EMPLOYMENT LAW

Calculating OT: What counts as a 'workweek'?

09/01/2014
Employment lawsuits often hinge on a definition: What is an “employee”? What is “work”? And, in this case, what is a “workweek”?

DOL sues to reinstate L.A. union whistle-blower

08/29/2014
A DOL lawsuit claims that Los Angeles-based Cement Masons South­­ern Cali­­for­­nia Administrative Cor­­p. illegally fired an em­­ployee for cooperating with a federal investigation. The corporation managed assets for five Cement Masons employee benefits trusts in southern California.

Former Pink Poodle pole dancers seek back pay

08/29/2014
Eleven former exotic dancers at San Jose’s Pink Poodle strip club are suing, claiming they were misclassified as independent contractors and thus failed to receive minimum wages and overtime pay. Additionally, they claim the misclassification deprived them of health insurance.

Employee must request more leave as ADA accommodation

08/29/2014
Employees facing the end of FMLA or other medical leave are sometimes entitled to additional time off as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. But they have to ask.

Harassment from subordinate can mean liability

08/29/2014
It’s not just harassment from co-workers and supervisors that can become the basis for a hostile environment claim. When a subordinate harasses his boss and the em­­ployer doesn’t intervene, the supervisor has a claim. That’s why it’s important to address all har­­assment, whatever its source.

California Supreme Court makes independent contractor status tougher for motor carriers

08/29/2014
If your company is classified as a motor carrier, don’t expect the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) to protect you from misclassification claims. That’s the lesson learned by one motor carrier after a recent Cali­­for­­nia Supreme Court decision.

In California, raise arbitration issue before administrative hearing on unpaid wages

08/29/2014
If you use an arbitration clause in your application or require employees to arbitrate claims, try to get the case moved to arbitration as soon as possible after the employee files a wage claim with the Cali­­for­­nia Department of Indus­­trial Rela­­tions.

Not hiring bikini models? Think twice before excluding men from job assignments

08/29/2014
There are some jobs where the employee’s sex is a “bona fide occupational qualification”—but not many. For the vast majority of positions, employers can’t exclude people of one sex and only hire members of the opposite sex. After a recent appellate decision, it seems unlikely that one-sex hiring will survive legal scrutiny.

Never stereotype jobs based on gender roles

08/29/2014
Remind supervisors and managers that they shouldn’t assign jobs or duties based on a worker’s gender. Nor should anyone in management make comments that could be interpreted as sexist or as assumptions that certain roles are best assigned to either men or women.

Use reasonable rules to beat discipline suits

08/29/2014
For the most part, courts don’t want to second-guess employer discipline. As long as you have reasonable rules in place, let employees know what those rules are and en­­force them consistently, most judges will uphold your disciplinary decisions.

Understand basics of complying with GINA genetic information law

08/21/2014
The Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act, enacted in 2008, prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their genetic information. It also bans harassing employees based on their genetic information and protects employees from retaliation for exercising their GINA rights.

In wake of NLRB decision, review independent contractor agreements

08/20/2014
Plenty of employers were concerned when the NLRB determined last month that McDonald’s Corp. will be considered a joint employer along with its franchisees in several upcoming unfair labor practices cases.

Pregnancy unnecessary for pregnancy bias suit

08/19/2014
A woman doesn’t have to be pregnant to sue for discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Wait, what?

Are we courting trouble by denying accommodations to pregnant employees?

08/18/2014
Q. Since pregnancy does not qualify as a disability under the ADA, our company denies all special accommodation requests granted by otherwise healthy employees who are pregnant. Does this policy make us vulnerable to a lawsuit?

Does our automatic termination policy expose us to liability for ADA violations?

08/18/2014
Q. Our company has a leave-of-absence policy that states that any employee on leave longer than 12 months will be terminated. Our company’s leadership insists on this policy out of what they call business necessity. Are we opening ourselves up to risk?
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