News & Analysis

What CA employers need to know about accommodating mental disabilities

Your legal obligations for accommodating mental disabilities are similar to those for accommodating physical disabilities. However, unlike a broken leg or pregnancy, mental disabilities often aren't readily observable. Employees often are sensitive about mental disabilities, and accommodating them can be particularly challenging for employers.

Reassigning disabled employee to vacant position is elementary, my dear

In this case, the employer refused to reassign a disabled employee to a vacant second grade teaching position as a reasonable accommodation. The employee sued, and the employer tried to have her lawsuit thrown out on the grounds that it reasonably accommodated her by giving her medical leaves and reassigning her to teach kindergarten. Read on to find out whether the employer satisfied its legal obligations.

Good news in continuing battle over enforceability of arbitration agreements

In what has become an ongoing tug-of-war over the enforceability of arbitration agreements in California, one California appellate court recently compelled arbitration of injunctive relief claims under an otherwise valid agreement. Under the ruling, California can't prohibit the arbitration of particular claims as it previously did.

Clause construction awards not 'awards' for purposes of appeal

As the saying goes, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. Unless it isn't. In the mandatory arbitration agreement world, words have technical meanings that can determine something as significant as a party's right to appeal. Here is what one court determined when faced with the question of whether a duck is a "duck" or, more specifically, whether an arbitrability award is an "award" that can be appealed.

Supreme Court holds postwork security screenings not compensable

Consider this scenario: Your company requires temp employees to go through a security check after they clock out at the end of their shifts. The check takes 15 to 30 minutes because they must remove their shoes, empty their pockets, and go through a metal detector. The employees have started complaining about the time and are asking to be paid. What do you do?

NLRB delivers decision, rules that facilitate union organizing

In December 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) delivered two major edicts that affect all employers. The first allows employees to use employers' e-mail systems for union organizing and other protected concerted activity, such as complaining about working conditions. The second speeds up the union election process so employers will have less time to respond to a petition.

What handbook changes will 2015 bring?

Should old procedures be forgot and never brought to mind?

Is paid leave required in our state, and should our handbooks all be signed?

As you're ringing in the new year and singing your own version of "Auld Lang Syne," we hope the last thing on your mind will be your company's employee handbook. Why? Because we hope the following article will provide you with the guidance you need to have your policies up to date and ready to embrace any brand-new laws affecting your operations in 2015. Happy New Year!

Regulation, Uber alles

One of my earliest cases involved a client who ran a livery service—with a fleet of luxury cars to drive passengers all over town. But neither his cars nor his drivers were properly licensed, and his vehicles were impounded and the drivers were arrested every time they hit the streets—such was the power of the medallioned taxi companies that controlled the streets of San Francisco. The police department made arrests, and the district attorney prosecuted with a fervor, pointing to the dangers to passengers of unregulated chauffeurs.

Supreme Court holds postwork security screenings not compensable

Consider this scenario: Your company requires temp employees to go through a security check after they clock out at the end of their shifts. The check takes 15 to 30 minutes because they must remove their shoes, empty their pockets, and go through a metal detector. The employees have started complaining about the time and are asking to be paid. What do you do?

NLRB delivers decision, rules that facilitate union organizing

In December 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) delivered two major edicts that affect all employers. The first allows employees to use employers' e-mail systems for union organizing and other protected concerted activity, such as complaining about working conditions. The second speeds up the union election process so employers will have less time to respond to a petition.