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San Francisco Bay Area Employers Must Comply with Commuter Benefits Program by September 30, 2014

Covered San Francisco Bay Area employers without an already-existing and compliant commuter benefits plan have until September 30, 2014, to select at least one of four commuter benefit options, notify employees of how to take advantage of the benefits, and register with the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program (CBP).

LOCAL JURISDICTIONS “BAN THE BOX”

To combat high unemployment rates amongst individuals with criminal histories, in recent years many state and local government have enacted “Ban the Box” laws. These laws are so named because they generally prohibit employers from asking applicants about their criminal histories early in the hiring process—including by requiring applicants to check a box on an employment application indicating the existence of a criminal history. San Francisco recently enacted such a law, which tightly regulates employers.

California Court Gives the Green Light for Arbitration of Wrongful Termination Suit

Sanchez v. CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC, B244772 (March 4, 2014): The California Court of Appeal recently found that an employer’s arbitration agreement and dispute resolution rules and procedures (DRRP) are not “unduly harsh, oppressive, or one-sided” even though they set limitations on discovery and require the employee to complete an arbitration request form. The three-judge panel rejected the trial court’s decision to deny the employer’s motion for arbitration on the basis that the arbitration agreement and DRRP “are permeated with unconscionability.”

California Court of Appeal: Fitness for Duty OK after Reinstatement from FMLA Leave

Susan White was an investigator for the LA County District Attorney. She makes a number of errors and acted erratically over the course of several months. She was making her co-workers nervous about her judgment. She was in a dangerous job, sometimes involving arrest warrants and the like. She had problems giving testimony at trials, resulting in a defense lawyer filing perjury charges against her.

California Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Whether Discrimination Claim Barred if Employee Used Another’s Social Security Number When Applying for Position

The California Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in an appeal brought by a former employee who claims the lower courts incorrectly determined that his disability discrimination claim was barred because he misappropriated someone else’s Social Security number to apply for the job.

California Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Whether Discrimination Claim Barred if Employee Used Another’s Social Security Number When Applying for Position

The California Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in an appeal brought by a former employee who claims the lower courts incorrectly determined that his disability discrimination claim was barred because he misappropriated someone else’s Social Security number to apply for the job.

California Chamber's Job Killer List - Employment Law

Contrary to what you may think, the California Legislature has not finished perfecting the laws governing the California workplace. But, they persevere.

California Court of Appeal Holds Employers Must Establish Interstate Commerce for FAA Preemption

In Lane v. Francis Capital Mgmt. LLC (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 11, 2014), a California Court of Appeal held a former employee’s claim for unpaid wages were exempted from arbitration by California Labor Code section 229.

VIDEO RECORDING AND THE WORKPLACE

According to the Pew Research Center, about 58% of Americans own a smartphone, and 90% own a cellphone. Nearly every portable electronic device available to employees contains sophisticated video and audio recording capability. Anyone can become a mass distributor of recorded information on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Vine. Many of us record every-day events that would simply evaporate into history without cameras on our phones and the ability to mass-publish via the internet. So what does all this mean for the workplace?

Supervisor’s Conduct Supported Same-Sex Harassment Claim, California Court Rules

Finding an intern had produced sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude his supervisor engaged in a pervasive pattern of harassing conduct “because of sex,” including numerous gifts, frequent lunch purchases, along with sexual jokes and displays of pornographic computer images, the California Court of Appeal has allowed his harassment suit to proceed, reversing a lower court’s summary judgment against the plaintiff. Lewis v. City of Benicia, No. A134078 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 26, 2014). The Court further found the trial court erred in excluding evidence of the alleged harassment in the intern’s retaliation claim against the City of Benicia and ordered a retrial on the retaliation claim.