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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

As if you don’t have enough to worry about. Now a federal court interpreting California law has concluded that supervisors and managers may be personally liable if they don’t provide a harassment-free work environment or if they harass a disabled employee …

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Fresno city policeman, who claimed the city forced him into early retirement following an on-duty motorcycle accident, has settled his age-discrimination and failure-to-accommodate claim for $825,000 …

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California Superior Court jury in Fresno has awarded $5.85 million to a former Fresno State volleyball coach who filed a discrimination suit after she was fired in 2004. The award covered back wages, future lost pay and emotional distress …

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Under California law, you don’t have to pay employees for on-call time unless you “control” how they spend that time. If you structure their responsibilities properly, you don’t have to pay them for every hour they’re on call. You can even pay them a flat fee for their on-call shifts. The key is the amount of freedom you give the employees to choose how they spend their time while waiting for your call. The more time they can spend on personal activities, the better …

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The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) makes it illegal to discriminate against disabled employees, and defines disabled as “a physical or mental impairment that limits a major life activity.” Because stress can have a physical as well as a mental component, the law may cover someone who is so stressed that it limits major life activities. That’s why it’s important not to dismiss stress as a possible disability, but to investigate further before denying a requested accommodation …

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Q May a California employer consider a worker’s arrest record in making a hiring decision?

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Q One of our employees is assigned to work 32 hours per week. His regular off-day is Monday. If a holiday falls on a Monday (such as Labor Day), is the employee entitled to pay for the day?

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California’s legislature is moving forward on two “play or pay” bills that would require employers that do not offer cafeteria health plans to their workers to pay into a state-run health plan purchasing pool …

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A California jury has awarded more than $300,000 to a former Sonoma State University softball coach who claimed that she was wrongfully fired ….

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