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Employment Law

Feel free to call out poor performance: Criticizing workplace mistakes isn’t harassment

Employees can’t successfully claim that being pushed to do a better job—or even being shamed and ridiculed about their work habits—is anything but an unpleasant consequence of doing a lousy job.

DOL says gig economy workers are independent contractors

A new Department of Labor opinion letter delivers a big win for business, stating that workers who provide services to customers of a gig economy company are independent contractors, not employees.

What is the latest information on running FMLA leave concurrently with other leave?

Q. We don’t have a policy on using FMLA leave concurrently with other leave. Therefore, sometimes employees will ask to use up their paid leave first and then use unpaid FMLA leave. This seems to occur most often with maternity leave, as some new mothers like to have extra time off. Of course, we know about the need for FMLA leave since we know the employee is pregnant. We’ve heard that the DOL now requires us to run leave concurrently. Is this true?

New state lactation accommodation requirements may be coming to California

California Senate Bill 142 would amend building codes to require new commercial buildings and those undergoing improvements costing over $1 million to include designated lactation spaces for employees.

Failure to pay overtime costs LA company $301,000

Golden Life Supported Living Agency, a Los Angeles provider of services to clients with developmental disabilities, will pay $301,763 to 67 workers.

Arbitration agreements may not cover delivery drivers

A California court has concluded that the Federal Arbitration Act, which makes the agreements enforceable, may not apply to delivery drivers engaged in interstate commerce.

Document why you decided not to rehire

Sometimes, employers let employees gracefully leave instead of being fired. But what if the former employee later applies for a new opening?

Ensure your records show exactly when personnel decisions were made

To prove retaliation, employees must show that the employer took some form of adverse action against them after they complained. That’s one reason employers must document all personnel decisions: So they can later tell a court exactly when an allegedly adverse action took place.

Ensure arbitration agreements apply equally to both employees and employer

Arbitration can provide an easier, quicker and less expensive avenue than litigation for handling employment-related claims. But unless your arbitration agreement has been carefully reviewed for adherence to California contract law, the agreement may be struck down.

No FEHA accommodation required if it won’t enable disabled employee to perform job

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act offers protection for disabled workers who need reasonable accommodations in order to perform the essential functions of their jobs. But that protection isn’t unlimited.