EMPLOYMENT LAW

NLRB clears way for 'ambush' union elections

12/16/2014
The National Labor Relations Board says a new final rule issued Dec. 12 will “streamline” union elections. Critics say the result will be “ambush elections” where voting happens so fast that employers stand little chance of persuading employees to reject union representation.

NLRB says employees can use company email to discuss pay, union organizing

12/15/2014

If your organization has a blanket policy that prohibits workers from using the organization’s email for personal matters, it’s time to revise it. The National Labor Relations Board ruled that employees have the right to use their employer’s email system (during off-duty time) to engage in legally protected communications, including discussing wages and even organizing a union.

Employee acting like a jerk? Don't let him claim 'the disability made me do it!'

12/11/2014
Some employees behave in ways that create an unpleasant environment for their co-workers and supervisors. There’s no reason to put up with bullies and other ill-behaved employees—regardless of the reason.

Supreme Court hears arguments in key pregnancy discrimination case

12/10/2014
Does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act require employers to accommodate expectant mothers in the same way they must accommodate disabled workers? That was the question before the U.S. Supreme Court when it heard oral arguments Dec. 3 in Young v. UPS, a closely watched case that could affect workplaces nationwide.

Can't explain pay difference? That's a problem

12/09/2014

Courts considering pay discrimination claims want to believe that employers don’t purposely adopt policies that pay men more than women for the same work. But employers won’t win many lawsuits if they can’t explain exactly how pay differences came about. Simply put, if you have a complicated process for determining compensation, be ready to share it with the court.

Is California WARN different than the federal law?

12/08/2014
Q. As a California employer, am I required to follow the same 90-day aggregation rule that the federal WARN Act follows?

How does California's plant closing law work?

12/08/2014
Q. Our company is going to have lay off a large number of employees. Are we required to give notice to the employees?

What's new in California employment law in 2015

12/08/2014
A new year is coming and with it, a slew of changes courtesy the California Legislature. December is a good time to review your policies so they comply with the law. We’ve broken it down by general subject matter to make it easier.

Fresno eatery settles EEOC sexual harassment complaint

12/08/2014
Sal’s Mexican Restaurant in Fresno, California has agreed to settle a sexual harassment complaint filed by a former hostess. According to the complaint, the hostess was a teenager when a male supervisor continually propositioned her for sexual favors, grabbed her and required her to give him hugs and back rubs as part of her duties.

Get expert help with arbitration agreements

12/08/2014
If, like most employers, you use an arbitration agreement to avoid costly court litigation, put regular consultations with your attorney on your calendar. An expert needs to make sure that your agreement is as up-to-date as possible.

Don't rely on arbitration agreements that require class-action waivers

12/08/2014

The California Court of Appeal has yet again ruled against employers in an arbitration rights case. This time, the issue was whether employers can use arbitration agreements to limit so-called class- or collective-action claims. The apparent answer is “no.”

Ban comments about age, national origin, but don't sweat isolated incidents

12/08/2014
Here’s some good news. One single isolated comment about an employee’s advancing age or his country of origin isn’t enough to sustain a lawsuit claiming age discrimination.

Court approves settlement in EEOC lawsuit

12/08/2014
The federal court hearing a sexual harassment and hostile work environment case has agreed to settle the case with a modest payment and extensive EEOC monitoring to prevent further harassment. While the payment was relatively small, the company will now endure regular EEOC visits to check on its progress.

Former NYPD diver files race bias lawsuit

12/08/2014
A former New York Police Depart­­ment officer of mixed-race ancestry is accusing the department of tolerating racial bias, alleging that co-workers on the NYPD’s elite scuba diving team harassed him.

Unfair isn't illegal

12/08/2014
Judges understand the difference between an unfair boss and an illegal practice. They won’t hold you liable for all bad decisions—just the discriminatory ones.
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