EMPLOYMENT LAW

Customer race preference? Prepare for court

06/27/2016
Before you honor a customer’s race preference, remember that doing so could expose you to liability for racial discrimination.

NLRB ambush election rule upheld by 5th Circuit

06/23/2016
In a significant defeat for small business, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on June 10 upheld the National Labor Relations Board’s controversial “ambush election” rule that critics say unfairly makes it easier for unions to organize.

WHD takes $160K bite out of Fremont's BitMICRO

06/22/2016
BitMICRO in Fremont will pay more than $160,000 in back pay, overtime and penalties to engineers it brought in on the cheap from the Philippines.

Restaurant settles same-sex harassment charges for $27,500

06/22/2016
Achiote Restaurant in San Ysidro will pay $27,500 to settle an EEOC sexual harassment case that arose when young men working at the restaurant complained about a male manager secretly videotaping them in the bathroom.

Simple list of customers doesn't count as trade secret

06/22/2016
Under California law, not every work product amounts to a trade secret. For example, an ordinary customer list with information generally available through open sources isn’t subject to protection.

Cal coach criticized for slow response to sexual harassment

06/22/2016
The University of California-Berkeley has promised to look more closely into charges its head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin moved too slowly to inform university officials that assistant coach Yann Hufnagel had sexually harassed a female reporter covering the team.

Arbitration agreement may not be bulletproof

06/22/2016
Bad news for employers that hope arbitration agreements might limit the cost and time required to resolve employment disputes.

'I'm having health problems': 7 steps for handling the interactive conversation

06/21/2016

When faced with an employee who may have a physical or mental disability, a manager's legal antenna should go up right away. The ADA requires employers to engage in an interactive dialog with employees to determine whether a disability can be accommodated. Do it wrong, and you're probably looking at a lawsuit. Here's how to handle the conversation.

Protect customer data from tempted employees

06/20/2016
Con artists and hackers aren't the only threats to your customers' credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and other financial data.

Opening salvo fired in big 'joint employer' lawsuit against NLRB

06/20/2016
The National Labor Relations Board’s new joint employer standard violates the National Labor Relations Act, according to opening briefs filed by Browning-Ferris Industries in a closely watched lawsuit that seeks to overturn a major NLRB decision.

Minneapolis sick and safe leave law takes effect next year

06/17/2016
Under the recently passed Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, starting July 1, 2017, employers must allow employees to accrue up to 48 hours of “sick and safe time” each year.

Urgent! Union persuader rule loophole opens for just days

06/17/2016

If you currently engage the services of an advisor to help employees understand your side on union organizing and collective bargaining issues, get in touch with him or her and your attorney right away!

Carefully calculate and communicate how much FMLA leave employee has available

06/17/2016
Make sure HR staff know how to calculate FMLA leave and keep careful tabs on how that leave is used. That way, you minimize chances that an employee will receive erroneous information that could lead to a lawsuit alleging that you interfered with someone’s FMLA rights.

Lift roadblocks to harassment reporting or prepare for a retaliation lawsuit, too

06/17/2016
If you place obstacles in the way of reporting potential sexual harassment, expect trouble. Employees who have to jump through hoops to get their concerns addressed may sue.

Take care when calculating overtime & FMLA

06/17/2016
Do you offer voluntary overtime to employees, but make attendance mandatory if employees sign up? If so, watch how you calculate FMLA leave. You have to include the overtime in the calculation of available FMLA hours, or you can’t subtract FMLA hours for an absence.
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