Category Archives: Newsletter Archives

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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OBAMACARE IS CONSTITUTIONAL. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO ME AS AN EMPLOYER?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision regarding the constitutionality of President Obama’s controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) makes for much political fodder. But what does it mean to employers? Despite the political uncertainty the nation faces in the upcoming months, many provisions of the ACA are applicable to employers now. This includes providing affordable health care plans to employees. However, what is considered “affordable?” Does the requirement apply to all employers regardless of size? Employers must educate themselves regarding these issues and be in compliance or face stiff penalties.

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MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE: Though Permitted by California Doctors, Not Permitted in Workplace or Protected by ADA

California law allows physicians to prescribe marijuana for medicinal purposes; however, its general use and possession is still illegal under both federal and state law. Recently, in response to a move by several California cities to close marijuana clinics within their boundaries, plaintiffs filed suit in federal court challenging the cities’ actions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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IT’S OFFICIAL – EMPLOYERS ARE NO LONGER THE POLICE!

On April 12, 2012, the California Supreme Court finally issued it’s much anticipated ruling in Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court, holding that employers need not act as surrogate police to their employees. The Court explained that while employers have a duty to provide meal and rest periods to their employees, they have no duty to hover over them to “ensure” that they abstain from working during those breaks. This relieves a huge, impossible burden, which exposed employers to countless class action claims.

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You Posted What on Twitter? #Fired!

The use of social media has grown exponentially. Facebook is projected to reach one billion active users by August, and Twitter is on track to reach 500 million users this month. Smart phones allow us to post our opinions, complaints, and musings on social media sites instantaneously – and often, it seems, without much thought. Many, if not most, employees actively use one or more social media sites. This is a cause of concern for business owners, and with good reason. No business owner wants to see his or her business disparaged worldwide by a disgruntled employee firing off a virulent post on Facebook. The threat of damage caused by the disclosure of confidential information about the business or a client or customer is real.

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A Legion of New Employment Laws Ring in the New Year

Employers seeking to successfully navigate their way through 2012 are in for some significant changes in the employment law landscape. Compelled by these uncertain economic times, the California Legislature has enacted a myriad of laws ensuring the payment of wages, insulating most employment applicants from the impact of a negative credit score, and imposing stiff penalties on employers that willfully misclassify their employees as independent contractors.

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A JURY OF YOUR PEERS?

Most jury verdicts do not end up in the news.  Generally, they play out in courts across America with very little fanfare. No cameras, or reporters, no Nancy Grace. But every so often, and mostly in criminal cases, the jury’s verdict is so inconsistent with the court of public opinion that it becomes a headline […]

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