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4 HR Tips for a New Business to Consider

If you’re starting a small business in California, hats off to you! We encourage and support entrepreneurial, and, after years assisting small businesses handle legal issues, we understand that you may face some challenges and hope this blog post helps to prepare you.4 human resources-related laws to consider

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How to Respond to An Employer’s Request for Disability Accommodation

How is a Los Angeles employer supposed to respond to an employee’s disclosure of a disability? Under the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”), an employer has a duty to make a reasonable adjustment for the employee’s disability – an adjustment or modification that allows the employee to do the job. For purposes of the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, which can include basic tasks (walking, reading, bending, and communicating) and major bodily functions (functions of the immune system, digestion, bladder, brain, respiratory, endocrine, and reproductive systems, to name a few). Almost 20% of the workforce includes employees with disabilities.

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Avoiding Holiday Party Blunders

With the holiday day season just around the corner, it is important for Los Angeles employers to consider a few guidelines in order to keep both frivolous and legitimate employment claims to a minimum.

  1. Religion

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What Suffices as an Employer’s Failure to Accommodate Under ADA?

A law professor who was suspended for allegedly engaging in an angry verbal exchange with a fellow school employee has filed suit against the law school, claiming that the school violated the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) when they declined to accommodate him for his apparent depression and Asperger’s syndrome. Under the ADA, an employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to the known disability of a qualified applicant or employee if it would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of the employer’s business.

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How to Avoid Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

What is Religious Discrimination? Religious discrimination in the workplace involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs and/or treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion or because of his or her connection with a religious organization or group. California and federal law protects anyone who has sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Additionally, the law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, and fringe benefits.

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CA Laws Pertaining to Medical and Family Leave

Various state and federal laws ensure an employee’s right to fair treatment and pay.  One quickly evolving area of California employment law relates to medical and family leave.  Employers and employees alike should be aware of medical and family leave laws and the extent to which they apply to a given employment situation.

Federal law, under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers with fifty or more employees to provide certain employees with flexible leave options.  This leave includes allowing up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave per year to recuperate from a serious health condition, to take care of a family member with a serious health condition, to care for a new child, or to handle certain situations arising from a family member’s military service.

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Unions and California Employee Pay

Various state and federal laws govern the amount of wages to which a Los Angeles employee is entitled.  Because businesses are a frequent target for lawsuits arising from the alleged underpayment of wages to employees, it is important for employers to keep abreast of changes and new interpretations of the laws that apply to California businesses.

A recent case involving a collective bargaining agreement (Vranish v. Exxon Mobil Corp.) illustrates the fact that unionized California employees may be subject to different legal requirements than employees not represented by a union or labor group when it comes to overtime pay.  In this case, a California court ruled on the issue of whether state overtime laws applied to employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

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5 Tips for Firing an Employee in California

Firing employees can be a stressful experience, particularly if you feel that the soon to be former employee may be the litigious type and look for any possible excuse to file an employment claim against you. Unfortunately, for California employers, that is not hard for ex-employees to do. So how can an employer protect itself during the termination process? Read on for tips…

To start, all California employers should have a well-drafted termination checklist to ensure all your legal bases are covered during the process.  Here are five pointers employers can use to start in developing their own checklist:

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Is It Time To Update Your Drug and Alcohol Policy?

The last few years have been ripe with changes in employment law in California, with a specific emphasis on drugs and alcohol in the workplace. As such, California employers who conduct drug and alcohol testing should consider updating their drug and alcohol policies in 2016. Here’s why…

1. Medical Marijuana Is Here To Stay. While still illegal under federal law, California allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes. How is your business supposed to respond? Read more on the nuances of marijuana in the workplace here.

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Does FMLA Leave Apply to My Employees?

The FMLA, or the Family Medical Leave Act, was intended to balance the needs of California employers with the needs of their employees when employees had to take extended medical leaves for serious medical conditions or to care for family members. FMLA applies to any employer in the private sector who engages in commerce or in an industry or activity affecting commerce, and who has 50 or more employees each working day during at least 20 calendar weeks in the current or preceding year. Whether an employee receives paid FMLA leave should be clearly explained in the employee’s agreement and in your company employment handbook.

Who is eligible for FMLA leave?

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