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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

When an employer offers a legitimately reasonable accommodations for a disabled employee, it has fulfilled its obligation under the law. It doesn’t matter if the employee wanted some other accommodation or wasn’t happy with the level of employer/employee interaction used to arrive at the accommodation.

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Some employees may not realize it, but filing an internal discrimination or harassment complaint doesn’t create immunity to legitimate, unrelated discipline.

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It happens all too often: A bully boss yells, berates, pushes and prods older employees more than other staff members. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that resigning under such circumstances is a reasonable response and amounts to a constructive discharge.

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Following a review of existing worker visa programs, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has announced a push to combat visa fraud. He said the effort was intended to “increase protections of American workers,” while confronting employers that engage in visa fraud and abuse.

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California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council has proposed new regulations that seek to expand and clarify the definition of national origin discrimination.

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Many employers’ attendance policies assign an “occurrence” for unscheduled, unapproved absences. It is important to carefully craft such policies to avoid running afoul of antidiscrimination and anti-retaliation provisions found in state and local paid sick leave laws.

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Employers that treat all employees the same when disciplining them tend to win when employees claim discrimination.

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One wrong provision can force you into court to litigate the validity of the agreement before you ever get to arbitration.

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The fact that a handbook doesn’t address a particular subject does not mean that employees who believe there are pertinent unwritten rules can’t get class certification to sue over an allegedly informal policy.

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When employees complain about potential workplace discrimination and harassment, smart employers take it seriously. Nothing short of a thorough investigation will do. If you drop the ball and don’t take quick action, it could wind up costing your organization dearly.

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