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Do CA Employers Have to Give Time Off for Religious Holidays?

The short answer is probably. No California law requires private employers to provide employees paid or unpaid time off for secular or national holidays (although many do), but when it comes to religious holidays, there’s a different legal landscape. Continue reading

Should Employers Use Progressive Discipline?

Employment in California is presumed to be terminable “at will,” i.e., employees can be fired for any reason (unless it’s an illegal reason) without warning. See Lab C §2922. This often comes as a surprise to employees who expect to get notice before their employment is terminated. That some employers adopt progressive disciplinary policies may make it even more confusing. Continue reading

Unlimited Vacation?

Some employers have stopped giving exempt employees a specific amount of vacation each year and have instead adopted “unlimited vacation” policies. This sounds like great news for employees, but it may actually be better news for employers. Continue reading

For Retaliation or Whistleblower Claims, Knowing When (and How) to Exhaust Administrative Remedies Is Key

The multitude of federal and state antiretaliation and whistleblower statutes are, on the whole, quite similar in their basic structure: They all prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for engaging in some type of “protected activity” like reporting violations of law, unsafe working conditions, or gross mismanagement and waste. But this macro similarity can obscure subtle, yet critical, differences among the statutes that practitioners need to be aware of. Continue reading

Should Employers Use Intelligence and Personality Tests in Hiring?

When vetting job applicants, employers want to use as many tools as possible. In addition to testing for particular skills, employers may consider intelligence or personality tests. But these types of tests may be a bad idea: they have questionable benefits and can put the employer in legal hot water. Continue reading

What CA Employers Need to Know About Using Foreign Labor Contractors

To combat the trafficking and exploitation of foreign workers, the California Legislature enacted SB 477 in 2014 to strengthen regulations on “foreign labor contractors” who recruit foreign workers to relocate to California. See Bus & P C §§9998–9998.11. The law put most of the compliance burden on the labor contractors, but there are implications for employers, too. Continue reading

Employer Checklist: Responding to Request for an Assistive Animal

A possible accommodation for an employee’s disability may be the use of an assistive animal in the workplace. What considerations should go into deciding whether to allow this accommodation? Here’s a handy checklist to help employers respond—keeping in mind that they have only 10 days in which to do so. Continue reading

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