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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

Public employees have a right to due process before being deprived of the property interest that is their job. Essentially, that means a public employer has to provide “some sort of a hearing” allowing the worker to present his side of the story before being fired. That right doesn’t extend to a promotion not granted.

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Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, employers must reasonably accommodate disabled workers with disability leave. If that leave is then used against the worker to justify a termination, it ceases being a reasonable accommodation.

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When it comes to incentive agreements, it pays to engage an experienced attorney up front to draft the language. Your early investment in legal help will save you time and money later.

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Employers that have solid, objective information about poor performance seldom lose lawsuits over the firing of a sub-par employee. Just one caveat: The more objective the data, the better.

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Sexual harassment claims are on the rise, in the wake of the #MeToo social media movement. Some alleged harassers are fighting back, arguing that the accusations do irreparable harm to their reputations. And they’re not just threatening to file lawsuits.

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Employees who suffer from disabilities as defined in the ADA or serious health conditions as defined in the FMLA enjoy some job protections. But those protections are not unlimited.

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Undocumented status and the possibility the workers may be subject to deportation does not absolve you of your obligation to pay the minimum wage and overtime under California’s wage-and-hour laws. You must also grant mandated meal and rest breaks.

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Tarr & Zenith, a defunct dietary supplement company in San Diego, has agreed to settle charges it discriminated against two pregnant workers.

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has ordered Chino, California-based Mr. Good Vape to reinstate a manager who reported alleged violations of federal safety laws in its production process.

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Merritt Hospitality and HEI Hotels and Resorts, who together operate the Embassy Suites San Diego Bay, face an EEOC lawsuit alleging that the hotel failed to grant an asthmatic employee’s accommodation request.

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The owner of GT Drywall in Chino Hills, California, spent some time behind bars after a federal judge tired of his delaying tactics in an ongoing wage-and-hour investigation.

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Revised musculoskeletal injury prevention regulations for hotel housekeepers take effect July 1. Affected employers have until Oct. 1 to develop musculoskeletal injury protection plans, or MIPPs.

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California wage-and-hour law can be complicated. For example, California allows establishment of something call­­ed alternative workweek schedules. Employees have to approve an AWS by voting via a secret ballot.

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Disabled employees seeking to return to work may be entitled to an open position for which they are qualified. But when is a position considered open?

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Internally reporting illegal activity may amount to whistleblowing and may protect the worker from discharge, even if the employer has seemingly legitimate reasons for otherwise firing the worker. That’s one good reason to consult your attorney before terminating a worker who may be a whistleblower.

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Under California Labor Code section 351, employers may pool tips and distribute them in a manner that is “fair and reasonable.” What that means in practice depends on the circumstances.

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California employers beware: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a landmark Equal Pay Act decision that may require you to make immediate changes to how you set starting salaries.

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Like a pride of lions flashing teeth and fangs, the California legislature is on the hunt in 2018. As has become an annual spring ritual, Sacramento politicians have once again proposed a progressive labor agenda.

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Maurizio’s Trattoria Italiana, a fine-dining Italian restaurant in Encinitas, California, faces charges it discriminated against a waitress because of her pregnancy.

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A trustee of a benefit plan for employees of an Oakland metalworking company must serve one year of probation and make restitution for violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

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