The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

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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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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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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The controversial San Francisco city plan to roll out universal health care coverage for residents won a huge victory when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the plan could go ahead. The court allowed the city to proceed with its plan to require all businesses with more than 20 employees to pay a fee to help cover health care costs …

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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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You can’t legislate good taste. But that shouldn’t stop you from having and enforcing dress and grooming rules. How you enforce those rules, however, can make the difference between needless litigation and a productive workplace. Don’t joke around about an employee’s dress or style. Instead, call the person into a meeting and discuss the problem in private …

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The California Supreme Court has ruled that unions and their supporters generally are free to urge customers shopping in private malls to boycott retailers at that mall. The ruling builds on earlier decisions that held that free-speech rights granted to California citizens in the state constitution are broader than those in the U.S. Constitution …

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Due to a legislative quirk, the Fair Labor Standards Act doesn’t cover many employees who deliver goods via the nation’s highways. Instead, the drivers are excluded under the FLSA’s motor carrier safety exemption. But it’s not so simple …

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