Publications

PROHIBITING MARIJUANA IN THE MARKETPLACE

By Jennifer Brown Shaw and Brooke Kozak | The Daily Recorder | December 7, 2016

Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“the Act”), passed on November 8, 2016. The Act represents a significant change to California law. Although the initiative expressly states it does not change employer’s rights and obligations to maintain a drug-free workplace, California employers should plan for reality: more employees may be under the influence of marijuana at work.

NEW PROTECTIONS FOR TRANSGENDER EMPLOYEES

By Jennifer Brown Shaw and Eric J. Glassman | The Daily Recorder | November 24, 2016

The legal rights of transgender individuals in the workplace are evolving. California law has conferred upon transgender employees the right to be free of workplace harassment and discrimination for several yeas. Until recently, however, there has been little in the...

EEOC’S UPDATED RETALIATION GUIDANCE

By Jennifer Brown Shaw | The Daily Recorder | Oct 25, 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or “EEOC,” is the federal agency that enforces federal employment discrimination laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. These and other civil rights laws prohibit retaliation against workers for engaging in protected activity, such as filing a complaint with the agency or participating in an investigation.

APPLYING CALIFORNIA LAW TO EMPLOYMENT DISPUTES

By Jennifer Brown Shaw and Alayna Schroeder | The Daily Recorder | Oct 12, 2016

It is no secret that hiring employees and conducting business in California involve more laws and rules than in other states. Multi-state employers often desire consistent personnel practices, or to mitigate some of the more restrictive elements of California employment law. To achieve these goals, employers may draft confidentiality, arbitration, or other agreements that include choice of law provisions and forum selection clauses.

LAW IN BRIEF: ARBITRATION AGREEMENTS AND CLASS-ACTION WAIVERS

By Jennifer Brown Shaw and D. Gregory Valenza | California Employer Update | Oct 1, 2016

Mandatory arbitration agreements in employment settings bring with them benefits and challenges. One attractive aspect – particularly in California – is that employers may require workers to arbitrate all disputes individually; i.e., not via a multi-plaintiff or class action. Both the United States and California Supreme Courts have upheld so-called “class action waivers” as lawful.

FIVE LESS OBVIOUS WAGE-HOUR VIOLATIONS

By Jennifer Brown Shaw and Brooke Kozak | The Daily Recorder | Sep 27, 2016

Misclassifying employees as “exempt,” maintaining “use-it or lose-it” vacation policies, and denying employees meal and rest breaks are examples of wage-hour law violations we have already thoroughly discussed. Below are a few unlawful practices of which employers may not be as aware.

TIP POOLING BECOMES MORE COMPLEX

By Jennifer Brown Shaw and Eric J. Glassman | The Daily Recorder | Sep 14, 2016

The American custom of tipping wait staff can lead to wage-hour compliance issues under California and federal law. Because of tips, wait staff may be among the highest compensated employees in a restaurant, sometimes earning more than their managers. Meanwhile, cooks who prepare the food typically earn only a fixed wage, and dishwashers may work for minimum wage. Yet, each of these employees contributes to the customer’s dining experience.

NEW FEDERAL TRADE SECRETS LAW

By Jennifer Brown Shaw and Paul M. Smith | The Daily Recorder | Aug 31, 2016

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) s a federal law that provides employers with some important benefits. However, employers wishing to take advantage of the new law should revisit policies and agreements, such as handbooks and non-disclosure agreements that restrict the use and disclosure of trade secrets.

2016 U.S. SUPREME COURT ROUNDUP-Part 2

By Jennifer Brown Shaw and Brooke Kozak | The Daily Recorder | Aug 16, 2016

This article is Part 2 of a two-part series providing an overview of recent United States Supreme Court decisions in employment law.

We continue below with brief summaries of the U.S. Supreme Court’s key employment law opinions. We also preview the cases that Court has accepted for review for the upcoming Term.

2016 U.S. SUPREME COURT ROUNDUP-Part 1

By Jennifer Brown Shaw and Brooke Kozak | The Daily Recorder | Aug 3, 2016

This article is Part 1 of a two-part series providing an overview of recent United States Supreme Court decisions in employment law.

The United States Supreme Court issued several decisions during the past year that may affect California employers. We summarize the most important of these decisions below.

HOT WAGE-HOUR ISSUES: THE SALARY BASIS TEST AND THE “REGULAR RATE” OF PAY

By Jennifer Brown Shaw and Beatriz Berumen | The Daily Recorder | Jul 19, 2016

Employers face a host of challenges to properly paying employees, particularly when it comes to overtime. When employees are properly classified as “exempt” from the overtime rules, an employer need not worry about these issues. But, the penalties for misclassification can be significant.

NEW GUIDANCE ON DISABILITY LEAVES

By Jennifer Brown Shaw and Jimmie E. Johnson | The Daily Recorder | Jun 21, 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently published on its website what it calls a “resource document,” called “Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act.” The EEOC’s stated purpose is to address an increased volume of charges alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The agency says that its document is consistent with existing regulations and enforcement guidance. Below is a summary of the key points.

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