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.

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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

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

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

Fired Employees Can’t Just Sue and Wait for a Payout

ThinkstockPhotos-187980110An employee who’s been laid off or fired and believes that it’s due to unlawful discrimination can’t simply sue and then sit around waiting for a payout from his or her former employer. Rather, the law requires that he or she get out there and look for another job—or risk a hit to any back pay damages. Continue reading

New Year, New Laws for Employment Lawyers

464956543The California legislature has enacted several new laws that will affect every employer and employment lawyer in 2016. Here’s an overview of some of the key statutory changes you need to know about. Continue reading

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