Fall 2018 New Employment Laws – Part 4 – Sexual Harassment

New Sexual Harassment Laws

Over the past year, many prominent entertainers and public figures have been brought down by accusations of sexual misconduct. The #MeToo movement changed our culture, bringing to light issues of sexual harassment and assault left in the dark for years. The movement reached the California Legislature, who passed many new sexual harassment laws this year expanding employee protections and increasing employer liability. There is also a new requirement for gender representation on corporate boards.  Some changes are narrowly targeted, while others impact most or all California businesses. All will have a major impact on California employers and employees.

Broad New Sexual Harassment Protections

Defamation Protection: AB 2770 protects people who report sexual harassment from libel or defamation suits. It exempts both an employee’s credible reports of sexual harassment and an employer’s communications about these reports from claims of defamation. It also makes the law clear that past employers can say whether they would rehire an employee and whether that determination is based on claims of sexual harassment when asked for references. Accusations based on malice or lacking credibility are exempt from this protection.

Confidentiality Clauses and Nondisclosure Agreements: The Legislature limited confidentiality clauses in certain settlement agreements. In lawsuits regarding sexual assault, sexual harassment, or any other sex-based harassment (such as in the workplace or housing), settlement agreements can no longer require confidentiality. SB 820 provides an exception to keep victims’ identities secret, however. And AB 3109 prohibits any clauses in nondisclosure agreements that prevent people from testifying in court or administrative hearings about criminal conduct or sexual harassment. Both these provisions go into effect on January 1st, 2019.

Training: SB 1343 expands new sexual harassment prevention training to all employers with five or more employees. Going into effect on January 1st, 2020, all companies covered must provide two hours of training to supervisors and one hour of training to all other employees within six months of hire, and again every two years.

Training must contain information about “the federal and state statutory provisions concerning the prohibition against and the prevention and correction of sexual harassment and the remedies available to victims of sexual harassment in employment.” Temporary employees must be trained “within 30 calendar days after the hire date or within 100 hours worked, whichever occurs first” and temp agencies must perform this training. Employers with 50 or more employees are already required to provide this training.

SB 1300: The California Legislature made many broad changed to employment practices and sexual harassment laws with SB 1300. First, it prohibited employers from requiring employees waive rights to sue or make other claims under the  Fair Employment and Housing Act in exchange for a job, raise, or bonus. This prohibition also applies to non-disparagement agreements that prevent employees from talking about unlawful conduct in a workplace.

Second, the Legislaturemade businesses liable for any unlawful harassment of employees, interns,applicants, or contractors by non-employees “if the employer, or its agents orsupervisors, knows or should have known of the conduct and fails” to act.Essentially, “An entity shall take all reasonable steps to prevent harassmentfrom occurring” under its watch. Third, this law prevents defendants who win inFEHA lawsuits from being awarded fees and costs unless the suit is frivolous or ungrounded. 

Industry-Specific Sexual Harassment Changes

Not every change is so sweeping. Many new laws passed this year touch only certain sectors of the economy:

Talent Agencies: AB 2338 requires talentagencies in California to provide materials about “sexual harassmentprevention, retaliation, and reporting resources” and “nutrition and eatingdisorders” to adult artists in a language they understand. It also requiresminors and their legal guardians to receive sexual harassment preventiontraining before they receive an entertainment industry work permit. Talentagencies must keep three years of records as proof of training.

California Legislature: The Legislature triedto clean up its own workplace. AB 403 makes it a crime for legislators or theirstaff to interfere in a whistleblower’s disclosure of violations or retaliatesagainst them. SB 419 further protests legislative staff or lobbyists fromretaliation and requires the Legislature to keep complaint records for 12years.

Professionals: Current law makes professionals liable for sexual harassment in a professional relationship when it is difficult for the victim to end that relationship. SB 224 adds investors, elected officials, lobbyists, directors, and producers to this category, which also includes lawyers, doctors, social workers, real estate agents, bankers, and any“substantially similar” professional relationship setups.

Gender Representation

The Legislature also took steps toward requiring gender parity on corporate boards. SB 826 requires publicly heldcorporations based in California to have at least one female director on itsboard by the end of 2019. By the end of 2021, the requirement is bumped up totwo or three women depending on the board’s size. The CA Secretary of Statewill post the number of companies in compliance on its website, and can finethose who are not.

