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8 Guidelines for Writing Reference Letters

When a former employer agrees to give a reference, it must tread very carefully—a misrepresentation can result in a lawsuit. This leads some employers to go with a “no reference” or “limited reference” policy. But that approach harms good employees who can’t get the good references they deserve, and in extreme cases, it increases the former employer’s risk of being sued for negligent failure to warn about unsuitable employees. There’s a solution: Follow these truthful reference guidelines. Continue reading

6 Things Every CA Employer Should Know About Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

The recent allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has renewed awareness of sexual harassment issues in the American public, and hopefully in American employers. California has long required sexual harassment prevention training, but many employers have questions about how it works. Here are some answers. Continue reading

Does an Employer Have to Give Severance Pay?

The short answer is “No.” But this may not be the smart answer. Although there’s no legal requirement to provide departing employees with severance pay, employers should always consider doing so in exchange for a general release of claims the employee may have against the employer. Continue reading

Checklist: Make Sure Employment Practices Comply with IRCA

Employers often find that ensuring compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) can be tricky. This handy checklist will help employers who are establishing their practices and will serve as a confirmation tool for those employers who believe they have a compliant practice. Continue reading

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

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