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Labor and Employment Law

Employment Law Essentials  /   Discrimination Law  /   Wage and Hour Rights

Employment Law Essentials

Photo of Melissa Johnson speakingA Short Summary of California At-will Employment

California employment is most often at-will, per Labor Code section 2922. “At-will” employment allows an employer to do almost anything it wants with respect to employment. It can rearrange, modify, change, eliminate, and add jobs, hours, compensation, benefits, schedules, duties, titles. It can hire, fire, transfer, demote, promote, train, and not train employees...

An Overview of At-Will Employment (all states)

Nearly every state in the United States has a legal doctrine called “at-will employment.” At-will employment allows an employer to do almost anything it wants with respect to employment. It can rearrange, modify, change, eliminate, and add jobs, hours, compensation, benefits, schedules, duties, titles. It can hire, fire, transfer, demote, promote, train, and not train employees...

Independent Contractor or Employee? Federal and California Law

Who controls your work? The general rule is that a person is an independent contractor if the employer has the right to control or direct the RESULTS of the work but not HOW the work is done or even WHAT work is done...

Whistleblowers and Their Rights

What is a whistleblower? Whistleblowers are employees who report wrongdoing by the federal, state or local government, or by a private entity, when that wrongdoing harms the public. Usually, but not always, the wrongdoing will benefit the government or private entity that engages in the wrongdoing. The purpose of whistleblower protection laws is to allow employees to report, stop or testify about this kind of wrongdoing...

Summary of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

California law and federal law both protect employees from discrimination due to their need to take a leave of absence from work due to s serious medical condition that the employee has, or that an immediate family member has. The two laws are nearly identical, but there are a few important differences, which are noted below. The most significant difference relates to pregnancy leave, and is discussed below...

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Intermittent Leave

An eligible employee is entitled to leave up to a total of 12 weeks “Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee.” 29 U.S.C. section 2612(a)(1)(D). “FMLA leave may be taken ”intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule“ under certain circumstances. Intermittent leave is FMLA leave taken in separate blocks...

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Discrimination Law

What Is Unlawful Employment Discrimination under CALIFORNIA LAW

Employment discrimination is against the public policy of California and the United States. Many people misunderstand the meaning of employment discrimination. “Discrimination” does not mean an employer has to be fair, respectful or has to make good decisions. Workplace discrimination means the employer treats one person or group differently from others who are not in the same group, but are similarly situated...

What Is Unlawful Employment Discrimination under FEDERAL LAW?

Employment discrimination is against the public policy of the United States. Many people misunderstand the meaning of employment discrimination. “Discrimination” does not mean an employer has to be fair, respectful or has to make good decisions. Workplace discrimination means the employer treats one person or group differently from others who are not in the same group, but are similarly situated...

Summary of Federal Employees' EEO Discrimination Complaint Process

Federal government employers must follow the same non-discriminationemployment laws that private sector and other public entities must follow. But the entire process is different – so different that there is a need for a guide like this to get you started on the process.

Disability Discrimination in Employment

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. sections 12101 et seq. (ADA) is broad legislation designed to integrate people with disabilities into the mainstream of all aspects of society. The ADA is divided into five sections, called “titles.” Title I covers employment. Titles II, III, IV and V cover public services, public accommodations, telecommunications, and miscellaneous provisions...

Disability Discrimination: Important Differences between the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

This guide summarizes some important differences between the employment-related disability laws in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Government Code sections 12900, et seq. (FEHA) and the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. sections 12101 et seq. (ADA), as of November 2011...

Medical Information and the ADA: Inquiries and Confidentiality

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employer or potential employer is limited in what questions it can ask related to disability. This includes limiting an employer's ability to conduct medical examinations. The ADA also requires an employer to protect the medical confidentiality of job applicants and employees...

Reasonable Accommodation for People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires covered employers to make reasonable accommodation to the known physical or mental limitations of qualified individuals with disabilities, unless it results in undue hardship. Undue hardship is defined as something requiring significant difficulty or expense with respect to the employer's size, financial resources, and the nature of its operations...

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Most everyone knows that workplace sexual harassment is against the law. But what exactly is sexual harassment?...

Pregnancy discrimination is unlawful under California and federal law

FEDERAL RIGHTS: In 1978, Congress amended the Civil Right Act of 1964, Title VII 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e–17, by passing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, "discrimination" means to treat a pregnant employee differently from non-pregnant employees, and adversely...

Do I need an attorney for an EEOC mediation?

In nearly every case, yes, you need your own attorney. The EEOC is not your representative. A mediator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) www.eeoc.gov has one client – the United States of America. Some EEOC mediators are great and will do their best to protect you rights even though they are not your advocate....

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Wage and Hour Rights

Pay Dates for California Employees

California law requires employers to pay employees according to a pre-determined schedule. These requirements are described in this document.

Should I Be Paid for Standby Time? (California Law)

Whether an employer must pay an employee for standby time depends onwhether the time is "controlled standby" or "uncontrolled standby." In simple terms, this means that if the employee cannot use his or her time for personal reasons, the time is controlled and considered time worked. However, as with most areas of the law, applying the rule to each situation requires analysis.

California’s Flat Rate Auto Workers Still Get Minimum Wage, Overtime, Breaks, and All the Stuff Other Workers Get!

Auto mechanics and technicians, like all other non-exempt employees, are entitled to minimum wage, overtime, rest breaks and meal breaks. California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) establishes wage orders that cover wages, hours and working conditions for all California employees, including employees paid a flat rate, piece rate, or a “per job” rate...

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Spencer Johnson McCammon Weekly

Spencer Johnson McCammon Weekly

Topic of the Week

Severance

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Blog of the Week

Opening the Door to a More Democratic UAW

In December the leadership of the United Auto Workers reached a settlement with the Justice Department that opens the door to election of top union officers by referendum vote of the membership. That might well end more than 70 years of one-party control and help democratize a union once known for animated internal debate and competitive leadership contests.

Thought for the Week

"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

List of the Week

from CBS News

Financial relief for Americans

Extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums. To do this, Biden will call on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to re-implement and extend the already defunct moratorium until at least March 31. The new president will also call on the Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs to extend the foreclosure moratoriums for their federally backed mortgages. "These emergency measures are important," Mr. Biden's top economic adviser Brian Deese said on the call with reporters, "There are more than 11 million mortgages guaranteed by the VA, Department of Agriculture and HUD that would be extended."   

Continue "pause" on student loan payments until September 30. The Biden advisers continue to assert Biden still supports his campaign pledge to cancel $10,000 of student loans, but this will take time as it has to go through Congress.  

Top Five News Headlines

  1. What to Do If Your Team Doesn’t Want to Go Back to the Office
  2. Bias Is Built Into Our Brains. But There’s Still Hope.
  3. Troubling study reveals how minor workplace slights can trigger suicidal thoughts in depressed people
  4. The percentage of women who’ve experienced online sexual harassment has doubled since 2017
  5. Cash, Breakfasts and Firings: An All-Out Push to Vaccinate Wary Medical Workers