Lessons on Social Media in the Workplace

485226707The following is a guest blog post by Tyler M. Paetkau, a partner with Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Tyler represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He’s a frequent author and speaker on labor and employment law issues, and the former Chair of the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California.

The workplace has certainly been affected by the explosion of social media. Courts and administrative agencies are grappling with complex issues involving employee personal privacy, harassment, defamation, trade secret misappropriation, and union-organizing efforts in the age of social media. Although the rules are far from clear, there is some guidance for employers out there. Continue reading

Get Your Vacation Policy Right, and Then Relax!

455144299Enjoying vacation time this summer? We all need a vacation at some point, and thankfully many employers provide for paid vacation leave. But as with many wage and hour issues, employers get themselves into legal trouble by improperly handling paid vacation. Here’s an overview of pitfalls and a checklist for employers to get their vacation policy right. Continue reading

Opening a Law Practice? Pay Attention to Tax Issues

460413025You’ve decided to open your own law office and are ready for your clients’ cases, but are you also ready to handle the tax issues that go hand-in-hand with running your own business? Continue reading

Avoid Apple’s Legal Headaches Over Final Paychecks

465694967In the recently certified class action against Apple for wage and hour law violations, one of the plaintiffs’ allegations is that employees who quit or were dismissed weren’t given final paychecks in a timely manner as required by law. This is such an avoidable problem for employers! California has stringent requirements on the manner and time for payment of an employee’s final wages—all employers need to do is follow them.
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Should You Go on the Offense Against a Wrongful Termination Plaintiff?

493444849When sued by a former employee for wrongful termination, many employers feel that the best defense is a strong offense and want to attack back with a cross-complaint. But is this a good game plan? Continue reading

Conducting a Fair Workplace Investigation

475850687Every employment attorney at some point will be asked either to conduct or assist with a workplace investigation. Attorneys taking on this role will need to act as a neutral fact finder and refrain from zealous advocacy, a change a pace for many. Continue reading

Got an Employment Case? Consider Mediation

mediation_80405170Deciding whether and when to mediate an employment case can be complex, but here are some factors that will help both sides of the case make the decision. Continue reading

Employee Poaching

477986347Poaching employees from a rival company has risks. So does agreeing with your rivals not to poach employees from each other. Potential poachers beware… Continue reading

Action Plan for Handling Harassment Claims

79166511Just in case employers have forgotten how critical it is to avoid and properly handle harassment claims, the recent $1.5 million settlement against JPMorgan should serve as a reminder. Advise all employers to take action and have a plan to protect employees and minimize harassment claims. Continue reading

Protecting Company Secrets: Checklist for Making a Plan

186300420If you represent businesses, you know how important it is to protect their trade secrets. A crucial part of that effort is developing and implementing a trade secret protection plan. Specific company needs may vary, and plans have to be crafted with those needs in mind, but some elements should be included in any trade secret protection plan. Continue reading

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