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As Charter School Union Organizing Increases, Employers Must be Vigilant in Opposing Organizing Efforts

In recent years, there has been an uptick in union organizing focusing on California charter schools. Traditionally, education related labor groups focused on organizing large public school districts, but with over 1,200 charter schools in California, groups like the California Teachers Association have shifted gears to try to bring unions into charter schools. Such organizing efforts often occur surreptitiously, and relatively quickly; if charter schools are not vigilant in their approach to labor groups, they can quickly be entangled in lengthy union negotiations which can divert attention from curriculum development and student growth.

CA Revives Former DJ’s Disability and Leave Claims Against Univision Radio

What is a disability? And when are employers on notice to provide employees leave? These were some of the questions raised in the California Court of Appeals (Second Appellate District) November 15, 2016 decision, Soria v. Univision Radio Los Angeles, Inc.

California Statewide and Local Minimum Wage Rates to Increase in 2017

The California minimum wage is scheduled to increase on January 1, 2017 to $10.50 per hour for businesses employing 26 or more employees. Small employers with 25 or fewer employees will not see an increase until 2018. The increase is a result of SB-3, which was signed into law earlier this year. The law will increase California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour over 6 years, with cost of living increases scheduled thereafter.

Impact of President Trump Likely Limited for California Employers

The new president will likely bring substantial shifts in federal government policy, but California employers will be less affected by the changes because California has so many of its own employment laws. Here are some predictions regarding how California employers might be affected by potential changes in the law under President Trump.

Soto v. Motel 6 Operating, L.P.: Employees’ Wage Statements Need Not Include Accrued Vacation Time Prior to Termination

All California employers should know by now that if they have a paid vacation policy, the vacation benefits constitute a form of “wages” under California law. (See Murphy v. Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc. (2007) 40 Cal.4th 1094, 1103; Suastez v. Plastic Dress-Up Co. (1982) 31 Cal.3d 774, 784.) California employers are also likely readily familiar with the requirements of Labor Code section 226(a), which require employees’ wage statements to contain certain information, including gross wages earned.

Does Legalized Marijuana Impact Workplace Policies?

With recreational marijuana now legal in California, many employers are wondering how this impacts their drug free workplace policies and their response to an applicant/employee drug test that is positive for marijuana. Contrary to what many employees likely will believe, the new law does not restrict employers' rights to continue enforcing policies that prohibit marijuana use. The new law expressly states that that it should not be construed or interpreted to:

California Supreme Court Asked to Consider Associational Disability Discrimination Case

On October 7, 2016, Dependable Highway Express filed a petition asking the California Supreme Court to review a decision to allow a non-disabled employee to pursue his claim of association based disability discrimination. The employee alleged that he was terminated from employment after he made complaints about changes to his work schedule which impacted his ability to be at home during his disabled son’s treatments.

Finally! Something That's Not "Protected Activity" in California

Executive Summary: It turns out that “protected activity” sufficient to make out a retaliation claim in California is not as broad as it may sometimes seem. On November 9, 2016, the Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment for the employer in Dinslage v. City and County of San Francisco (A142365). The Court held that an employee can only state a prima facie case for retaliation under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act when the protected activity is directed at an unlawful employment practice.

Senate Bill 1241: New Legislation Requiring Employment Disputes to be Adjudicated in California Under California Law

It is common practice for employers to utilize forum selection and choice of law provisions in employment agreements in order to require employees to have employment-related disputes adjudicated outside of California and/or under the law of a state other than California.

California’s New State-Sponsored Retirement Program to Debut Soon

In September 2016, the California legislature amended the California Secure Choice Savings Trust Act of 2012 (“Secure Choice”). This law will eventually require employers with at least five employees, and which do not offer employer-sponsored retirement benefits, to establish automatic payroll deductions for their employees to participate in the Secure Choice retirement savings plan. Employers will only act as intermediaries and remit the payments to the state, which will administer the program. The state has already established the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board to administer the program.