The importance of an employee handbook cannot be overstated. In the past, employers would hire their staff and give verbal instructions about the expectations of their job, if they provided any at all. Today, however, with employment laws changing frequently (often each July and January) and with more and more lawsuits arising out of policy…Details
If you are considering requiring your employees or prospective employees to submit to workplace drug and alcohol testing, you would be well advised to know how far your rights as an employer extend under both federal and California law.
Drug testing in California
At the state level, the California Constitution guarantees a right to privacy for all employees. Drug testing may affect this right, but that does not mean workplace drug testing is always off limits for the employer. Indeed, case law in California (as it relates to drug and alcohol testing) is not yet settled and you would be well-advised to discuss your business’s specific needs with an experienced employment attorney.
As California does not have a standard workplace drug testing procedure or protocol, courts will determine whether a test was properly performed by balancing the employer’s reason for testing with the employee’s expectation of privacy. In California, current employees have a stronger expectation of privacy than applicants. Indeed, the employee has the job and a work history the employer can use to evaluate performance; two factors that may weigh against the employer in choosing to perform a drug test on the employee. By contrast, a job applicant has a weaker expectation of privacy and thus the employer may be able to show a compelling reason for testing.Details
In a landmark decision affecting workers’ wages, the California Supreme Court recently held that employees who are merely “on call” at the employers’ behest are, in fact, “working” and must be paid their full wages. This is the first case to determine that simply being on call, i.e. being ready to work, is actually working and is compensable time under California’s Wage and Hour Laws.
In Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, security guards were posted for 24 hours at a construction site. They were “on duty” for eight hours, and then “on call” for another eight hours, where they could rest in a trailer on the premises, watch TV, eat, read, surf the internet, etc. However, they could not just leave the premises without the employer’s consent. If they were needed to respond to some event during the eight hours that they were on call, they did so and were paid for the actual time they spent responding to a particular event. After the eight hours of being on call, they were required to sleep on the premises for the remaining eight hours of the day.Details
In the recent case of McGill vs. Citibank, when a dispute arose between a consumer and her credit card company regarding the application of certain credits on her charge account, the Plaintiff, Sharon McGill, sued Citibank under the theory of unfair competition and false advertising. She also sought an injunction to compel Citibank to cease from engaging in the conduct of which she complained.Citibank wanted to arbitrate the claim, which of course is a form of alternative dispute resolution that takes place outside of the courtroom setting. Arbitration can be binding (meaning the decision is
Your new employee starts work on September 1, 2015 (yes, a few months down the road, but let’s just imagine…). On December 1, 2015, they request several days paid sick leave. Your first reaction may be to say “not yet” but under a new law known as the Healthy Families Act of 2014 (which goes into effect July 15, 2015), you will be required to provide paid sick leave to certain California employees who have worked 30 days. In other words, once your employee works 30 days, as an employer, you are required to provide sick time of up to 3 days. Of course, an employer can
Businesses seeking insurance coverage most often have the short end of the stick when it comes to bargaining power in the negotiation of an insurance policy. Indeed, there is often no room for negotiation. Businesses need various types of insurance coverage to exist and operate and the insurance companies, with billions of dollars in their corporate pockets, largely dictate the terms of the policies and contracts that govern the necessary insurance coverage. Over the years, this disparate bargaining power led to insurance companies engaging in dilatory tactics, or “bad faith” cond
A recent labor decision has further defined the differences between an employee and an independent contractor and their classification for employment purposes. For several reasons, the least of which includes potential employment-related litigation, the proper qualification of a worker as an independent contractor or an employer is crucial.
At issue in this case, involving FedEx Home Delivery and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (34-CA-012735 and 34-RC-002205; 361 NLRB No. 55), was whether drivers who operated out of FedEx Home Delivery’s Hartford, CT terminal were employees covered under National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), §2(3) or whether they were independent contractors, and thereby excluded from coverage.Details