The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Judge Otis Wright II of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California recently approved a $2.8 million settlement between retailer Kmart and workers who claimed they were not compensated for meal and rest breaks.

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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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A health care workers’ union has filed a lawsuit against the city of Fresno, claiming it violated the union’s constitutional rights by failing to allow a union advertisement on city buses.

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A class of television writers reached a $4.5 million settlement in an age discrimination lawsuit it brought against International Creative Management (ICM), one of Hollywood’s “Big Five” talent agencies.

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Do you have employees who live and work in another state, but whose jobs sometimes bring them to California? Then you may be making a big overtime mistake if you pay them as if they were working in their home states.

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have allowed California farm workers to seek union representation using a card-check system that was opposed by the farming industry. Although the California Assembly and Senate passed the legislation after a summer of wrangling over details, Schwarzenegger spiked the bill …

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A cash-balance pension plan is one in which the employer contributes a set amount each month on behalf of an employee. The employee eventually collects pension benefits based on the cash balance in his or her account. Some employees have claimed that such plans favor younger employees and therefore are illegal …

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San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom recently signed an ordinance that will require employers to offer workers at least one of three commuter-benefit options: a pretax election to offset commuting costs, an employer-paid benefit or employer-provided transit.

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California Labor Code covers wage-and-hour issues and includes some exceptions to the basic requirement that employees must be paid for all time worked. One of those exceptions is the professional exception to Wage Order 4-2001, which allows school districts to pay teachers on a salary basis … Until now, it was unclear whether adult-education teachers could be paid the same way.

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If you use a mandatory arbitration agreement, you may be able to set a relatively short deadline for employees to bring discrimination claims …

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