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

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

10 Tips for Workplace Investigation Interviews

Businesspeople at meeting

Given the employer’s duty to “take all reasonable steps” to prevent discrimination, harassment, and other unlawful practices (Govt C §12940(h)(5), (k); 29 CFR §1604.11(d)), employment lawyers can expect to  conduct—or assist a client in conducting—a workplace investigation. Although most will be well-acquainted with the fact-finding process, the role of a litigator and the role of an investigator are quite different and implicate different goals, interests, and naturally, a whole host of different problems. Continue reading

Employee Leave Law F.A.Q.s

It can be very confusing to calculate entitlements under employee leave laws—particularly the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)—and even more complicated trying to figure out how the laws interact with each other. Continue reading

Employers: 9 Provisions You Need in a Whistleblower Policy

ThinkstockPhotos-497691905A potential whistleblower need only run a quick Internet search to find many attorneys ready to take his or her case. Knowing this, employers need to be proactive: Any employer handbook or policy and procedures manual should include provisions aimed at educating all workers about the rights and obligations of whistleblowers. Continue reading

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