2018 was a big year for new sexual harassment and gender-related employment laws. It can be very confusing for employers to keep track of their requirements and employees to stay informed of their rights. If you have questions, contact Robert Nuddleman.

Provided by the Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

Written by J.T. Keane and edited by Robert E. Nuddleman

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted on this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employers and employees in a wide range of employment law matters. Much of his practice focuses on wage and hour issues, such as unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations, designing or enforcing commission plans, and other wage-related claims. He also advises employers on how to avoid harassment and wrongful termination claims and represents employees who have been victims of unlawful discrimination, retaliation or harassment. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. helps employers develop good employment policies, and helps employers and employees with disability accommodation issues.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Pleasanton, Oakland, San Ramon, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

Fall 2018 New Employment Laws – Part 3 Joint Liability

Fall 2018 New Employment Laws – Part 3

Now that the candy and costumes are gone, we have more updates and tweaks to California employment law to report. This week we focus on a joint liability. Yay! More ways employers can be liable for the mistakes of others. SB 1402 expands joint liability for truckers. The legislature clears up confusion from last year’s AB 1701.

Expansion of Joint Liability

SB 1402 has two major parts. The DLSE must create and maintain a list of trucking companies that have unpaid “judgment[s], tax assessment[s], or tax lien[s]” on the DLSE website. This includes judgments stemming from a myriad of employment-related violations such as

Trucking companies would only be added to this list after the period for all judicial appeals expires.

The second part of SB 1402 is much broader. It extends joint liability to any company using a trucking company on the list. Businesses using a company on the list share “all civil legal responsibility and civil liability” with the trucking company for “for the full amount of unpaid wages, unreimbursed expenses, damages and penalties, including applicable interest.”

This differs from previous law. Before SB 1402, joint liability only applied to contracted work within the scope of the “usual course of the client employer’s business.” Now, retailers and various other business can be liable even if the work does not fall in the scope of the business’s “usual course.”

Businesses should review the list and exercise caution when contracting with companies on this list. Oh, and consult with an attorney to ensure you are aware of liability you currently hold.

Legislative Fix of AB 1701

Last year, the Legislature made general contractors liable for their subcontractors who fail to pay wages or benefits. The bill seemed to imply that direct contractors had additional obligations beyond the Labor Code for failure to pay wages or provide benefits.

AB 1565 clarifies that direct contractors are simply subject to the existing obligations and remedies. It also specifies that direct contractors are only liable for wages and benefits. These provisions went into effect immediately after it was signed into law.

For contracts put in place on or after January 1, 2019, contractors must specify what documents subcontractors must provide before they withhold payments.

Provided by the Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

Written by J.T. Keane and edited by Robert E. Nuddleman

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted on this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employers and employees in a wide range of employment law matters. Much of his practice focuses on wage and hour issues, such as unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations, designing or enforcing commission plans, and other wage-related claims. He also advises employers on how to avoid harassment and wrongful termination claims and represents employees who have been victims of unlawful discrimination, retaliation or harassment. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. helps employers develop good employment policies, and helps employers and employees with disability accommodation issues.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Pleasanton, Oakland, San Ramon, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

 

Fall 2018 New Employment Laws – Part 2

New Employment Laws for 2018 (Part 2)

Welcome back to our New Employment Laws for 2018 wrapup and update. This post will focus primarily on hiring practices. This year, the Legislature clarifies hiring practices changes and access to sealed or expunged criminal records of potential hires.

Clarification of Last Year’s Salary History Ban

Last year, AB 168 banned California employers from asking for a prospective employee’s salary history as part of the hiring process. Applicants can volunteer past salary information, but employers’ cannot ask for it.  Businesses must provide a pay scale for the position upon request. Labor Code 432.3. AB 168 reaffirmed that “prior salary, by itself,” can’t “justify any disparity in compensation.”

This year, the Legislature passed AB 2282 to shed some light on permitted and prohibited inquiries. Significantly, AB 2282 provides that:

  • “Pay scale” is defined as “salary or hourly wage range.”
  • The term “applicant” only apply to external hires, not employees currently employed by the hiring business. This means that current employees do not have a right to see a pay scale.
  • External hires must have already had an initial interview to request a pay scale.
  • Employers are in the clear to ask an applicant about their salary expectations for the position in question.
  • Companies cannot pay workers of different race/ethnicity or gender differently unless the “entire wage differential” is based on a seniority system, merit, or education/training.

