Employment Law

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Large employers operating in Sacramento can expect to pay their workers at least $10.50 per hour in 2017 after the city council voted to raise the city’s minimum wage from the current $9 per hour.
Federal contractors face two January compliance mandates affecting employee pay.

Are you concerned about using independent contractors now that the U.S. Department of Labor has made it clear that workers are employees if they depend on one company for their livelihoods? If so, there may be some good news on the horizon.

Q. An employee brought to the attention of his supervisor that a co-worker had posted a comment on social media saying that her supervisor is Scrooge, that the supervisor is probably planning to fire a bunch of people right before the holidays, and that everyone should complain about her unfair behavior so that the supervisor is the one who will get fired. The company has a social media policy that prohibits making disparaging comments about it or its employees. Can the company discipline the posting co-worker for these comments?

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act prevents employers from discharging returning service members for anything except “cause” for a year after their return. But what if the service member is working under an employment contract? What if that agreement has a termination clause built in? Does USERRA prevent the employer for exercising that contractual term?

The recently negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement will go before Congress for ratification next year. Organized labor has been one of the most vocal critics of the pact and certainly labor leaders will be scrutinizing the agreement’s Chapter 19.
A new California appellate court ruling shows that employees who are terminated for reporting the alleged theft of personal property at work have a right to sue for wrongful termination as a whistle-blower. The report merely has to involve criminal activity. It doesn’t have to be work related or concern a matter of public interest.
Borrowing liberally from a bill that has languished on Capitol Hill (the Paycheck Fairness Act), California lawmakers have passed SB 358, which requires employers to allow employees to discuss their pay. It also makes it easier for employees to bring unequal pay claims against employers.
Most managers know that it’s against the law to discriminate against employees and applicants because of their race, gender, age, religion or disability. But you may not know that those same federal laws also make it illegal for employers and supervisors to retaliate in any way against employees who voice complaints about on-the-job discrimination.
Among the cases that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear during its 2015-2016 term is one of particular significance to those in the public sector—Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. A decision in favor of the plaintiffs has the potential to affect the implementation and regulation of union agency shop fees nationwide.