The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

California worker safety regulators fined Merced Farm Labor Contractor a record $262,700 for allegedly violating state regulations that required it to provide shade, water and breaks to its agricultural workers and to train supervisors and employees about how to lower the risk of employees suffering heat-related ailments …

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Employees who claim they were wrongly denied a promotion for some discriminatory reason (for example, based on race, age or some other protected characteristic) have the initial burden of proving they were qualified for the position they sought. The best protection employers have against such claims: clear, concise and accurate minimum job requirements …

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There’s no substitute for boots on the ground when it comes to protecting employees from supervisors with hidden discriminatory agendas. If you ignore the warning signs of supervisor bias and leave the “bad boss” in place, it’s probably just a matter of time before you find yourself responding to a lawsuit …

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Hiring decisions are tough, especially when you add the worry over whether rejected applicants may think you discriminated against them. But as long as you don’t actively conceal critical facts about whom you hired, rejected applicants have to move fast to sue …

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Best Buy recently agreed to settle an age discrimination lawsuit with the EEOC that accused the company of failing to hire a 68-year-old applicant because of his age. Under the terms of the agreement, Best Buy will pay $17,500 to Reinhold Schouweiler on whose behalf the EEOC filed suit in 2007 …

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If California employers were looking to the state Supreme Court to loosen restrictions on the scope of noncompete agreements, they will be disappointed. The court just concluded that agreements restricting the ability to practice one’s profession are generally invalid …

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The California Supreme Court has ruled that when and how state employees can file whistle-blower lawsuits depends on which agency they work for. For example, regular state employees can sue if they first ask for a ruling from the State Personnel Board …

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A legal secretary who formerly worked for the law firm Townsend and Townsend and Crew recently filed a motion for summary judgment on her claim that the intellectual property firm owes her money under a long-term disability claim regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act …

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It isn’t enough to fix discrimination and end harassment when you find out about it. Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) your organization has a duty to prevent it …

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The presidential campaign has everyone talking politics, and inevitably a lot of that talking takes place at work. As the campaign season moves toward the general election, many employers are re-examining their workplace policies concerning political activities and speech. Evidence suggests employers must educate employees concerning workplace political speech …

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