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Study shows older-worker job losses more damaging than thought

At our law firm, we advise California employers on how to comply with state and federal laws against age discrimination. Last summer, we posted in this space about a class-action lawsuit alleging that social-media advertising for job openings that only display in the feeds of workers under a certain age are discriminatory based on age. Those in the employment law field are still waiting for this decision to understand its implications.

Today, we will discuss a new study of the circumstances surrounding older-employee job loss. The Urban Institute and ProPublica concluded from their analysis of data from the Health and Retirement Study or HRS that over 50 percent of older employees are "pushed out" earlier than they would have otherwise chosen to leave their positions.

California employers need to keep detailed payroll records

There are many legal and practical reasons for California employers to keep accurate, careful records of hours worked and wages paid. For example, federal and state tax and other deductions must be correctly calculated. California law also requires employers to include detailed payroll calculations on pay stubs.

A recent California Court of Appeal case out of the First Appellate District underscores the need for employers to keep accurate records of hours each employee works, especially overtime hours. In Furry v. East Bay Publishing, LLC, a sales and marketing director sued his former newspaper employer for unpaid overtime, among other things.

California noncompete-clause ban now has narrow exception

California law is serious about protecting employees within its borders. To that end, Labor Code section 925, which became effective in 2017, explicitly provides that an employer, as a condition of employment, may not force employees who primarily work and reside in California to agree to resolve legal disputes arising out of their employment in California, in courts of a different state. The statute also provides that an employer may not deprive an employee of a "substantive protection" of state law in any dispute arising here.

One of the state's strong employee protections is its ban on the covenant not to compete or noncompetition clause, which is an employment contract term prohibiting an employee from working for a competitor for a set time period after leaving. 

Study looks at nuances of gender pay gap

The Institute for Women's Policy Research published a fascinating study in November 2018 that revealed that the gap between the pay women and men receive is more serious than traditional data has shown. Using a sophisticated, multi-year analysis that considered periods of time when people were out of the labor market or worked part-time, the authors concluded that instead of the usual figure cited based on government data that women earn 80 cents on the dollar as compared with men, 49 cents on the dollar is more accurate.

You can view the entire study in detail here.

An introduction to wrongful discharge of California employees

At our law firm, we provide advice to a wide variety of Northern California private and public employers about the employee-employer relationship, including under what circumstances it may be illegal under state or federal law to fire someone. It is wise for employers to have some basic understanding of the laws related to wrongful termination as employer-employee relationships begin and evolve.

California appeals court refines applicability of ABC test

A hotly debated legal issue in California is how to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. The answer to the question in any given situation determines what responsibilities the hiring entity has toward the worker regarding working conditions, hours, pay, termination, workers' compensation and other perks, benefits and protections.

California is a state known for having strong, specific worker protections, so the correct classification of a worker as either an employee or independent contractor can have significant ramifications for both parties. However, it is more complicated than that because various protections and benefits are grounded in different state and federal laws and regulations.

How to avoid liability when hosting a workplace holiday party

Throwing an annual holiday party can be a good way to boost employee morale and show appreciation for your staff's hard work. However, when poorly planned, it can also put your company at risk for liability.

In today's post, we examine three key areas that, when handled inappropriately, can turn a fun, work-sponsored event into a potential lawsuit.

How to properly address employee complaints

California employers of all sizes may eventually face the difficult duty of handling an employee complaint. Complaints of workplace hazards, discrimination, harassment and other issues warrant a careful response.

Ideally, the employer promptly, thoroughly, and fairly investigates and resolves the employee's complaint, leading to a fair resolution and a content employee. Failure to follow the law and best practices, however, could leave employers at risk for a retaliation lawsuit or further unlawful behavior by its employees.

Abiding by California's paystub regulations

Many sections within California's labor code aim to protect workers and set expectations for employers. Regardless of a business' size, employees have certain rights regarding the payment they receive, including how employers must communicate payment. To properly document wages, employers must provide complete, accurate paystubs each time that the wages are paid.

California expands employer sexual harassment training programs

At Duggan Law Corporation, we provide training services to Northern California employers so that they can comply with state law requirements. The focus is to provide sexual harassment training to supervisors every two years for employers with more than 50 employees or contractors. As we discussed earlier this year, a new 2018 requirement requires this supervisor training to include issues related to gender expression, gender identity and sexual harassment.

On September 30, California Governor Jerry Brown signed S.B. 1343, a bill that will significantly expand employer sexual harassment training requirements in the state. Under the new law, all employers with five or more employees, including temporary and seasonal workers, must comply with new sexual harassment training requirements by January 1, 2020. However, if the employer provides compliant training after January 1, 2019, it does not have to conduct another training to meet the 2020 deadline.

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