Employers should review their policies with everyone that participates in the hiring process. New employment laws make prior salary information off-limits.

Limitation on Viewing Certain Criminal Records

In most circumstances, employers can not view or ask applicants about sealed or expunged convictions of potential hires during the background check process. However, employers are legally barred from hiring people with certain past convictions for sensitive positions. For example, you cannot hire a bank robber as a bank teller. SB 1412 lays out when an employer can take into account sealed/expunged convictions. Employers can ask about or seek information about expunged convictions if the conviction would legally prohibit an applicant from holding the position.

What is and is not allowed in the hiring process can be confusing. Crossing legal lines can be extremely problematic for employers. It is always best to consult a lawyer to establish well-defined and legal hiring practices to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation. New employment laws are enacted every year, and it’s important to stay on top of things. You can read another article regarding background checks here.

Provided by the Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

Written by J.T. Keane and edited by Robert E. Nuddleman

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted on this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employers and employees in a wide range of employment law matters. Much of his practice focuses on wage and hour issues, such as unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations, designing or enforcing commission plans, and other wage-related claims. He also advises employers on how to avoid harassment and wrongful termination claims and represents employees who have been victims of unlawful discrimination, retaliation or harassment. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. helps employers develop good employment policies, and helps employers and employees with disability accommodation issues.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Pleasanton, Oakland, San Ramon, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

Fall 2018 New Employment Laws – Part 1

New Employment Laws for 2018

It’s that time of year again: new employment laws for 2018. While everyone else in the state is bundling up and raking up the falling leaves, the Governor was busy signing bills. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be cutting through the legalese to explain the impact the legislative flurry has on employers and employees. This installment will focus on leaves of absence and employee benefits.

Paid Family Leave Expansion

SB 1123 added a new reason employees can collect state paid family leave benefits. Current law provides for up to 12 weeks of PFL for caring for sick family members, bonding with newborns, and adopting a child. Effective January 1st, 2021, Section 3301 of the Unemployment Insurance Code will allow workers to claim benefits for “a qualifying exigency related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty” of a family member. There are important caveats. The family member must be a parent, child, or spouse.

“Qualifying exigency” covers a broad range of situations. Employees can claim benefits for time taken off to:

  • attend official military ceremonies,
  • arrange childcare during deployment,
  • make financial/legal arrangements for deployment,
  • spend time with their family member during rest or recuperation leave, and
  • other active-service related situations.

This new law doesn’t create a new right to take paid leave. These new provisions apply only to employees already covered under the FMLA.

Change in Lactation Accommodation Requirements

Due to a quirk in state law, employers used to be restricted from designating a “toilet stall” as a private lactation area. “Bathrooms” were fair game. Now Labor Code section 1031 clarifies employers must provide a location beside a bathroom for employees to lactate. This location must be private and near where an employee typically works. It must be permanent, unless “operational, financial, or space limitations” of the business make that impossible.

Here, temporary lactation locations can be designated, that must be “free from intrusion” while being used by employees. AB 1976 also provides an exception for businesses that would face an “undue hardship” due to “the size, nature, or structure of the employer’s business.” These employers may still designate bathrooms for lactation, just not toilet stalls specifically. California law requires employers to provide break time for lactation, and a civil penalty can be imposed for non-compliance.

We’ll provide more updates about new employment laws for 2018 in upcoming articles.

Provided by the Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

Written by J.T. Keane and edited by Robert E. Nuddleman

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted on this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employers and employees in a wide range of employment law matters. Much of his practice focuses on wage and hour issues, such as unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations, designing or enforcing commission plans, and other wage-related claims. He also advises employers on how to avoid harassment and wrongful termination claims and represents employees who have been victims of unlawful discrimination, retaliation or harassment. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. helps employers develop good employment policies, and helps employers and employees with disability accommodation issues.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Pleasanton, Oakland, San Ramon, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

Labor Day is NOT the End of Summer

In the Northern Hemisphere, September 22nd marks the end of Summer, not Labor Day. Many think of Labor Day as the end of Summer because many schools start just before or just after Labor Day, and the weather starts cooling off. It is also the last Federal Holiday before the end of Summer.

