Can an Employer Require a Lie Detector Test?

man getting hooked up to lie detector machineUnder California law, the answer is “no,” and under federal law it’s “probably not.” But some employers still want to give employees a polygraph, lie detector, or similar test. Continue reading

Can Employers Still Reject Applicants with a Criminal History?

woman interviewing job applicantWhen and how employers may consider criminal convictions continues to be a hot topic, both in California and nationally. Against this backdrop, AB 1008 amended the Fair Employment and Housing Act to preclude most employers from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal record or conviction history until after a conditional employment offer is made, and imposed new notice and disclosure requirements if this information is sought. Continue reading

Checklist for Employers Conducting Misconduct Investigations

Checking off list for employers to take when investigating employee misconductWhenever an employer learns of employee behavior that’s inappropriate, unlawful, or violates company policies, it’s time to investigate. California law may require an employer investigation (e.g., for harassment), but even if not legally required, a prompt, fair, and reasonable investigation can help prevent or defend against a potential legal claim. Here’s a handy checklist for employer internal investigations. Continue reading

Employees Are Entitled to Rest

Under California law, employees are entitled to rest breaks based on time worked.  Here are five things every employer and employee should know about employee rest breaks. Continue reading

New Year, New Laws for Employment Lawyers

The California legislature has enacted several new laws that will affect employers and employment lawyers. Here are some of the key statutory changes you need to know about. Continue reading

8 Guidelines for Writing Reference Letters

When a former employer agrees to give a reference, it must tread very carefully—a misrepresentation can result in a lawsuit. This leads some employers to go with a “no reference” or “limited reference” policy. But that approach harms good employees who can’t get the good references they deserve, and in extreme cases, it increases the former employer’s risk of being sued for negligent failure to warn about unsuitable employees. There’s a solution: Follow these truthful reference guidelines. Continue reading

6 Things Every CA Employer Should Know About Sexual Harassment Prevention Training

The recent allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has renewed awareness of sexual harassment issues in the American public, and hopefully in American employers. California has long required sexual harassment prevention training, but many employers have questions about how it works. Here are some answers. Continue reading

Checklist: Make Sure Employment Practices Comply with IRCA

Employers often find that ensuring compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) can be tricky. This handy checklist will help employers who are establishing their practices and will serve as a confirmation tool for those employers who believe they have a compliant practice. Continue reading

Unlimited Vacation?

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. Continue reading

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