California Employment Law Report

California Employment Law Report

The latest litigation trends, court decisions, & issues on California Employment Law

Archives: Employee Handbooks

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California’s paid sick leave law: Five deadlines every employer must know

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks
While July 1, 2015 is the primary date making most headlines for the new sick leave requirement in California, and is when in fact employees begin to accrue and will be eligible to take paid sick leave, there are many other deadlines employers should keep in mind: 1.      January 1, 2015: Required poster “Healthy Workplaces/Healthy… Continue Reading

Five things employers must understand about LinkedIn’s job reference lawsuit

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Technology & Law
Recently, the issue raised in Sweet v. LinkedIn is whether the Reference Searches functionality offered by LinkedIn is governed by the regulations set forth in the FCRA.  The Reference Search feature allows users who pay a fee to search for references that have worked with any other LinkedIn member.  The results list common employers and… Continue Reading

Five things every employer with IT workers must understand about the computer professional exemption under California law

Posted in California Legislation Update, Employee Handbooks, Technology & Law, Uncategorized, Wage & Hour Law
Recently I published a list of common exemptions under California law. This list of exemptions did not delve into the details of each exemption in detail, so I will be returning to a few of the exemptions to add more explanation about each exempt classification. I’m currently reading Paul Graham’s Hackers and Painters, Big Ideas… Continue Reading

Paid sick leave: resources for California employers to review prior to July 1, 2015 requirements begin

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks
In order to explain the law and answer questions employers have about implementing policies to comply with the requirement that all employers provide up to three paid sick leave days starting July 1, 2015, the Department of Industrial Relations is hosting a free webinar. It is taking place on April 8, 2015, from noon to… Continue Reading

Five areas of employee compensation or off-work conduct that cannot be regulated by an employer under California law; plus: Ben Horowitz, the Shmoney Dance and How to Manage

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
I just discovered How to Start a Startup, which is a series of videos published by Stanford University on YouTube with some outstanding speakers. The problem is that the class videos are so great, I have a hard time turning them off. Case in point, this week I watched Ben Horowitz’ lecture: How to Manage. … Continue Reading

Personal cell phones at work: Five lessons employers should take away about expense reimbursement set forth in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Services

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Expense Reimbursement, New Cases, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law
Colin Cochran brought a putative class action against his employers, Schwan’s Home Service, on behalf of 1,500 customer service managers who were not reimbursed for expenses pertaining to the work-related use of their personal cell phones. He alleged causes of action for violation of Labor Code section 2802; unfair business practices under Business and Professions… Continue Reading

Five issues employers should become familiar with under California’s Labor Code provisions regarding one day of rest every seven days of work

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has asked the California Supreme Court to clarify three questions pertaining to California’s little known, and very rarely litigated, laws regarding a day of rest every seven days. The case is Mendoza v. Nordstrom. The California Supreme Court’s clarification could result in a new-found focus on these laws, and… Continue Reading

Five documents employers should provide to employees separating from the company

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
There is always a lot of attention paid to what notices and forms should be given to new-hires. However, today’s Friday’s Five post I want to focus on the documents that should accompany an employee’s separation from employment: 1. Paycheck for all hours worked until separation including all accrued but unused vacation time. Generally, the… Continue Reading

Five rules for drafting vacation policies the right way under California law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
One policy that I find is usually not given the attention it deserves when drafting employee handbooks is the policy for vacation time. There are numerous rules about how employees earn vacation, and it is often tricky to draft a proper policy without someone experienced in this area. Many out-of-state employers assume that their policy… Continue Reading

Five indispensable items employers must know about California’s Wage Theft Protection Act’s Notice to Employee

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
The Wage Theft Protection act of 2011 added Labor Code section 2810.5 requiring all private California employers to provide a written notice containing specific information to non-exempt employees upon hire. Below are five indispensable items employers should understand about the Notice to Employee (“Notice”) required under the law. 1. All private employers, regardless of size,… Continue Reading

Five errors that make defending an employment lawsuit harder

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
In litigation, the following five issues make defending an employment lawsuit much more difficult. 1. No documentation. No matter what type of employment litigation is at issue – wage and hour claims, leave issues, or harassment claims – the amount of documentation an employer has dramatically increases the odds of prevailing in litigation. I would… Continue Reading