Labor Day honors the workers who fought for the rights of all workers. For many, Labor Day is a day for picnics, barbecues, getting together with friends and family, trips to the beach, or just plain relaxing.

I thought it would be good to provide a few sites you can peruse for things to do this Labor Day.

Things to do in the San Francisco Bay Area over Labor Day

If you are in the SF Bay Area and looking for last-minute ideas on where to go over Labor Day, check out these options:

Funcheap.com

CBS Local

Labor Day Getaways

Maybe the Bay Area is too close, and you want to really get away. Here are some great ideas to consider:

Forbes Article

7×7 List

Song Lists for Labor Day

While you’re on your way to your destination, load up your phone other music devices, with the following songs for a great Labor Day musical treat:

Billboard List

Top 100 List

Labor Day Party Ideas

Maybe you want to stay at home with some friends or family, but need ideas for your party. Check out:

Party Ideas from Brit.co?

Make my party pretty

Food ideas for Labor Day

Whether you’re cooking for a small group, or a large party, knowing what to cook can make the difference.

Food Network Classics

Delish.com Ideas

Poems about Labor Day

Finally, when its time to calm things down and reflect on the sacrifices our predecessors suffered for the employment rights we now enjoy, consider these thoughtful poems.

A Collection of Poems

Poetry Foundation

Original article by Robert Nuddleman

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted on this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employers and employees in a wide range of employment law matters. Much of his practice focuses on wage and hour issues, such as unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations, designing or enforcing commission plans, and other wage-related claims. He also advises employers on how to avoid harassment and wrongful termination claims and represents employees who have been victims of unlawful discrimination, retaliation or harassment. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. helps employers develop good employment policies, and helps employers and employees with disability accommodation issues.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Pleasanton, Oakland, San Ramon, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

California Rejects De Minimus Time

California Rejects De Minimus Time

Four minutes a day might seem inconsequential, right? Not to the California Supreme Court. In Troester v.Starbucks Corporation, the Court held that employers are required to compensate employees for short, unrecorded periods of time worked off the clock. Such de minimus time, which can add up to substantial time over weeks, months, or years, must be compensated if it occurs “on a regular basis or as a regular feature of the job.” Tasks such as locking up, shutting down computers, or setting the alarm must be compensated under California law.

Unlike Federal Law, California Does Not Have a De Minimus Exception

California’s stricter, more worker-friendly, employment laws supersede federal statutes like the Federal Labor Standards Act. Federal labor law and Supreme Court precedent carve out exceptions for “de minimus” work by employees. This provides some leeway for businesses to avoid compensation for seemingly inconsequential work. However, California law doesn’t contain a de minimus exception. In fact, California specifically requires compensation “for all hours worked.” That puts a requirement on employers to compensate employees for small fragments of time that easily slip through the cracks in the course of the workday. California employers must comply with California law and the FLSA.

What Does This Case Mean For Employers?

Troester does not require employers to track every fraction of a second. There are many instances of work so minuscule, difficult to track, or irregular that it would be nearly impossible to record and compensate. But wait, isn’t that what de minimus time is? Employers must make every reasonable effort to track and compensate workers’ time. The employer bears the burden of ensuring fair and complete compensation. The Court suggests technological advances, restructuring of time recording practices, or even a time rounding policy to assist employers in meeting their obligation to compensate their workers. The Court reminds employers that the DLSE manual and opinion letters are merely “advisory” opinions, and do not hold the force of law. This case makes it clear, once again, that employers should exercise caution when it comes to paying employee wages.

Original article by JT Keane for the Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted on this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employers and employees in a wide range of employment law matters. Much of his practice focuses on wage and hour issues, such as unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations, designing or enforcing commission plans, and other wage-related claims. He also advises employers on how to avoid harassment and wrongful termination claims and represents employees who have been victims of unlawful discrimination, retaliation or harassment. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. helps employers develop good employment policies, and helps employers and employees with disability accommodation issues.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Pleasanton, Oakland, San Ramon, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

Waiting Time Penalty Lesson

When an employee quits without notice, there is a myriad of considerations and consequences for an employer. Finding a replacement and keeping the business running smoothly is at the top of many employers’ minds. However, one of the most urgent tasks for an employer when someone unexpectedly quits should be compensating that employee. No matter how abrupt or disruptive an employee’s resignation is, California law requires compensation for all unpaid wages within 72 hours of resignation. That includes accrued vacation time. If an employer fails to comply, they are required by law to pay “waiting time” penalties, equivalent to the worker’s daily wage, for up to 30 days. A new court case, Nishiki v. Danko Meredith P.C., sheds more light on what specific obligations an employer has when an employee quits.

