California Employment Law Report

California Employment Law Report

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

Archives: Technology & Law

Subscribe to Technology & Law RSS Feed

Five things to know about biometrics in the workplace

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Privacy, Resources, Technology & Law
biometricsFingerprint scans, facial recognition, and retinal scans only a few years ago sounded like farfetched futuristic technology, but given the quickly advancing technology, these items are being used more and more in the workplace.  Today’s Friday’s Five discussed five items California employers should know about their legal obligations regarding the employee’s biometric information obtained during… Continue Reading

Five employment law developments in California

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, New Cases, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law
A lot was happening this week in California’s employment law.  This week’s Friday’s Five is a round-up on the highlights: 1.       Los Angeles City Council votes to require employers to provide 6 days of paid sick leave. The LA City Council approved a measure to require employers to provide employees up to six paid sick… Continue Reading

Gary Vaynerchuk on the workplace: a 2016 perspective

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Privacy, Technology & Law, Terminations
Gary_VaynerchukIf you know Garyvee, you may be asking yourself how could an employment law blog rely upon advice from someone who has not only admitted, but takes pride in, the fact that he checked out of school in the third grade, does not read books, and uses language that makes most standup comedian’s performances seem… Continue Reading

Lessons from Yelp: Responding to employee complaints on social media

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Technology & Law, Terminations, Wrongful Termination
Today’s Friday’s Five focuses on five aspects of responding to employee’s complaints made on social media.  Yelp has been in the news recently (Another ex-Yelp worker is calling the company out after being fired, CNNMoney; Yelp’s Tweet About Fired Employee Could Spell Legal Trouble, Inc.com [I was quoted in this article]), for how it responded… Continue Reading

Can/should companies follow employee’s on social media? Gary Vaynerchuk weighs in

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Privacy, Technology & Law, Terminations, Wrongful Termination
Gary Vaynerchuk discusses how he uses social media to engage with his 500 or so employees and addresses the risks on The Ask Gary Vee Show, episode 176 (video below).   Gary made his career using social media, and continues to do so in running his digital media company, Vayner Media.  So it does not come… Continue Reading

Can employers obtain e-signatures on Forms I-9 and store them electronically?

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Resources, Technology & Law
With more employers moving to digital personnel files, there is some concern about whether certain documents can be stored electronically or if the original document is necessary.  Generally, with the passage of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) by most states, e-signatures are given… Continue Reading

Uber class action certified, five takeaways for California employers

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Expense Reimbursement, New Cases, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law
This week, a federal court in northern California certified portions of a class action brought by Uber drivers who worked in California since 2009 (click here for the decision [PDF]).  Over 160,000 drivers have worked for Uber in California during this time period, and while the case is making a lot of news, what are… Continue Reading

Labor Commissioner’s ruling against Uber widely misunderstood by media

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Exempt Employees, Expense Reimbursement, New Cases, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law
Earlier this week Uber appealed a California Labor Commissioner ruling against it holding that a driver was misclassified as an independent contractor.  In this video, I briefly discuss the ruling and the lesson it holds for employers. Misclassification of employees as independent contractors can carry many damages and penalties.  For example, Sections 226.8 and 2753… 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 statutes that can shift attorney’s fees to employers

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Exempt Employees, Resources, Technology & Law, Uncategorized, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
You may recall from your college business law class of the “American rule” regarding attorney’s fees: generally in the United States each side is responsible to their own attorney’s fees, and unlike other countries, the loser does not have to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees. Employers can basically ignore this general rule in employment… 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

Friday’s Five: Uber and Lyft class actions show the difficulties of classifying independent contractors in new “sharing economy”

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, New Cases, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law
Uber and Lyft have been sued in separate class action lawsuits in California by drivers challenging the two companies’ classification of the drivers as independent contractors. The plaintiffs in the two cases argue that the drivers should be classified and paid as employees, which triggers many additional Labor Code provisions for the drivers than if… 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

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

Are you ready for the increase in minimum wage? Join us for a mid-year update on employment and corporate issues.

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, Expense Reimbursement, New Cases, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
My firm is conducting a webinar on Thursday June 19, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. for a mid-year update on emerging employment law issues and the newly enacted LLC statute effecting most California Limited Liability Companies.  For more information and to register, please complete the form below:  … Continue Reading

Five legally required items often overlooked by California employers

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Technology & Law, Wage & Hour Law
Welcome to Friday’s 5, a series of posts each Friday of lists of five items in various aspect of California employment law. I hope to keep it informative and interesting, and provide a checklist of sorts for California employers to review various practices and policies. Starting off, here is a list of five items not… Continue Reading

Are electronic signatures valid in the employment setting?

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Technology & Law
Generally, yes, and surprisingly this is one area that legislation is well ahead of the general adoption of the technical capabilities available in the marketplace. For example, in 1999 the California Legislature enacted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (the “UETA”), Civ. Code, §§ 1633.1 et seq., which provides that when a law requires a record… Continue Reading

Interviewed for KTLA news story about employers’ use of social media in the workplace

Posted in About the California Employment Law Report, Employee Handbooks, Technology & Law, Wrongful Termination
I was interviewed for a news story that aired on KTLA here in Los Angeles about employer’s use of social media in evaluating applicants and employees. I’ve been writing and speaking about this topic for at least five years now, but given the pervasiveness of social media, the topic is only becoming more relevant with… Continue Reading

Can employers use employee’s posts to social media as basis for employment decisions or would this violate an employee’s right to privacy?

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Technology & Law, Wrongful Termination
Generally, employees have a privacy expectation in their personnel files, contact information, and work related information. However, this expectation of privacy is not limitless, especially when the employee publically airs his or her work experiences on social media sites for the public to see. Courts have held that employees can waive this right to privacy… Continue Reading

Reminder: Webinar On Social Media Under California Law Tomorrow

Posted in About the California Employment Law Report, Best Practices For California Employers, New Cases, Technology & Law
This will be one of our most attended webinars, and there is still time to sign up. The webinar will cover legal issues facing California employers under the new Labor Code section prohibiting employers from asking applicants and employees for social media passwords, privacy issues when conducting background checks, alternatives to social media policies, and… Continue Reading

Can California employers monitor employees’ internet usage under new Labor Code section 980?

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Technology & Law
California passed a new law taking effect January 1, 2013 that prohibits employers from “requiring or requesting” employees and applicants to provide their passwords to social media accounts. This law was passed after a few cases made the news where employers were actually asking for this information. As I argued before, this law was probably… Continue Reading

Zuckerberg’s lesson in online privacy – does it exist?

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Technology & Law
There was a good reminder to everyone over Christmas about online “privacy.” Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a picture of her and her family on FB, and it was shared by another person on twitter. The photo was one of the Zuckerberg family using Facebook’s new Poke functionality… Continue Reading

Everything Employers Need To Know About Social Media In the Workplace In 2013

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Technology & Law
I will be conducting a webinar on January 15, 2013 on legal issues of social media in the workplace. The presentation will cover everything a California employer needs to know about social media in the modern workplace of 2013: Discussion on the new law (Labor Code section 960) that prohibits employers from asking applicants and… Continue Reading
.