Employment Law

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If your organization has a blanket policy that prohibits workers from using the organization’s email for personal matters, it’s time to revise it. The National Labor Relations Board ruled that employees have the right to use their employer’s email system (during off-duty time) to engage in legally protected communications, including discussing wages and even organizing a union.

The National Labor Relations Board says a new final rule issued Dec. 12 will “streamline” union elections. Critics say the result will be “ambush elections” where voting happens so fast that employers stand little chance of persuading employees to reject union representation.

Do you sometimes require em­­ployees to use their personal cars during the workday for job-related tasks like going on appointments, making banking runs or other errands? You’re risking liability if the em­­ployee is in an accident and a jury decides he was negligent.

In highly competitive fields, it’s not unusual for bosses and subordinates to distrust one another. But when that distrust leads to one party badmouthing the other, that can spawn a lawsuit.
A new year is coming and with it, a slew of changes courtesy the California Legislature. December is a good time to review your policies so they comply with the law. We’ve broken it down by general subject matter to make it easier.
President Obama’s Nov. 20 announcement that he would take executive action to protect about 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation set off a political firestorm, but the plan will affect relatively few employers.
Here’s a warning for public em­­ployers that want to discharge an employee for allegedly speaking out inappropriately: Make sure you conduct a thorough investigation that at least allows the employee a chance to defend his actions before you terminate him.

The idea behind arbitration agreements is that handling workplace disputes in arbitration instead of court is easier, less expensive and less time consuming. But don’t think that having arbitration agreements in place will automatically block lawsuits in federal court.

Seeking to speed up appointments to the National Labor Relations Board before Republicans take control of the Senate in January, the Obama administration has withdrawn a controversial nominee and replaced her with a prospective member it hopes will win swift approval.
A Pennsylvania man recently lost both rounds of a fight that began when he tried to skip out on his taxi fare.
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