Publications

“HE-SAID, SHE-SAID” INVESTIGATIONS

Employers must take both preventive and remedial action to stop unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation at work.  An internal investigation is a critical tool to help fulfill these obligations.  The facts underlying workplace complaints are not always...

RISKS AND REWARDS OF UNLIMITED PTO

Some California employers offer, or may be considering, “unlimited” paid time off plans (“unlimited PTO”) in lieu of traditional accrued vacation or PTO.  The perceived benefits to employers of unlimited PTO include reducing the burden of tracking accrual and usage,...

SCOTUS EMPLOYMENT LAW DECISIONS 2018-2019

The United States Supreme Court issued several decisions during the past year that may affect California employers: Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) applies to private employers with 20 or more employees. ...

APPEALING A LABOR COMMISSIONER DECISION

California employees may claim unpaid wages, unreimbursed expenses, penalties, and interest via administrative complaints filed with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (also known as the Labor Commissioner’s office). Claims not settled are resolved via an...

FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT INAPPLICABLE SOMETIMES

The Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) evinces a national policy favoring arbitration.  The law provides for strong, uniform, and broad enforcement of arbitration agreements when it applies. It preempts state laws and court decisions that disfavor arbitration.  For...

INVESTIGATING CLAIMS INVOLVING FORMER EMPLOYEES

Employers’ obligations to investigate workplace-related claims do not end when the complainant or the accused no longer works for the business. Former employees’ complaints come to employers’ attention in different ways.  The employer may learn about a concern during...

REPORTING TIME AND OTHER SHIFT PAY ISSUES

Employers must pay workers for “reporting time” when employees call in to determine if they will be expected to work, according to the California Court of Appeal’s decision in Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc.  If the California Supreme Court denies Tilly’s pending petition for...

NEW HARASSMENT STANDARDS AND STRATEGIES

Senate Bill 1300, enacted last year, is one of the California Legislature’s answer to the “Me Too” movement.  The law makes several changes to the law prohibiting harassment in the workplace.  These changes lower the standard required to prove unlawful harassment....

ADDRESSING EMPLOYEE GHOSTING

As the unemployment rate remains low, there may be more available jobs than qualified applicants to fill them. So, job-seekers are in high demand. One possible side effect of aggressive recruiting and rising wages is that employers are experiencing what is...

DISCLOSURE AND CONSENT IN EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS

Disclosure and Consent in Employee Background Investigations Many employers use background investigations when making hiring, promotional, and similar decisions. The data made available by these investigations help the employer evaluate applicants in greater depth...

EMPLOYERS’ USE OF ROUNDING PRACTICES FOR TIMEKEEPING

For decades, employers have used timekeeping practices that involve rounding, for example, rounding the employees’ “punch time” up or down to the nearest tenth or quarter hour. In the past few years, several California cases have upheld employers’ rounding practices,...

PAYING FOR EMPLOYEE TRAVEL

Employers require at least some employees to travel for business purposes. When hourly employees travel as part of the job, several employment law issues require attention. Commute Time An employee’s regular commute generally is not compensable. However, there are...

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