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Joseph Beachboard

What are California’s rules on pregnancy leave? … How should we handle pay while someone is out on pregnancy disability leave? … How to count pregnancy disability leave?

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Q. A new employee refuses to comply with our dress code, which has slightly different requirements for men and women, because the individual is transgender. Though the new employee marked “female” on our employment application, the individual has since told us about identifying as a man. Can we require this employee to follow our dress code for women?

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Q. I am an HR director for a traditional, conservative company and have run into a new issue. When onboarding employees, I always explain our preferred dress code: we prefer women to wear skirts and dresses with pantyhose to work because many of our senior partners are old-fashioned. A new female employee said she would prefer to wear pants. Can we require her to wear a skirt instead?

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Q. Is an employer required to pay an employee for time spent traveling from home to the airport (and vice versa, from airport to home on the return trip), and for travel time from the airport to a hotel (and vice versa)?

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Q. Our sales team travels around the country for client pitches and various project meetings. Some members of the sales team are nonexempt. While flying, some staff perform work on their computers, while others relax or listen to music. Are we required to pay employees for travel time even if the employees are not working?

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Q. Are motor carriers exempt from complying with California’s usual overtime pay requirements?

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Q. May employers require medical examinations of applicants and employees?

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Q. We gave our employees gift cards as holiday gifts. Must these gift cards be reported as taxable income?

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Answers to four questions about California vacation leave laws.

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Q. An employee recently disclosed that he is illiterate and asked for our help in finding an adult literacy education program. What are our obligations toward this employee under California law?

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Q. A former employee engaged in misconduct, which resulted in his discharge. Now he is requesting unemployment compensation benefits under California law. Is an employee entitled to these benefits if he or she is no longer employed, regardless of the circumstances?

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Five questions about COBRA and Cal-COBRA regulations.

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Q. As an employer, am I required to agree to all vacation requests my staff members submit?

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Q. I would like to ensure that all of the individuals working for us do not engage in morally questionable behavior. Since many people show their true selves on social media, not at work, can I check the social media profiles of applicants and employees?

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Q. Our wage payment deadline falls on the first Monday of September this year, which is Labor Day. By when must a company make payments to meet its deadline and avoid penalties when its payment date falls on a holiday?

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Q. I have chosen to keep my business open on Labor Day. Must I pay employees who work on Labor Day (and other holidays) premium holiday pay?

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Q. This is our busiest time of the year, and we really can’t afford to give our employees Labor Day off. Is it illegal to have employees work on Labor Day?

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Q. Our company often deducts the costs of meals and lodging from live-in employees’ minimum wages. How much can we credit meals and lodging against minimum wage in California?

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Q. We are expanding out hospitality chain into California. What is the maximum tip credit we will be able to deduct from servers in California?

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Q. We discovered that a beloved member of our kitchen staff has hepatitis A. I know that many protections exist for individuals with disabilities, but we are worried about him handling food. Can we reassign him to the front of the house as a host?

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