On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a long awaited opinion in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014 WL 2808963). Long awaited is an understatement, as the underlying case was filed in 2006. The issue of whether class action waivers in arbitration agreements are enforceable has been ruled on differently by several courts over the past … Read More
Competing interests of transparency in government and elected officials and government employees’ right to privacy has stirred up a debate throughout California. A recent California appellate court ruled that government officials and employees’ private communications sent on personal devices and not stored on public servers are not subject to the California Public Records Act (CPRA). City of San Jose v. … Read More
The increased decriminalization of marijuana use raises questions of whether employers are required to reasonably accommodate employees who use it for medical reasons, and whether they can terminate the employee for failing a drug test. As prudent employers, it is always a good idea to contemplate how the change in law will affect the workplace. Although sixteen states have legalized … Read More
Many unwary employers fall into the trap of giving an employee the title of “Manager” or “Supervisor” only to find out that in fact the employee was misclassified. One of the most common mistakes an employer can make is to assume that a job title alone makes an employee “exempt” versus being “non-exempt.”
Amongst other factors, a truly exempt employee … Read More
This is a situation we see fairly often. The employer has an employee that it wants to terminate. The employer says, “I don’t have to have a reason. I can fire her any time, she’s an at-will employee!” What could possibly go wrong?
Well, a lot of things. It is true that the rule in California is that employment relationships … Read More
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
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
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
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
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