7 Topics Not to Discuss with a Job Applicant

When it comes to job applications and pre-employment interviews, there are certain topics that are off limits.  Here are seven topics to stay away from. Continue reading

Does No Physician Report Mean No Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit?

The following is a guest blog post by Michael W. Sullivan of Michael Sullivan & Associates LLP, an aggressive workers’ compensation defense firm with offices throughout California. Mr. Sullivan is a bar-certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law.

An employee who suffers residual effects from an injury and can’t return to work is entitled to a supplemental job displacement benefit. The benefit comes in the form of a nontransferable voucher, and often is simply referred to as the “voucher.” An employer’s duty to investigate liability for the voucher is triggered by a Physician’s Return to Work & Voucher report (RTW Report). If there’s no RTW Report, does that mean an employer can’t be liable for the voucher? Continue reading

Are There Consequences to Taking the Fifth in a Workers’ Comp Case?

The following is a guest blog post by Michael W. Sullivan of Michael Sullivan & Associates LLP, an aggressive workers’ compensation defense firm with offices throughout California. Mr. Sullivan is a bar-certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law.

The Fifth Amendment protects a person from answering “official questions in any other proceeding, civil or criminal, formal or informal, where he or she reasonably believes the answers might incriminate him or her in a criminal case.” Spielbauer v County of Santa Clara (2009) 45 C4th 704, 714. This includes workers’ compensation proceedings. But does invoking the Fifth Amendment have any consequences for an injured worker? Continue reading

6 Ways Employers May Inadvertently Engage in Age Discrimination

Employers generally can’t use an applicant’s age as a hiring criterion without violating California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (see Govt C §12940(a)) and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 USC §§621–634). Most employers know this and make sure not to ask about the applicant’s age. But they often ask other questions or include language in a job posting that run afoul of the law. Continue reading

Law Is Clarified on Using Prior Salary of Job Applicants

In 2017, California enacted a law precluding employers from asking about prior salary history and requiring employers to give applicants, on reasonable request, the pay scale for a position. This law raised many questions for employers, including who’s “an applicant,” what’s a “pay scale,” and what constitutes a “reasonable request?” Now we have the clarifications. Continue reading

When Must Employee Travel Time Be Paid?

The following is a guest blog post by Richard J. Simmons of Sheppard Mullin in Los Angeles. He represents employers in various labor and employment matters.

California law establishes unique rules governing when time spent is compensable “hours worked.” How these rules are applied to travel time is continuing to evolve. Continue reading

DOL’s Proposal for Exempt Employees Doesn’t Meet CA’s Standard

The following is a guest blog post by Richard J. Simmons of Sheppard Mullin in Los Angeles. He represents employers in various labor and employment matters.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a new salary standard for exempt employees under the federal wage and hour law. But it falls below California’s standard. Continue reading

7 Things to Include in a Grievance Policy

An internal grievance procedure can be an effective tool for preventing wrongful termination lawsuits. Most employers have some form of grievance procedure in place, but few are used by employees and, when used, they’re often ineffective. Try including some or all of the following elements for an internal grievance policy that will actually work. Continue reading

15 Provisions to Include in an Independent Contractor Agreement

Hiring an independent contractor? Make sure to have a contract that will increase the defensibility of the independent contractor relationship—because if you can’t defend it, you will pay dearlyContinue reading

Checklist to Ensure Compliance with Disability Discrimination Laws

Every employer should have a program in place to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The following checklist of steps for employers to take could, at a minimum, constitute such a program. Continue reading