Employment Law

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The U.S. Supreme Court last month agreed to hear a pair of cases challenging state and federal laws that define marriage to include only unions of a man and a woman. Depending on how the court rules, married same-sex couples could become entitled to several federal benefits and legal protections.
A group of newspaper delivery people has won the right to take to court as a class action their dispute over whether they are independent contractors or employees.
Disabled employees are entitled to reasonable accommodations. But that doesn’t mean they get to select the one accommodation they prefer. As long as the accommodation is reasonable, the employer gets to choose which one best fits the situation.
Here’s good news: When an employee claims she was fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim, she can’t pursue the lawsuit as a wrongful-discharge claim. She’s required to sue under the workers’ compensation law.

Employers that engage independent contractors sometimes require them to sign an agreement stipulating that any disputes over the contract must be settled through arbitration, not in court. However, having such an agreement doesn’t mean a court can’t decide whether those workers are, in fact, independent contractors or employees.

A California Court of Appeal has affirmed a preliminary injunction against the city of Costa Mesa, which attempted to contract out work currently performed by city employees.

While the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers to reasonably accommodate disabled employees, there are limits. One involves the permanent reassignment of essential functions to other employees.

The California Supreme Court has agreed to review a case that enforced a class-action waiver and required a limousine driver to arbitrate his wage-and-hour claims.
Voters in Colorado and Washington state recently approved legalization of marijuana for recreational use, and 17 states have already OK’d medical pot. But take note: Employers—even in those states—can still set strict drug-use policies for their employees.
Writing job descriptions for all of the positions in your company may sound like a lot of work, especially when they are not required by any law. But there are plenty of legal reasons why you should have them.
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