The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Staples Inc., the office supply retailer, announced that it will pay $38 million to settle overtime claims brought by California employees. The settlement ended a suit between 1,700 operations and sales managers in California who claimed they were misclassified as exempt executive employees under state law …

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A California Superior Court jury has awarded a San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) employee $1.27 million for racial harassment and retaliation …

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California workers who earn the minimum wage will see their pay increase to $8 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2008. California and Massachusetts have the nation’s highest state minimum wages …

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What’s one of the quickest ways to a California Labor Code whistle-blower lawsuit? Discourage an employee from reporting to the government or law enforcement what she sees as possible illegal activity. If disciplinary action against a formerly good employee closely follows your discouraging words—watch out! Litigation won’t be far behind …

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When it comes to filing a sexual harassment claim under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, employees have just one year from the date of the alleged sexual harassment to file a complaint. Missing that deadline bars the employee from suing. But sexual harassment rarely occurs in a vacuum, and there’s rarely just one incident …

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In uncertain economic times, employers place a premium on flexibility. That includes being able to retain the most talented, productive and experienced employees, and perhaps terminating those with more seniority. But that can lead to discrimination claims over age and other characteristics …

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On Oct. 3, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri approved motions to allow the managers of Interstate Bakeries Corp. to go ahead with plans to close most of its Southern California operations …

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A California appeals court ruled that employees can still participate in class-action wage-and-hour lawsuits even if they signed arbitration agreements waiving their rights to those kinds of suits as a condition of continued employment. The court said such agreements are unconscionable and therefore not enforceable …

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The U.S. Labor Department announced that a Southern California company paid $200,013 in back wages for unpaid overtime to 231 current and former employees. Memo Scaffolding, which specializes in setting up scaffolding for residential and commercial construction projects, also paid $60,000 incivil penalties …

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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed California’s new law allowing military spouses to take leave. The law requires some employers to provide up to 10 days of unpaid leave to the spouse of a qualified member of the U.S. armed forces, National Guard or reserves. Here are employer guidelines on exactly how to administer this new entitlement …

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