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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

If you want to avoid expensive and time-consuming legal fights and the uncertainty a jury brings to the equation, a mandatory arbitration agreement might seem like the most attractive way to settle employment law disputes. By pushing legal challenges into arbitration, you may save time and money—but only if you can get the agreement to stick …

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A San Francisco County jury has awarded $353,680 in damages to a data entry clerk who suffered from a chronic condition that often left her with cracked and bleeding skin …

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A growing number of labor unions have recently expressed opposition to A.B.X. 11, which would require all California residents to purchase health coverage by July 2010. Labor leaders argue that the bill doesn’t sufficiently control how much health plans and insurers can charge for coverage …

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On Jan. 4, a California Superior Court judge certified a class action brought by drivers who claimed they had been denied meal and rest breaks in violation of California law. The suit was brought by approximately 345 White Cap Industries delivery drivers …

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You may remember a case that garnered lots of publicity a few years ago. A saleswoman claimed that her employer’s team-building activities were really a form of sexual harassment. A jury agreed, giving her $1.4 million in damages for having to endure public spanking and other indignities. Now the employer will get another shot at the case in front of a new jury …

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In January, leaders of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) and the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) announced that the two unions have joined forces …

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California’s attorney general recently filed suit against a Southern California drywall contracting firm for what he called “a sophisticated and heartless scheme” to cheat its employees out of wages. Attorney General Jerry Brown sued Irvine-based Interwall Development Systems, claiming that it failed to pay its employees overtime …

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The California Supreme Court has ruled that an employer doesn’t have to accommodate an employee’s marijuana use even though he had a valid prescription. Employers can and should continue to use post-offer, pre-employment drug tests if having a work force free of impairment is an important safety consideration …

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 Nearly a quarter century after the Internal Revenue Service started releasing piecemeal proposed regulations on cafeteria plans, employers now have new, updated guidance on important topics such as nondiscrimination testing and debit card programs. They’re not final IRS regulations, mind you. But at least a new set of coordinated proposals is on tap to replace the old ones …

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Punishing someone who has filed EEOC or other discrimination claims is illegal. But that shouldn’t stop you from enforcing reasonable rules. Courts won’t ordinarily view as retaliation minor disciplinary actions that don’t cost employees any pay or benefits …

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