Should Employers Use Intelligence and Personality Tests in Hiring?

When vetting job applicants, employers want to use as many tools as possible. In addition to testing for particular skills, employers may consider intelligence or personality tests. But these types of tests may be a bad idea: they have questionable benefits and can put the employer in legal hot water. Continue reading

Employer Checklist: Responding to Request for an Assistive Animal

A possible accommodation for an employee’s disability may be the use of an assistive animal in the workplace. What considerations should go into deciding whether to allow this accommodation? Here’s a handy checklist to help employers respond—keeping in mind that they have only 10 days in which to do so. Continue reading

Employee Leave For Kids’ School Activities

Being a working parent is challenging, but California law provides some help. There are legal protections for employees who are parents of school-aged children and are juggling the demands of school issues and work. Here’s a look at the legal protections and what employers are required to provide. 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

Sabbaticals Aren’t Just for Academics Anymore

ThinkstockPhotos-484329786Sabbaticals have been traditionally used in the academic setting to give university teachers one year of paid leave to study or travel for every seven years worked. Now some private, nonacademic employers—particularly in the “new economy”—are grabbing onto the idea as yet another creative perk for employees. Continue reading

Is Telecommuting a Reasonable Accommodation?

200276540-001Employers are often asked to allow an employee to telecommute as a reasonable accommodation for a disability. Should employers always grant such requests? What considerations come into play? Here’s a checklist to help employers consider and respond to a request to telecommute as an accommodation. Continue reading

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