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.
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.
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.
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.
Employers 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.
Although 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.
The 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.