The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California issued a decision on February 2 that provides instruction for California employers on a unique situation: Whether an employer must continue to renew multiple requests for ongoing medical leave for total disability when there is no indication of when the employee will be able to return to work.
Numerous state and federal laws prohibit discrimination and harassment in the workplace based on protected worker characteristics such as disability. Employers are also required to make reasonable accommodations in the workplace for employees with physical or mental disabilities.
When competing for talented employees, many businesses look for new ways to provide flexibility to current employees and attractive options to potential hires. Taking advantage of California's alternative workweek is one way to accommodate the lifestyles of many employees, whether they have child care needs, work a second job or just want an extra day off. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, flexible or alternative workweeks are on the rise nationwide.
Here at Duggan Law Corporation, we advise California employers about classifying workers as either independent contractors or employees. The answer is significant to both parties because if the person is an employee, he or she is subject to applicable California and federal labor and employment laws governing overtime, minimum wage, workers' compensation eligibility and more.
As we discussed in a previous post, new California employer responsibilities that took effect on January 1 require valid warrants, subpoenas or court orders of federal immigration personnel before allowing access to workplaces and employee records. In addition, existing California law forbids employers from taking intimidating actions against employees related to immigration status, including threats to report workers or their family members to immigration authorities.
In light of the #MeToo movement, office romances may seem like they are quickly becoming a thing of the past. But even if the number of people in workplace relationships is gradually decreasing, it is still far too high for employers to ignore.
California, along with the rest of America, is experiencing an explosion of awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace, as more people come forward to publicly report their own stories. Employers of all types and sizes in the state are understandably concerned about protecting their own employees and keeping their workplaces in compliance with state and federal laws against illegal discrimination and harassment.
In recent weeks, we have been sharing information about new California state laws that will enhance the legal duties of employers toward their employees in a variety of areas. One unique law requires employers to provide certain protections to employees against federal immigration authorities.
At Duggan Law Corporation, we advise employers of their legal responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is to prevent and stop illegal discrimination and harassment. Beginning in 2018, a new law expands those duties as they concern lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees.
On January 1, California Proposition 64 became law, legalizing recreational marijuana sales to adults age 21 or older. Legalization has dominated state and local news, as sellers and cultivators learn how to comply with the law. Marijuana legalization also affects California employers, most particularly with respect to policies regarding employee marijuana use.