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Employer May Recover Attorney Fees Under FEHA Where Plaintiff’s Evidence of Discrimination is Solely Speculation

Date: March 24th, 2014 by Laura C. Hess No Comments

In the recent case of Robert v. Stanford Univ., No. H037514, 2014 WL 793112 (Cal. Ct. App. February 25, 2014), plaintiff brought an action against his former employer for discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA.) He alleged that he was terminated because of his ancestry, American Indian. At trial, defendant presented evidence that plaintiff was … Read More


Firing Both Parties Involved in the Sexual Harassment Complaint is Not a Solution

Date: February 20th, 2014 by Laura C. Hess No Comments

A recent California court decision, Mendoza v. Western Medical Center Santa Ana, (2014) 222 Cal.App.4th 1334, highlights the mistakes an employer can make when handling a sexual harassment complaint.

Employers always need to do a good faith investigation, even if the allegations appear to be “he said/she said.” When employers terminate a long-term, well-performing employee after he or she … Read More


Another Good Reason to Analyze your Business Automobile Policies and Insurance

Date: January 8th, 2014 by Kyle D. Kring No Comments

You are an employer and your employee is driving home from work when he or she accidentally hits another vehicle, injuring a third party. Do you think your business is legally responsible for the third party’s injuries?

Traditionally, an employer would not be liable for the third party’s injuries, based on the longstanding “Coming and Going” Rule. This provides that … Read More


Employment Law Update: New Laws in 2014

Date: January 7th, 2014 by Allyson K. Thompson No Comments

The California Legislature was busy this year regarding employment law. Several new employment related requirements were enacted that went into effect on January 1, 2014, unless otherwise specified. Some of the more substantive changes deal with workers compensation, wage and hour, and expansions in regards to leaves of absence, among others. While not entirely exhaustive, the following is a brief … Read More


Do I Have to Let an Employee Take a Medical Leave of Absence?

Date: November 25th, 2013 by Laura C. Hess No Comments

You receive a doctor’s note stating that one of your employees is receiving medical treatment, cannot work, and is expected to be unable to work for several months. Do you have to hold the employee’s job open for him?

The federal Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), and its California counterpart, the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”), require an employer with … Read More


Employer Drives Away From Liability for Employee’s Use of Employer’s Car

Date: November 7th, 2013 by Allyson K. Thompson No Comments

A California Appellate Court recently ruled in Baker v. Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. that an employer could not be found vicariously liable for injuries its employee sustained while driving a company car on personal business. While this was a fact specific case, it nonetheless is a helpful case for employers.

Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. provided its employee, Troy Martinez, with … Read More


New Law in Effect for 2013 Regarding Commissioned Employees

Date: March 8th, 2013 by Laura C. Hess No Comments

If you have any employees that receive commissions as part of their compensation package, you need to be aware of a new law that went into effect as of January 1, 2013. AB 1396 amended California Labor Code section 2751.

The new law provides, “Whenever an employer enters into a contract of employment with an employee for services to be … Read More


Employers and the Interactive Process for Disabled Employees

Date: February 25th, 2013 by Shane Singh No Comments

Disability-related issues with a job applicant or employee can be tricky. Both federal and California law prohibit discrimination against current and potential employees with disabilities, and require an employer to engage in a “interactive process” with a disabled employee/applicant who needs a reasonable accommodation. The interactive process is an informal procedure meant to identify what, if any, reasonable accommodations can … Read More


Employer Obligations Under Disability Laws

Date: November 29th, 2012 by Nami E. Chun No Comments

The laws governing employers’ obligations with respect to disabled employees are complex, and employers should tread carefully when faced with a disability-related request by an employee. The following covers some basic employer obligations under both federal and state laws with regards to disabled employees.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) applies to all employers with 15 or more employees. However, … Read More


Timekeeping Issues: Can Employers Round Employees’ Punch In/Out Times by the Nearest Tenth?

Date: November 29th, 2012 by Allyson K. Thompson 1 Comment

Timekeeping…you already know that all California employers are required to keep copious records of an employee’s time in and out for purposes of paying wages and overtime, and ensuring that meal periods are taken. A common and long-standing practice in timekeeping is to round to the nearest tenth of an hour. Recently, this practice was called into question in the … Read More