The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Hiring decisions are tough, especially when you add the worry over whether rejected applicants may think you discriminated against them. But as long as you don’t actively conceal critical facts about whom you hired, rejected applicants have to move fast to sue …

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Best Buy recently agreed to settle an age discrimination lawsuit with the EEOC that accused the company of failing to hire a 68-year-old applicant because of his age. Under the terms of the agreement, Best Buy will pay $17,500 to Reinhold Schouweiler on whose behalf the EEOC filed suit in 2007 …

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If California employers were looking to the state Supreme Court to loosen restrictions on the scope of noncompete agreements, they will be disappointed. The court just concluded that agreements restricting the ability to practice one’s profession are generally invalid …

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The California Supreme Court has ruled that when and how state employees can file whistle-blower lawsuits depends on which agency they work for. For example, regular state employees can sue if they first ask for a ruling from the State Personnel Board …

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A legal secretary who formerly worked for the law firm Townsend and Townsend and Crew recently filed a motion for summary judgment on her claim that the intellectual property firm owes her money under a long-term disability claim regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act …

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It isn’t enough to fix discrimination and end harassment when you find out about it. Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) your organization has a duty to prevent it …

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The California Senate Appropriations Committee recently held up a bill that would have required all employers in the state to give workers paid sick leave. Under the bill, known as the “California Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act,” employees who work in the state for seven or more days in a calendar year would be entitled to paid sick days …

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The presidential campaign has everyone talking politics, and inevitably a lot of that talking takes place at work. As the campaign season moves toward the general election, many employers are re-examining their workplace policies concerning political activities and speech. Evidence suggests employers must educate employees concerning workplace political speech …

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Employees who claim they suffered emotional distress because of illegal disability discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act don’t have to rely solely on the workers’ compensation system to adjudicate their claims. They can go to court instead, suing for negligent infliction of emotional distress under state common law …

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Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it is unlawful for an employer to harass an employee based on the employee’s age. And employers are strictly liable for workplace harassment if the harasser is a supervisor. As a practical matter, that means HR must make sure no supervisor or manager makes any kind of comment that suggests any kind of age bias …

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