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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

By 2025, there won’t be enough college-educated Californians in the workforce to meet business needs, according to a new study by the Public Policy Institute of California.

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A pharmacist formerly employed by Longs Drug Stores recently filed a class-action lawsuit demanding $2.9 billion from CVS Caremark Corp., which purchased Longs in October. According to Charles Jones, who worked as a pharmacy manager and pharmacist at a San Diego Longs, the store violated wage-reporting laws for its nonexempt employees.

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Employers have a number of immigration compliance issues to track in 2009, affecting the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9, business travel, no-match letters and employment authorization documentation.

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Federated Department Stores has agreed to settle charges that it denied meal and rest breaks to Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s department store employees. According to the settlement, Federated will pay $25 million to 200,000 employees.

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The California Fair Employment and Housing Act requires employees to file complaints with the appropriate state agency within one year of an alleged discriminatory act. But what happens if the employee delays going to the agency and instead tries to resolve the complaint using the employer’s own internal process?

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If, like many employers, you include an arbitration clause in your employment applications, take note of a recent California Court of Appeal case.

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Do your independent-contractor agreements include a clause that allows either you or the other party to terminate the relationship at will, without stating a cause? If so, rest easy …

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Don’t think that employees who take their retirement benefits in a lump sum can’t sue for alleged fiduciary breaches. A recent federal appeals court decision says although retirees are not technically employees anymore, they still have standing to sue …

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Many California employers are viewing a recent decision by a federal appeals court as a setback. The court upheld the right of local governments to pass ordinances that essentially force employers to provide a certain level of funding for employee benefits.

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If you don’t have up-to-date job descriptions, you are asking for legal trouble the next time an employee asks for reasonable accommodations under the ADA. Without a current job description, the employee will come up with her own—quite possibly minimizing the essential functions she can’t perform.

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