Can an Employer Change An Employee’s Job Description At Will?

If you hire an employee for one job, with certain duties, are you, as an employer in California, able to add additional requirements and threaten termination if the employee doesn’t complete these additional requirements?

This is a common situation, particularly when it comes to jobs requiring driver’s licenses. Although some employers initially hire an employee who does not have a license because such a requirement is not in the job description, many employers change the job descriptions to add a licensing requirement and threaten termination if the employee does not obtain a license.

Are Management and Employee Training Programs Important?

When was the last time your company offered management and/or employee training programs? It’s well known that these informative programs have both practical and legal significance for your business. When run correctly, these programs are vital, as they should be specific to addressing the needs of your business and its organizational mission.

The Practical Importance of Training Programs

Meal and Rest Breaks in California

Under California law, which is more generous to employees than federal law, employees are entitled to specific meal and rest breaks. Indeed, California is one of the few states that require employers to give their workers both meal and rest breaks. In one of our recent landmark cases, heard by the Supreme Court of California, it was affirmed that “on-duty” rest breaks are in violation of California wage and hour laws (more on this precedent-setting decision here).

Meal Breaks in California

Workplace Discrimination in California

Sometimes it’s good to get back to the basics. And since we’ve been fielding questions from eager entrepreneurs about the ins and outs of California employment law lately, let’s touch on a few of the basic employment laws in California.

There are certain things you need to know if you’re considering starting a business in California. California is a very employee-friendly state, and the myriad of state employment laws supports this. And if you intend to hire five or more employees, things can get even trickier. Remember to speak with experienced legal counsel to ensure that your employment practices are in line with both state and federal laws.

Do I Have a Wrongful Termination Claim?

In California, most employment is at-will. This means that employees may be fired or quit their job for almost any reason. Yet, there are times when a worker may be let go in California and be eligible to file a wrongful termination claim. Here are a few of the most common reasons for a wrongful termination claim under California law.

Contractual Employment

If a worker is employed with a company through an employment contract, it’s likely that the contract includes a clause about how the employer can only fire the worker for “good cause” or for specific reasons (such as use of illegal drugs or stealing from the company). If a worker is fired in violation of the terms of the contract, they may have a wrongful termination claim.

California Employment Law Basics

Running a business in California can be, for lack of a better term, tricky business. With a seemingly infinite number of employment-related laws, many of which oftentimes appear to contradict each other, many small, medium, and large sized business owners are often left with more questions than answers. Here, we break down some of the basic employment laws in California. For an in-depth discussion, reach out to experienced legal counsel.

Employees vs Independent Contractors

Perhaps one of the biggest employment issues in the state, the issue of whether a worker is an employee or is not, continues to plague employers – to the point of litigation.

Smartphones and Class Actions

As we have discussed in previous posts, smartphones are making life a bit more challenging for business owners, especially in terms of overtime pay. It’s a modern reality that today’s workplace is anywhere within range of a wireless signal.  With many employees habitually checking their smartphones at all hours for emails, text messages, voicemails, tweets, and other electronic transmissions, more and more employers are finding themselves with a potential wage and hour class action on their hands.

One Work Week is Six Days and a Day of Rest

California’s “Day of Rest” statute continues to plague employers, but a recent case brings with it some good news. Under California Labor Code section 550-558.1, an employer is prohibited “from ‘caus[ing] his employees to work more than six days in seven” unless “the total hours of employment do not exceed 30 hours in any week.”[1]

According to a California Supreme Court ruling that just came down the pipe, employees must average no less than one day of rest for every seven over the course of a calendar month, giving even more work-scheduling flexibility to employers.