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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

The International Union of Operating Engineers and Local 721 of the Serv­ice Employees International Union are suing the city of Los Angeles in the wake of last summer’s mandatory furlough of thousands of municipal employees.

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A recent Court of Appeal of California case clarifies that employers that fail to provide appropriate rest and meal breaks must pay a penalty—referred to as a premium payment—for each missed break each day. An employer had argued it only had to pay one penalty per day.

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Employers and employees can agree that up to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep time does not have to be paid.

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The California Supreme Court has ruled that arbitration agreements are not enforceable if they require employees to arbitrate wage claims before they have a nonbinding administrative hearing before the State Labor Commissioner.

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Terminating an employee is never easy. But thanks to a recent California Court of Appeal decision, at least you don’t have to worry about wage statement violations—if you follow the common sense guidelines the court announced.

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Here’s good news for employers that try to do the right thing by fixing harassment they believe did in fact occur: Your liability will be limited if an employee fails to complain to the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within one year of the last act of harassment.

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You may have heard that arbitration agreements are a great way to avoid lengthy and potentially costly employment discrimination lawsuits. But before you decide to use an arbitration agreement, remember that California courts don’t like them very much.

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The National Labor Relations Board has appointed William A. Baudler as the regional director to its regional office in Oakland, where he is responsible for enforcing the National Labor Relations Act in northern California and northern Nevada.

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Employees and employers alike have embraced San Francisco’s generous paid sick leave law, according to a new survey by the nonprofit Institute for Women’s Policy Research. The law, enacted in 2007 after being approved by San Francisco voters, requires employers to credit workers with one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work.

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Under limited circumstances, employers and nonexempt employees can agree to set a salary that covers regular work and overtime.

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