Employment Law

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Courts usually defer to an em­­ployer’s designations of essential job functions as long as there’s a clear, reasonable explanation of why they are essential. That’s true even in compelling ADA cases where it’s clear a disabled employee is capable and could do the job if only she didn’t have to perform just one of those functions.
Courts are getting tough on employees who file multiple lawsuits in different forums by requiring consolidation into one court. Employees who don’t cooperate end up out of court.
The 2012 session of the California Legislature resulted in passage and enactment of several important employment law bills, including inspection of personnel files, workers' comp and religious dress and grooming.
The NLRB has continued its assault on garden-variety em­­ploy­­ment policies, issuing three decisions in recent weeks, each of which concluded that facially neutral employment policies violated employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted activity.

Q. We are changing our break policy. What breaks are required and can I require employees to take an unpaid meal break?

Some employees think that merely declaring they have a disability means it’s up to the employer to figure out an accommodation. That’s not entirely true. The ADA accommodations process is an interactive one, requiring input from both employee and employer.
A union official will have 366 days to contemplate her actions after being convicted of embezzling from Portsmouth’s Carpenters Union Local 437.

Q. We have employees who live and work in Cali­­for­­nia. We get frustrated that we are not allowed to have them sign a noncompete agreement. Is there anything we can do?

In a recent case, the NLRB issued a decision holding that a hospital violated the National Labor Relations Act by asking employees who had filed a complaint not to discuss it with co-workers while the investigation was pending. Shortly after, in a different case, the EEOC took a similar position.
There are now fewer union members than at any point in the past 70 years. And if employers, unencumbered by collective bargaining agreements, don’t spend much time worrying about unionization, it’s a safe bet that they give hardly any thought to how labor law intersects with the ways in which employees electronically communicate with one another. But there’s a powerful connection between the two.
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