EMPLOYMENT LAW

4 legal issues employers must watch in 2015

01/28/2015
Employers face difficult compliance issues every year, but according to Ogletree Deakins attorney Diane Saunders, four areas now deserve special attention.

Always discuss disability accommodations; the ADA 'interactive process' is mandatory

01/28/2015
When employees want to return to work with restrictions after an illness or injury, it may seem impossible for them to perform the essential functions of their jobs. But never instantly dismiss the possibility without talking to the employee.

What notice must I give California employees upon termination?

01/26/2015
Q. As a California employer, what forms and notices am I required to provide to employees I discharge? Also, are the forms and notices due immediately upon termination?

How to implement California's new Paid Sick Leave Law

01/26/2015
Last month, we provided background information on Cali­­for­­nia’s new Paid Sick Leave Law. This month, we follow up with critical information on how you need to implement the law.

Zillow.com may face reckoning for 'frat house' culture

01/26/2015

High-profile lawyer Mark Geragos has set his sights on Web-based real estate company Zillow.com. His firm has filed four lawsuits against the company for various federal law violations. In the two most recent suits, Gera­­gos represents a woman who claims she was the victim of age discrimination and another who alleges severe sexual harassment.

Six cities ace LGBT ratings

01/26/2015
Six California cities scored perfect 100 ratings in the Human Rights Campaign’s annual assessment of American cities with local laws and policies that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.

Have attorney review arbitration agreements to make sure they're valid contracts

01/26/2015
Attention to detail is essential when using arbitration agreements. They are contracts and the ordinary legal requirements for contract formation must be followed.

2 big cases reinforce: Beware adverse action against employees who report wrongdoing

01/26/2015
Two California Court of Appeal districts have significantly ex­­panded employee protection for whistle-blowers. The cases highlight that employees don’t actually have to “blow the whistle” to be protected from retaliation.

Weigh special assignment as accommodation

01/26/2015

Generally, employers have the right to choose which accommo­­dation they want to offer a disabled employee. That is, the employer—not the employee—gets to choose. But that right has limits.

Never tie performance problems to disability

01/26/2015
Warn supervisors that they should never link an employee’s performance deficiencies to a supposed disability. The focus should be strictly on what the employee has or hasn’t accomplished and how that compares to your standards—not on possible underlying reasons for success or failure.

Protect against data breach, cyber attack

01/26/2015

In December, Sony Pictures became the latest high-profile business victim of data theft. In addition to the threats of violence related to the re­­­­lease of its feature film, “The Inter­­view,” the company faces several federal class action lawsuits by employees claiming that their private information had been impermissibly disclosed online. In the wake of this crisis, employers should consider the following issues

EEOC launches harassment panel

01/26/2015
The EEOC has established a task force to identify strategies to prevent workplace harassment, according to incoming EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang, who presided over her first commission meeting on Jan. 14.

Can we replace employee who has been on FMLA leave for 14 weeks and isn't due back soon?

01/21/2015
Q. An employee went out on leave for a medical condition after working for us for 10 months. While the employee was not FMLA-eligible when the leave commenced, he was inadvertently advised that his leave was covered by the FMLA. The employee has now been on leave for 14 weeks, and he is not expected to immediately return to work. We would now like to fill his position. Is this permissible?

Does our lactation room need a lock?

01/21/2015
Q. An employee will be returning from maternity leave next month. She has indicated she intends to express milk during her breaks. We have a room that is rarely used that seems perfect but it does not have a lock. Will this suffice?

NLRB narrows employer limitations on workplace communications

01/21/2015
Many employers prohibit em­­ployees from using company email systems for personal communication. A recent ruling, however, may force employers to change those policies.
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