Category Archives: Newsletter Archives

CALIFORNIA TAKES A STEP TO END WORKPLACE BULLYING

The scope of California’s required supervisory sexual harassment training just got bigger: the training must now include the prevention of workplace bullying. The story began in 2004 when Assembly Bill 1825 was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger. This law requires that every California employer with 50 or more employees provide supervisors with sexual harassment […]

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CALIFORNIA EMPLOYEES’ WHISTLE JUST GOT MUCH LOUDER

In late-2013 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law three  bills (SB 496, SB 666 and AB 263), which together significantly expanded California Labor Code Section 1102.5 (Section 1102.5), California’s general whistleblower statute. While litigation continues in California courts regarding whether these amendments apply retroactively, one thing is certainly clear, whistleblower claims in California will assuredly […]

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PAGA, ANYONE?

Our great State of California often sets the national standard on various social, economic and political fronts. One example of this is California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) (Cal. Lab. Code, §2698 et seq.) However, since its adoption in 2004, questions have repeatedly been raised about PAGA’s purpose, use and effectiveness.

So you ask, what is PAGA?

PAGA deputizes private citizens and allows them to act on behalf of California’s Labor & Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) in seeking civil penalties for Labor Code violations. PAGA authorizes employees to bring a lawsuit “on behalf of themselves and others” on any violation of the California Labor Code, regardless of how small, technical, or short-lived the alleged violation.

Now that’s a lot for anyone to swallow. Keep reading to digest it further. (Pun intended.)

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SO GOES CALIFORNIA…

2014 Ushers in a Multitude of Laws Affecting Employers Don’t be caught unaware by the 2014 changes to employment laws that could directly affect your Company! Knowledge about these new laws and those that are on the horizon are the key to minimizing and attempting to prevent workplace claims. What is new: Expanded protection for […]

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BEWARE, YOU MAY BE A FEDERAL CONTRACTOR AND NOT KNOW IT

Recently, in a discrimination case that spanned over 20 years against Bank of America, the Department of Labor expanded the definition of a federal contractor to include any entity that is federally insured. Bank of America had argued the traditional view of who is a federal contractor, claiming that it wasn’t a federal contractor because […]

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BROWN TURNS FOREST GREEN

The USDA Forest Service names Brown Law Group as One of Only Three Firms in the Nation to Provide Legal Services for its Employment Litigation The US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service has named Brown Law Group as one of only three firms in the nation to provide legal services for its employment litigation. The […]

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THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT FINDS THE MIXED MOTIVE DEFENSE BARS EMPLOYEES FROM DAMAGES, BACK PAY, OR AN ORDER OF REINSTATEMENT

No longer can plaintiffs collect damages simply by showing discrimination was a factor in an employer’s decision to fire them. Even if evidence of discriminatory motive exists, an employer can prevent plaintiff from recovering damages, back pay, or an order of reinstatement if the employer proves that it would have terminated plaintiff for a legitimate non-discriminatory reason. Importantly however, this “mixed motive” defense is not a complete bar to liability because a plaintiff can still obtain declaratory or injunctive relief, and in certain situations, attorneys’ fees. Therefore, rather than fall back on the mixed motive defense, employers should ensure workplace procedures comply with California law, that management is properly trained in the implementation of such procedures, and that employment decisions are consistent with these policies.

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NEW YEAR – NEW LAWS

December 21, 2012 has come and gone, and with it the belief that the Mayan’s “end of the world” prediction would obviate the need for employers to comply with the multitude of new California employment legislation.  The following are just a few of the changes to the law that employers can expect for 2013: Changes […]

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NOT SO HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Employer-Sponsored Holiday Parties – Tips for Ensuring a Happy Holiday Season

It is estimated that over two-thirds of employers will host some form of holiday party for their employees in 2012, with many of these parties serving some extra holiday cheer in the form of beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. While holiday parties can be a great way to build morale and/or demonstrate appreciation for employees’ hard work, employers need to ensure that this holiday fun does not turn into a New Year’s liability. With the holiday season nearly upon us, now is the time to assess your company’s upcoming holiday party.

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FLEXIBLE WORKSPACE MEETS INFLEXIBLE LAW

Computers, Wi-Fi, smartphones, Skype, and computer-based meetings all allow an employee to contribute fully while working outside of the traditional office.  These technological advances have also meant that employees can perform their work from home, while on vacation, and while traveling on business.  Many employees have embraced flexible work arrangements, and they have modified their […]

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