Yes, California Employers, It Really Is Time to Update Your NDAs

The following is a guest blog post by Tyler M. Paetkau, Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau, Redwood City, CA. Tyler represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor law, including counseling and litigation regarding trade secrets and unfair competition.

Now is a particularly good time for California employers to update and revise their agreements with employees respecting trade secrets and other confidential and proprietary information (NDAs), based on several recent, noteworthy legal developments. Review your NDAs and make these three changes. Continue reading

Checklist: What to Include in Anti-Harassment Policies

thinkstockphotos-466150788Employers not only may be held liable for workplace harassment, but they have the potential for separate liability for not taking reasonable steps to prevent the harassment from occurring. Govt C §12940(k). One step every employer should take is to draft and disseminate an anti-harassment policy. Note that the mere existence of a policy prohibiting harassment isn’t enough to shield the employer from liability. To work as a shield, the policy must be adequate and it must be distributed to employees. Does your client’s policy include all of the elements in this checklist? Continue reading

Watch Out for Probationary Employees Getting Implied Contract Rights

thinkstockphotos-537228660Employers often set up an “introductory” or “probationary” period for initial evaluation of new employees. There’s often a performance evaluation at the end of this period, and employers may believe they have every right to let an employee go if this evaluation is negative. But watch out: Unless employers take the proper precautions, probationary periods may create implied contractual rights to employment on successful completion of the probationary period. In other words, employers may be stuck with the employee despite a poor post-probationary period evaluation. Continue reading

Do CA Employers Have to Give Bereavement Leave?

thinkstockphotos-57563828When a death occurs in an employee’s family, does a California employer have to provide paid time off? The answer: it depends. Continue reading

What’s New in California’s Fair Pay Act, and How Employers Should Respond

ThinkstockPhotos-188094090Although prohibiting gender-based wage discrimination since 1949, California’s Equal Pay Act (Lab C §1197.5) was rarely used as a basis for litigation because its language made it difficult for an aggrieved plaintiff to establish a successful claim. But now that the legislature has amended it, §1197.5  may become more popular with plaintiffs. And employers get more clarity about what is and isn’t allowed.

Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of Requiring Workplace Arbitration

175660493The following is a guest blog post by Jeffrey D. Polsky, a partner at Fox Rothschild LLP, where he counsels employers on California employment law issues, represents them in litigation, and writes for Fox Rothschild’s California Employment Law Blog.

Should employers have mandatory arbitration agreements with their employees? Having tried and arbitrated dozens of cases on behalf of employers, here are what I see as the pros and cons—and where I stand on the question. Continue reading

2 Rules of Thumb for Employee Leave Requests

ThinkstockPhotos-546781590There are so many federal and California laws giving employees the right to take time off work that it’s not surprising to find more than one law governing a particular employee’s leave or absence. But there are two rules of thumb that help employers navigate this often complicated area. Continue reading

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