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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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 most recent UCLA Anderson Forecast lowered its California job-growth estimates from the already weak numbers that it forecast last year, but included a silver lining in an otherwise cloudy report by predicting that the state would avoid recession …

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The California State Assembly has approved omnibus health care reform legislation by a 46–31 vote. The measure, AB 1×1, would require all California residents to purchase health coverage by July 2010, compel individual health insurers to accept all applicants regardless of pre-existing medical conditions and impose a “play or pay” mandate on employers to provide health care coverage to their workers or pay into a state-run purchasing pool to subsidize coverage for low-income earners …

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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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The owner of several Sonoma County McDonald’s restaurants has agreed to pay $1,155,407 to settle wage-and-hour claims brought by its workers. A class of approximately 1,000 workers claimed that DCT Inc. and Mendes Family Enterprises Inc. denied them overtime pay and breaks …

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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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The National Labor Relations Board has concluded that employers are free to forbid employee use of their systems for “nonjob-related solicitations.” The long-awaited decision says that an employer has the right to restrict use of its e-mail system based on its property interest in the computer equipment …

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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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Does your organization use an employment contract for some employees? If so, does that contract specify that either party can terminate the agreement for any or no reason at all? If not, insert that language right away. It will help you retain maximum control over the work force while benefiting from having the other terms and conditions in writing …

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