Q&A

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?

Is early termination OK when employee who is on FMLA submits her resignation?

04/13/2015
Q. An employee who is off on an approved FMLA leave just submitted her resignation, providing two weeks’ notice. Our employee handbook asks employees to provide a two-week notice when possible. May we terminate the employee’s employment immediately rather than wait two weeks?

Can we restrict service dogs at work?

04/13/2015
Q. An employee with epilepsy wants to bring a dog to work to assist her in the event of a seizure. Our business is not conducive to having animals at work. Must we permit her to bring her dog?

How should we provide required posters for employees who work from home?

04/13/2015
Q. We have a number of employees who work solely from home. For them, is electronic delivery or posting of the notice required by the new Women’s Economic Security Act sufficient? Do we need to have the employee acknowledge receipt?

What are we up against? We're being sued for misappropriation of trade secrets!

04/13/2015
Q. I recently hired someone who previously worked at a competitor’s company for some time. When she began working for me, she made some great suggestions regarding new business strategies, processes and products for us to implement. Now, a few months later, her former company is suing me for misappropriation of trade secrets. What does this mean?

Employee has to miss work for jury duty: Am I allowed to terminate him?

04/13/2015
Q. One of my employees has informed me that she received a jury duty summons and must be absent from work to serve. Can I discharge my employee for being absent from work while serving as a juror?

Are we liable for negligent hiring if employee had criminal conviction?

04/13/2015
Q. Recently, one of my employees accidentally injured a client while operating a forklift during work hours. The client is now threatening to sue me for negligent hiring of this employee, because the employee has a prior—and unrelated—conviction. Does this accusation have legal grounds?

What are the penalties for bounced paychecks?

04/06/2015
Q. What happens if I miss a payday or my employees’ paychecks bounce when they attempt to deposit or cash them?

Discipline for attendance during FMLA leave?

04/01/2015
Q. Before we could counsel an employee about ongoing attendance problems, she was approved for intermittent FMLA to care for her mother. However, she continues to have attendance problems unrelated to her FMLA leave. Can we proceed with counseling and possible disciplinary actions while she is under FMLA?

What's the law on paying for travel time?

04/01/2015
Q. How should we go about determining how much we need to pay employees for travel time?

What goes in a proper wage statement?

03/23/2015
Q. During the last pay period, after my California employees received their paychecks, a few of them asked me where the wage statement was. What information am I required to include in this statement?

What 'notice-of-pay' must new hires receive?

03/23/2015
Q. I recently hired new warehouse employees. Is there any information regarding their wage payment that I must present to them?

How much leave can workers take to attend their kids' school activities?

03/23/2015
Q. One of my employees asked me if she could use a few hours of her personal time off to leave work early and attend her daughter’s grade school band recital. What’s the law on this?
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