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California Workplace Law Blog

Spreading Eastward? A controversial new measure in San Francisco will impose new regulatory burdens on retailers there. But its supporters say it—and similar measures being debated elsewhere—are good for employees and for business.

Originally posted by Human Resource Executive, the premier publication focused on strategic issues in HR. To view the original post, please click here.

A new set of ordinances that restrict San Francisco retailers in how they manage the scheduling and staffing of their establishments is about to go into effect—and experts say retailers in other parts of the United States had better be paying attention. Continue Reading

Webcast Now Available for Viewing! Managing Employee Leave in the Golden State: Paid Sick Leave, CFRA, FEHA and Many More

Our California Summer E-Series Webinar, Managing Employee Leave in the Golden State Paid Sick Leave, CFRA, FEHA and Many More, is now posted for review. This webinar session outlines best practices for managing leaves, including California’s new paid sick leave mandates, employee leaves of absence, health issues, family issues and pregnancy, just to name a few.

Please visit www.jacksonlewis.com/webinars to download and view the webinar and contact our speakers with any questions:

Lenny Schloss | (213) 689-0404 | Leonora.Schloss@jacksonlewis.com

Cynthia Filla | (213) 689-0404 | FillaC@jacksonlewis.com

Employer to Pay for Emotional Distress Triggered by Random Workplace Drug Testing

This week, in Aro v. Legal Recovery Law Offices, Inc., California Court of Appeal affirmed an intentional infliction of emotional distress award in favor of two employees who were pressured into taking a random, “on-demand” drug test.

The facts

Prior to the drug test at issue, the employer provided employees a revised 2011 employee manual stating, in pertinent part, that the Company reserves the right to test employees for the use of illegal drugs or alcohol where an employee’s job carriers a risk of injury or accident, or after an accident or probable cause. The Plaintiffs were provided the revised handbook containing the drug test policy by e-mail. However, when they asked what changes were made to the handbook, management advised that they should read it and “figure it out” themselves. Continue Reading

Joint Employers Can be Held Liable for Employee Misclassification, California Court Rules

In a wage-and-hour class action filed by food and beverage vendors working in California entertainment arenas, the California Court of Appeal has ruled that a state Labor Code provision making it unlawful for any employer to “engage” in the willful misclassification of an individual as an independent contractor applies not only to the employer actually making the misclassification, but also to any employer who is aware that the co-employer has willfully misclassified their joint employees and fails to remedy the misclassification. Noe v. Superior Court (Levy Premium Foodservice Ltd. P’ship), No. B259570 (Cal. Ct. App. June 1, 2015). However, the Court also held that an employer could not be held jointly liable under Labor Code Section 226.8 based solely on the acts of a co-employer and that the law does not provide a private right of action for enforcement.  Continue Reading

Recorded Webinar Now Available for Viewing: San Francisco Formula Retail Worker Bill of Rights – Are You Safe?

On June 2, Jackson Lewis Shareholder Punam Sarad conducted the San Francisco Formula Retail Worker Bill of Rights – Are You Safe? Webinar to summarize key takeaways from the firm’s previously held in-person panel discussion with the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE). A recording of the webinar has been posted here for your convenience. Please contact Punam Sarad with any questions. Continue Reading

Preventing Workplace Violence Incidents: Five Things You Can Do Today

California employers, is your workplace violence policy up to date? Are you taking all the measures you can to safeguard the workplace from a fatality connected to workplace violence? What follows is some information on high-risk industries, types of workplace violence, and preventative measures.

Why is Workplace Violence Such a Big Issue?

Statistics show that annual nearly two million American workers are victims of workplace violence. It is one of the leading four causes of fatalities over the past 15 years in the workplace. Continue Reading

Court Holds Adjustment Disorder Triggered by Stress at Work Is Not a Disability

A California appellate court recently held that an employee diagnosed with an adjustment disorder triggered by stress caused by her supervisor’s standard oversight of her job performance is not disabled under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation, 2015 Cal.App.LEXIS 455 (May 26, 2015). In so doing, the court bucked the current trend of expanding protection of employees unable to work due to medical conditions. Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Finds Plaintiff Knowingly Agreed to Arbitration of Title VII Claims

A recent decision by the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s denial of an employer’s motion to compel arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). This decision is notable because the applicable dispute resolution policy, outlining the terms of arbitration, was contained within the company’s policy manual and detached from the employee’s signed acknowledgment of receipt of the manual. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s decision on the grounds the language of the employer’s dispute resolution policy, separately outlined within the company’s policy manual, expressly indicated a waiver of the right to a judicial forum for civil rights claims such that the employee “knowingly” agreed to arbitrate his Title VII claim. Michael Ashbey v. Archstone Property Management, Inc., No. 12-55912 (9th Cir., May 12, 2015). Continue Reading

Los Angeles Minimum Wage Set to Increase to $15 Per Hour by 2020

On May 19, 2015, the Los Angeles City Council passed proposed legislation to considerably increase the City of Los Angeles’ minimum wage. The measure—which was approved by an overwhelming 14-1 vote—directs the City Attorney to write an Ordinance that will, if approved by a final vote of the Council and then the Mayor, increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020. Continue Reading