adopted strict drug and alcohol testing programs for all new hires—and strictly bar employment of anyone who tests positive. Now the 9th Circuit has ruled that applying the rule to a recovering addict is legal unless that addict can somehow prove that the rule discriminates against a class of disabled individuals—namely, recovering addicts.

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Good news for employers: The Court of Appeal of California has found that claims adjusters are exempt administrative employees not entitled to overtime. The court rejected the notion that all claims adjusters who work for insurance companies are nonexempt employees without regard to the work they actually perform.

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The Court of Appeal of California has ruled that employers are only required to make meal and other breaks available to employees. They don’t have to force employees to take those breaks or eat a meal. Your only obligation: Make sure that no work is required to be performed during scheduled break time.

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The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Back Pay Act allows judges to order interest payments to federal government employees who win discrimination lawsuits if the employees were affected by “an unjustified or unwarranted personnel action which resulted in the withdrawal or reduction of all or part” of the employee’s pay.

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The International Union of Operating Engineers and Local 721 of the Serv­ice Employees International Union are suing the city of Los Angeles in the wake of last summer’s mandatory furlough of thousands of municipal employees.

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A recent Court of Appeal of California case clarifies that employers that fail to provide appropriate rest and meal breaks must pay a penalty—referred to as a premium payment—for each missed break each day. An employer had argued it only had to pay one penalty per day.

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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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The California Supreme Court has ruled that arbitration agreements are not enforceable if they require employees to arbitrate wage claims before they have a nonbinding administrative hearing before the State Labor Commissioner.

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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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