ARTICLE ARCHIVES

Telecommute not always ADA accommodation

04/24/2015
Employers won a major victory April 10 when that court ruled that telecommuting is not always a reasonable accommodation, even for jobs that can mostly be done from home.

USCIS reaches H-1B visa cap in less than a week

04/23/2015
All 85,000 H-1B visas for 2016 are spoken for, snapped up in less than seven days in an application process that began April 1.

Will nonnegotiable starting pay close the gender gap?

04/23/2015

New Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao—fresh off losing a high-profile sex discrimination lawsuit against her former employer—has announced that on her watch, the user-generated Web news organization will no longer negotiate starting salaries with new hires. The reason: To make the workplace fairer for women.

More job creation, more worker engagement, more ... bartenders?

04/23/2015
Montana and North Dakota are locked in a dead heat for states with the most bartenders per capita.

Courts create a wide berth for wage payment lawsuits

04/23/2015
Federal and state courts don’t have to go out on too long a limb to allow employees to sue for their unpaid wages and to find corporate officers personally liable under state wage payment laws for failing to pay those wages. Two recent cases illustrate.

Feds crack down on 401(k) hardship withdrawals

04/23/2015
Both the IRS and U.S. Department of Labor are increasing their enforcement scrutiny on companies that allow em­­ploy­­ees to take inappropriate hardship withdrawals from their 401(k) plans.

Do nonexempts really need noncompetes?

04/22/2015
In recent years, a few employers have begun requiring even nonexempt employees to sign noncompete agreements. It may well be a short-lived trend.

Did my innocent employment ad really open me up to charges of discrimination?

04/21/2015
Q. I recently posted want ads to hire new employees. Recently, I received a letter from someone who wants to sue me for “deterring applicants.” The ads that I sent out simply stated my company’s name and address, the position available and that applicants who are younger and live nearby are preferred. What did I do wrong?

What constitutes an essential job function?

04/21/2015
Q. I hand a brochure titled “Job Information and Requirements” to each new hire I bring on board to my construction company. With the addition of new positions, I need to draft new brochures with job descriptions, but am having trouble determining the essential job functions. Is there a specific method that I can use to decide whether a job function is essential?

Could we be liable for accidental bias against those or 'associated with' protected groups?

04/21/2015
Q. As a California employer, I realize that I cannot discriminate against employees who belong to protected groups. But what if I mistakenly think that an employee is or is not a member of one of these groups, and accidentally treat him or her in a way that is discriminatory?

Seven hot issues and best practices for California HR managers

04/21/2015
Here are seven hot-button topics that California HR leaders should stay on top of. Practical advice will help you comply with a shifting employment law landscape.

Failure to pay overtime costs SoCal firm $344,000

04/21/2015
C&H Collins-Hartwell Programs, a Southern California provider of medical day care, must pay 32 employees $344,000 in back pay and damages after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found it only paid straight time to workers who worked more than 40 hours in a week.

Lawsuit says Handy cleans up at its contractors' expense

04/21/2015
A lawsuit filed in California alleges that Handy, the sharing economy’s version of a cleaning service, is playing dirty with its workers. Like its brethren—Uber, Taskrabbits and others—the company uses independent contractors instead of employees.

No sexual harassment? Then no employer liability

04/21/2015
An appeals court has reversed a quarter-million-dollar punitive-damages award for sexual harassment. The problem: The employee couldn’t prove the alleged harassment was pervasive or frequent enough to constitute a hostile environment.

Piling on disciplinary charges can look like retaliation

04/21/2015
It’s easier for employees to prove retaliation for complaining about discrimination than it is to prove the underlying complaint. When disciplining someone who has complained, make sure each infraction is iron-clad—and don’t pile on additional dubious charges.
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