Five New Year’s resolutions for California employers in 2015

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, Meal and Rest Breaks, New Cases, Wage & Hour Law
Happy New Year.  I started the Friday’s Five articles at the beginning of last summer, and the interest in the articles has been astounding, so I appreciate everyone who has read them and provided comments and feedback. If you have any topics you would like me to address, please let me know. With that said,… Continue Reading

Top five employment law class action claims for California employers in 2014

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Meal and Rest Breaks, New Cases, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law
Let me start with the lawyer’s disclaimer up-front: this Friday’s Five list has no scientific or statistical backing whatsoever, I generated it based on the cases I’ve been litigating in 2014. My experience may be (and probably is) skewed a bit, but nevertheless California employers should pay attention to the following areas of potential litigation.… Continue Reading

Areas employers should review as part of their yearly audit – part two

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Employee Handbooks, Expense Reimbursement, Wage & Hour Law
In my last post, I wrote about what steps employers should talk to comply with the new employment laws for 2015. This post discusses more generally what employers should audit on a yearly basis. And with the year coming to a close, now is a great time to review these five items: 1. Expense reimbursement… Continue Reading

Steps California employers should take to comply with employment law changes in 2015 – part one

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, New Cases
The laws passed in 2014 added some new posting requirements and resulted in the need to revise some of the notices California employers are required to provide to employees. This Friday’s Five Best Practices article sets out five items California employers should review before the start of 2015: 1. Review newly published frequently asked questions… Continue Reading

Sick leave poster and revised Notice to Employee published by Division of Labor Standards Enforcement: All California employers must use starting January 1, 2015

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) published a new poster employers are required to post regarding California’s new sick leave law. Under the new law (Labor Code Section 247) employers are required to display a poster in a conspicuous place requiring certain information about the new rights of employees to receive paid sick leave.… Continue Reading

Five things to know about time off for holidays and holiday pay under California law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
Happy Holidays! With the holidays upon us, it is a good time for employers to review their holiday schedule and these five reminders about holidays and holiday pay under California law. 1. California employers are not required to provide employees time off for holidays. There is no requirement that California employers provide time off (except… Continue Reading

Understanding immigration and labor reform laws on the federal and state level: President Obama’s immigration proposal and California’s change to immigration related laws in 2015

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Employee Handbooks, Wrongful Termination
President Obama’s announcement of his controversial plan to provide amnesty for illegal immigrants to remain in the country who meet certain requirements raises a few employment and immigration issues for employers. Putting the politics aside, it is a good time for employers to review their obligations under the law to confirm a worker’s eligibility to… Continue Reading

Five issues employers must understand about California’s harassment and discrimination laws

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Employee Handbooks, Wrongful Termination
1. Automatic liability for a company when harassing or discriminatory conduct is taken by supervisors. A company is automatically liable for any harassment or discriminatory actions taken by its supervisors. Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), a supervisor is defined as anyone who has the authority to hire, transfer, suspend, layoff, recall, promote,… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five items employers need to understand about automobile and mileage reimbursement under California law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Expense Reimbursement, Wage & Hour Law
Expense reimbursement may seem like a small issue in comparison with the other areas of liability facing California employers, but the exposure for not appropriately reimbursing employees can be substantial. In Gattuso v. Harte-Hanks Shoppers, Inc., the California Supreme Court clarified the parameters of mileage reimbursement under California law, as well as the three different… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five answers to common questions about severance pay and severance agreements

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
Severance pay is not required under California law. However, employers who have potential disputes with employees that are leaving employment should consider whether offering severance pay in exchange for a signed severance agreement containing a release of claims against the company may be useful in avoiding costly litigation. Here are answers to five common questions… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five things California employers should not forget about meal and rest breaks

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks
Back to some basics with this Friday’s Five. This post revisits some meal and rest break requirements. It has been a couple of years since the California Supreme Court issued it groundbreaking ruling in Brinker Restaurant Group v. Superior Court, and it is a good time for employers to audit these policies and practices. Here… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five ways employers can receive requests for employees’ personnel and wage records

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law
Employers can receive requests for employment records of current and former employees though different ways. It is important for employers to first carefully review the request to understand what is being requested. It is important to understand who is making the request? Is the request only seeking a personnel file? Is the request only seeking… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Five points to understand about California’s new requirements for sexual harassment training

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Employee Handbooks, New Cases
AB 2053 was signed into law by Governor Brown, and as of January 1, 2015, employers have to comply with new obligations regarding the sexual harassment training already required for some employers under California law.  Here are five issues employers should understand about AB 2053.  1. What are employer’s current obligations to have supervisors attend… Continue Reading
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