EMPLOYMENT LAW

Avoid appearance of retaliation against whistle-blowers

10/30/2014
To constitute whistle-blowing, employees must do more than merely state that they are going to complain about the employer’s actions. They must actually do so. Whistle-blowers don’t have to demonstrate an actual violation of the law as long as they have a reasonable, good-faith belief that a violation of the law has occurred or might.

DOL enlists states to conduct more misclassification audits

10/29/2014
The U.S. Department of Labor has opened a new front in its war to crack down on employers that misclassify workers as independent contractors: It’s helping states scour unemployment insurance records for evidence of misclassification.

Bullying prevention training to become mandatory in California

10/27/2014
In a few short weeks, California employers with 50 or more em­­ployees must change their training programs to include new material. Effective Jan. 1, anti-bullying training is mandatory for covered employers thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on A.B. 2053 back in September.

Supreme Court clears way for same-sex marriage

10/27/2014

On Oct. 6, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review all seven same-sex marriage cases pending before it. The Court’s refusal to hear the appeals meant that the lower court decisions striking down same-sex marriage bans in Indiana,  Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin took effect right away. The immediate effects are twofold.

EEOC sues Sacramento clinic for disability bias

10/27/2014
The EEOC is suing Dialysis Clinic Inc. in Sacramento, alleging that a nurse who had worked there for 14 years experienced discrimination after developing breast cancer.

FMLA claim may come separately from others

10/27/2014

Generally, employees have to file EEOC discrimination complaints if they want to go to federal court with their claims. The EEOC eventually will issue a right-to-sue letter, giving the employee 90 days to commence litigation. But that can take years. If the employee waits to file a re­­lated FMLA lawsuit, she may be out of luck, since FMLA claims must be filed within two years of the alleged wrongful conduct.

Complicated compensation formula? Prepare to spell out all details in court

10/27/2014
Here’s a warning for employers with overly complicated compensation systems: If someone believes the pay plan is discriminatory, you’ll probably have to spend considerable time explaining the system in court. Simpler may be better.

Not so fast: Arbitration agreements won't necessarily block class-action suit

10/27/2014

The idea behind arbitration agreements is that handling workplace disputes in arbitration instead of court is easier, less expensive and less time consuming. But don’t think that having arbitration agreements in place will automatically block lawsuits in federal court.

Appeals court: Employee doesn't have to be first whistle-blower to be protected

10/27/2014

Public employees are protected from retaliation for reporting wrongdoing at work, either within their chain of command or to appropriate authorities. But what if several employees report the same alleged wrongdoing?

Disrespect? That's not grounds for lawsuit

10/27/2014
While politically incorrect statements may be distasteful and offensive, they aren’t necessarily grounds for a lawsuit. That’s especially true if the statement can’t be tied directly to a protected characteristic such as national origin, religion or race.

Pursuit of SoCal dentist shows wage law has teeth

10/27/2014
For a Southern California cook, getting paid was like pulling teeth. For five months he was a private chef for a dentist, but was never paid.

Managing pregnant employees: Know the law

10/24/2014
When an employee tells you she’s pregnant, it may bring on mixed emotions for supervisors. While you’re happy for the employee, you’re anxious about the impact on scheduling, productivity—and whether she will quit after the birth. Another important issue to consider: the legal risks.

Push for more paid leave gets boost from federal funding

10/24/2014
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau and Employment and Training Administration have awarded $500,000 to help four states pay for feasibility studies on paid leave.

Disability bias charges up 64% since 2000

10/20/2014
The EEOC handled 25,957 charges of disability discrimination in fiscal year 2013, up from 15,864 in 2000.

Is an easier commute a disability accommodation?

10/17/2014
A New Jersey woman is suing her former employer, contending she was fired after requesting different hours so she could avoid rush-hour traffic.
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