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

Your Employees Are Probably Doing It, So Have a BYOD Policy

People today can (and do) work from anywhere—connected through the Internet, WiFi, and cloud-based platforms with a variety of mobile devices. This makes preventing confidential and proprietary business information from “walking out the door,” whether intentionally or not, a nightmare for employers. Having a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy may help. Continue reading

Are You Ready for the New Mandatory Sick Leave Law?

Updated: Effective 7/13/15, AB 304 made amendments to the new sick leave law.

The following is a guest blog post by Tyler M. Paetkau, a partner with Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Tyler represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He’s a frequent author and speaker on labor and employment law issues, and the former Chair of the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California.

California employers and employment lawyers have been (hopefully) planning for the new mandatory sick leave law for many months and now it’s finally here! Here’s a look at the law. Continue reading

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