Job Interview Questions: Steer Clear of Sex Identity and Sexual Orientation

140155267There are some interview or application questions that might elicit information that could get an employer into legal hot water if used to make an employment decision. Questions that touch on sex identity and sexual orientation should be off-limits. Here are some acceptable and unacceptable questions to help employers avoid problems in this area. Continue reading

No Butts at Work, But Some Exceptions

ThinkstockPhotos-487538163Smoking in California workplaces has been prohibited for decades. But just because you see or smell tobacco smoke in a workplace doesn’t mean the law is being broken. Understand the law and its exclusions so you can properly advise your clients. Continue reading

Marijuana Legalization: What’s on the Horizon for California Employers?

ThinkstockPhotos-511371716The following is a guest blog post from Gina Roccanova. Ms. Roccanova is a Principal at Meyers Nave and Chair of the Labor and Employment Practice Group, where she serves public and private clients with nearly 20 years of experience in negotiations, counseling, litigation, arbitration, and training.

With political backing from Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, financial support from Sean Parker, and a significant coalition of pro-legalization groups, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) is likely to appear on the California ballot in November. According to numerous polls, a wide majority of voters support the initiative. If it passes, adults age 21 and over will have the right to possess, use, and grow limited amounts of marijuana for personal, recreational use. What does this mean for California employers? The answer depends on a situation that’s increasingly familiar in today’s world: employers will have to balance the pros and cons inherent in following the regulatory status quo against responding to changing societal views. Continue reading

Spouses in the Workplace: Allow or Prohibit?

ThinkstockPhotos-496514968Employers often face the issue of whether to allow spouses or other family members to work together. Regardless the side the employer falls on, there is potential liability lurking. Continue reading

Sabbaticals Aren’t Just for Academics Anymore

ThinkstockPhotos-484329786Sabbaticals have been traditionally used in the academic setting to give university teachers one year of paid leave to study or travel for every seven years worked. Now some private, nonacademic employers—particularly in the “new economy”—are grabbing onto the idea as yet another creative perk for employees. Continue reading

Is Telecommuting a Reasonable Accommodation?

200276540-001Employers are often asked to allow an employee to telecommute as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. Should employers always grant such requests? What considerations come into play? Here’s a checklist to help employers consider and respond to a request to telecommute as an accommodation. Continue reading

How to Protect Rights of Transgender Employees

ThinkstockPhotos-496092954Most employers know that discrimination against transgender and other gender-nonconforming persons is prohibited in California. But many employers have been confused about what legal rights transgender employees have and how to protect them. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing has offered help with its newly-released Transgender Rights in the Workplace: FAQ for Employers. Continue reading

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