Archives: Disability and Leave

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Employee Who Failed to Provide Additional Doctor Notes to Support New Restrictions May Still Survive Summary Judgment

Last week, in Thomsen v. Georgia-Pacific Corrugated, LLC, a federal district court in California held that an employer might have violated its obligations under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) when it simply told an employee to return to his doctor to obtain a note outlining additional work restrictions.   The Court held that a … Continue Reading

Los Angeles City Council Votes to Expand Paid Sick Leave

The Los Angeles City Council voted 13-1 in favor of a proposed ordinance that would permit Los Angeles workers to earn at least six paid sick leave days annually. The new paid sick leave entitlement would double the mandatory minimum under California’s statewide paid sick leave law. The proposed ordinance, which still needs to be … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Expands FEHA’s Reasonable Accommodation Requirements to Employees Who are Associated with a Person with Disabilities

In Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc., decided April 4, 2016, the California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District held California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees who are associated with a person with disabilities. Plaintiff Luis Castro-Ramirez’s son was in need of a kidney transplant, required … Continue Reading

Santa Monica, California, Joins Patchwork of Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Laws

California’s City of Santa Monica’s City Council has adopted an ordinance that enacts minimum wage and paid sick leave requirements for covered employees as well as new regulations pertaining to service charges and surcharges. Ordinance Number 2509 became effective on February 25, 2016, although its provisions will not be implemented until July 1, 2016. The … Continue Reading

What California Retail Employers Need to Know About Accommodating Pregnancy

Navigating the California laws on discrimination and accommodation of pregnant employees is a significant challenge for retail employers. The Golden State’s protections for pregnant employees are many and they differ from those of federal law and of other states. Pregnancy Disability Leave Law Under the Pregnancy Disability Leave Law, which applies to employers with at … Continue Reading

An Employee’s Request for a Disability or Religious Accommodation Is Considered Protected Activity Under Change to the Fair Employment and Housing Act

Effective January 1, 2016, an employee’s request for an accommodation for a disability or for religious reasons is considered to be “protected activity” for a retaliation claim under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).… Continue Reading

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid During the Reasonable Accommodation Process

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) both require employers to make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities, provided that the accommodations do not impose an “undue hardship” on the employer. By definition, a reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job, to an employee’s … Continue Reading

DLSE Issues First Bit of Guidance on New Paid Sick Leave Law

As California employers are aware, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (Labor Code section 245, et seq.) went into effect this year. Under the Act, employers may choose between granting sick leave under an “up-front” method or an accrual method. Employers are permitted to offer more sick leave than the Act requires, but … Continue Reading

Amendments to California Paid Sick Leave Law Effective

Significant amendments to California’s Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, also known as the California Paid Sick Leave Law, went into effect immediately upon Governor Jerry Brown’s signature on Assembly Bill no. 304 on July 13, 2015. Key provisions of the Amendment affect calculation of the rate of pay, method of accrual of paid … 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 … Continue Reading

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 … 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 … Continue Reading

Follow-up on: Be Careful What You Say—It Might End Up in a Declaration to Defeat Summary Judgment

In a recent Ninth Circuit decision, the court held that “a piece of evidence [may not be disregarded] at the summary judgment stage solely based on its self-serving nature.” As a result, declarations created after summary judgment motions are filed may be sufficient to create genuine issues of material fact and, therefore, defeat summary judgment. … Continue Reading

Be Careful What You Say—It Might End Up in a Declaration to Defeat Summary Judgment

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed summary judgment for an employer, finding that a former employee’s self-serving declaration and deposition testimony regarding alleged disability discrimination were sufficient to create a triable issue of fact. The Ninth Circuit also held the employer’s denial of the accommodation the employee requested “chilled” the exercise of the … Continue Reading

New California Family Rights Act Regulations Become Effective July 1

Amendments to the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) regulations, going into effect on July 1, 2015, are meant to clarify a number of uncertainties, align the CFRA regulations more closely with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) regulations (where the laws are consistent), and ensure employers and employees have a clear understanding of … Continue Reading

Employee’s Violation of Company Policy Justified Firing While on Leave, California High Court Holds

An employer did not violate California’s Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) by terminating an employee who engaged in outside employment while out on CFRA medical leave, conduct prohibited by the employer’s policy, the California Supreme Court has ruled. Richey v. AutoNation Inc., No. S207536 (Cal. Jan. 29, 2015). The Court said the plaintiff had “no greater … Continue Reading

New California Paid Sick Leave FAQs From the DLSE

The California Division of Labor Standards & Enforcement (“DLSE”) has published additional FAQs regarding California’s new Paid Sick Leave law.  These FAQs, dated January 2015, can be found here.  Below is a summary of the DLSE’s FAQs: The Wage Theft Prevention Act Notice (“Notice”):  The new Paid Sick Leave law is clear that employees hired … Continue Reading

Court Rules School District Should Have Done More to Accommodate Teacher Battling Cancer

In December 2014, the California Court of Appeal (“Court”) found that Morongo Unified School District’s (“School District”) failure to reassign a disabled teacher to her preferred position raised a triable issue of fact.  Swanson v. Morongo Unified School Dist. (Cal. App. Ct. 12/23/14), Case No G050290.  In doing so, the Court reversed the School District’s … Continue Reading

California Paid Sick Leave: What You Need to Know for 2015

This article is originally published on Inside Counsel. View the original here. California has joined a growing number of jurisdictions mandating employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees, including part-time and temporary workers. Below is a summary of the California law’s key points: Effective dates There are two dates to keep in mind: … Continue Reading

When a Workers’ Compensation Injury Occurs, Employers Should Discuss Possible Accommodations With Employee

Both California and federal disability laws require employers to engage in an “interactive process” discussion with employees who have disabilities about potential accommodations. Employees who are unable to work because of an occupational injury may be considered disabled because “working” is a major life activity under California law.  Many employers are used to having the workers’ compensation … Continue Reading

UPDATE: San Diego Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance Provisions On Hold, To Go To Popular Vote

The San Diego City Council passed an Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance (“Ordinance”) for the City of San Diego earlier this year. The Ordinance was planned to take effect in January 2015 and April 2015 for the minimum wage increase and earned sick leave requirements, respectively. For more information on the Ordinance, please … Continue Reading
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