California Employment Law Report

California Employment Law Report

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

Archives: Wrongful Termination

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Five free resources of mine you are not using

Posted in About the California Employment Law Report, Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Employee Handbooks, Resources, Seminar, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
I bet your lawyer has never uttered those words to you (unless, of course, I am your lawyer).  For today’s Friday’s Five, I wanted to remind readers about five free resources I offer.  That’s right – they are absolutely free.  Happy Friday. 1.  Download the termination checklist I’m a big proponent of checklists.  Even if… Continue Reading

Five misunderstandings about disciplining employees

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Resources, Terminations, Wrongful Termination
EmployeesWorking with employers are various sizes, backgrounds, sophistication, and industries, I’ve seen a lot of confusion and simple misunderstandings about what constitutes employee discipline and how to properly document employee performance issues or discipline.  This Friday’s Five addresses five common misunderstandings I’ve seen recently about employee discipline and documentation: 1. If it was not a… Continue Reading

Employment law mid-year update and mixer

Posted in About the California Employment Law Report, Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, Meal and Rest Breaks, New Cases, Resources, Seminar, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
Join me for a seminar for a mid-year update on California employment law issues.  Learn how to keep your company compliant with new developments in California.  Topics will include: Top five pitfalls facing California employers in 2016 How to prepare for the Department of Labor’s changes to the overtime rules going into effect on December… Continue Reading

Five documents employers should consider providing at termination

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Terminations, Wrongful Termination
Another Friday, another Friday’s Five.  If you are new to the Employment Law Report, I write about a topic and include five items employers should understand on that topic every Friday.  This Friday’s Five discusses the documents employers should consider providing to employees at the end of employment. The documents include: Notice of change of… Continue Reading

Five general rules California employers should understand about employment contracts, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Terminations, Wrongful Termination
Friday’s 5 is here.  This post covers five issues that commonly arise when dealing with employment contracts and non-competition/non-solicitation agreements.  It is a very broad area to discuss, so, as always, this is a very general overview.  However, employers and executives alike should have a basic understanding about the legalities and enforceability of such clauses… 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

Five things to understand about conducting terminations

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Resources, Wrongful Termination
Terminations.  It is not a subject you cover in management class, or any class for that reason.  But yet the termination process is one of the more common business decisions that will receive the most scrutiny, and are probably the most legally challenged decisions in the workplace.  In addition, terminations trigger immediate legal obligations that… Continue Reading

Termination checklists: five considerations to start with

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Privacy, Terminations, Wrongful Termination
Happy Friday!  This Friday’s Five focuses on the termination process.  Employers should develop a termination checklist to ensure all documents and contingencies are consistently covered during the process.  Here are five pointers employers can use to start in developing their own checklist: 1.      Final wages must be timely paid. The employee’s wages must be paid… 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

Friday’s Five: Five statistics from the EEOC that should get employer’s attention

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Wrongful Termination
EEOCThe EEOC recently disclosed its fiscal year 2015 performance report.  The report is a good reminder to employers of the issues that they may likely face EEOC scrutiny.  Here are five key statistics employers should pay attention to: 1.     EEOC obtained more than $525 million in discrimination suits.  Of this amount, the parties settled disputes… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Facebook “likes” and employee’s calling employer “asshole” can be protected activities

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Terminations, Wrongful Termination
FB mehJillian Sanzone worked for Three D, LLD, d/b/a Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille, as a waitress and bartender and Vincent Spinella worked as a cook.  The employees realized that they owed more money in State income taxes than expected and complained to the employer.  Sanzone, Spinella, and another former employee, Jamie LaFrance, began posting… Continue Reading

Five essential aspects to understand about defamation claims

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Terminations, Wrongful Termination
Employers usually face defamation claims in connection with wrongful termination allegations.  Defamation claims can arise in two forms: libel (written) and slander (spoken).  Defamation can result from a variety of different scenarios, such as: statements made to others during a workplace investigation, explaining to colleagues the reasons why an employee was terminated, the employee’s claim… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Organ donation, accommodation law effective 2016, and tips employers need to know now!

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, California Legislation Update, Employee Handbooks, New Cases, Wrongful Termination
In July 2015, Governor Brown signed legislation designed to overturn the decision in Rope v. Auto-Chlor System of Washington Inc.  The case involved an employee who was asking his employer for an accommodation to take a future leave of absence in order to donate a kidney to his sister.  As discussed below, the case raises… Continue Reading

Friday’s Five: Credit checks for applicants or employees

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
This Friday’s Five discusses five issues California employers should remember about whether they may require credit checks from applicants or employees.  And if employers can obtain the information, what additional considerations they should take into account when using this information for employment decisions and privacy concerns. 1.      Credit checks are different than background checks. Since… Continue Reading

Five items that should be on every employer’s end of employment checklists

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Terminations, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
Many employers have new hire packets and hiring procedures, but just as important, and often overlooked by employers, is to have a process for departing employees. It is important to ensure an employee departing the company provides all items back to the company and is provided any legally required documentation, and is a good opportunity… 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 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

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

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 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 items to understand about employee personnel files under California law

Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Employee Handbooks, Wage & Hour Law, Wrongful Termination
1. Current and former employees have the right to inspect or copy personnel files. Under Labor Code section 1198.5 employees have the right to inspect or receive copies of personnel files and records relating to the employee’s performance or grievance concerning the employee. Employers are legally required to maintain personnel files for at least three… Continue Reading
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