When Does the Clock Start Ticking for Waiting Time Penalties?

In Nishiki, the employee resigned by email on a Friday night, after the close of business. The Court held that it would be unreasonable and unduly burdensome on the employer to start the statutory 72-hour clock at 6:38 on a Friday night. According to the Court, in the pursuit of justice the law must be interpreted in a reasonable, common sense way that does not allow for unjust applications of the law. Employers don’t have to constantly check their email at all hours of the night or over the weekend to ensure compliance. The 72-hour clock starts when it can be reasonably assumed the employer received the resignation. This leaves a reasonable period for the employer to calculate and pay final wages.

Are Waiting Time Penalties Appropriate for Honest Mistakes?

Oh, what a difference a few dollars can make. In Nishiki, the employer made a clerical error, shortchanging the employee by $80. The employee argued this error, and the delay in correcting the error warranted waiting time penalties. The employer argued the error was not “willful,” and therefore did not owe penalties. The Court held the prolonged delay in correcting that error violated the Labor Code and awarded penalties. Employers should make every effort they can to comply with the law and correct any mistakes or errors as quickly as possible.

Attorney’s Fees Can Vastly Outweigh Wage or Waiting Time Penalty Claim

The Nishiki court awarded $2,250 in waiting time penalties. The court also directed the employer to pay $86,160 in attorneys’ fees. This should serve as a warning for employers and employees alike. Appealing Labor Commissioner decisions or lower court rulings in wage claims can be dangerous. The law discourages frivolous appeals. The appealing party must pay the other side’s attorneys’ fees if the appeal is unsuccessful. Fighting over relatively small amount may not be worth the risk of paying the other side’s fees.

Original article by JT Keane. Edited by Robert E. Nuddleman of the Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted on this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employers and employees in a wide range of employment law matters. Much of his practice focuses on wage and hour issues, such as unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations, designing or enforcing commission plans, and other wage-related claims. He also advises employers on how to avoid harassment and wrongful termination claims, and represents employees who have been victims of unlawful discrimination, retaliation or harassment. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. helps employers develop good employment policies, and helps employers and employees with disability accommodation issues.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Pleasanton, Oakland, San Ramon, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

Nuddleman Law Firm’s New San Jose Office

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. is happy to announce it is moving to a new San Jose office at 95 South Market Street, Suite 500 in downtown San Jose, California. The new location will allow us to continue serving our clients in the South Bay. Our main office will still be in Pleasanton, California, but we will be in San Jose as necessary to meet our clients’ needs.

New San Jose Office for the Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

The transition to the new San Jose office should be seamless for all our clients. Parking is available on the street or in the underground parking off San Pedro Street.

One of the benefits of today’s technology is the ability to serve our clients wherever they are located. Whether you want to meet in our main Pleasanton office, visit our satellite San Jose office or confer over the phone, the Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. is available to assist you with your employment law matters. Robert Nuddleman represents employees and employers in a wide variety of employment law matters throughout California.

Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman of Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted on this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employers and employees in a wide range of employment law matters. Much of his practice focuses on wage and hour issues, such as unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations, designing or enforcing commission plans, and other wage-related claims. He also advises employers on how to avoid harassment and wrongful termination claims and represents employees who have been victims of unlawful discrimination, retaliation or harassment. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. helps employers develop good employment policies, and helps employers and employees with disability accommodation issues.

Disability Accommodations Require Extending Probationary Period

The Rancho Santiago Community College District learned the hard way that disability accommodations required the district to extend an employee’s probationary period. In Hernandez v. Rancho Santiago Community College Dist. an administrative assistant sued her employer for failing to accommodate her disability. Hernandez worked for defendant Rancho Santiago Community College District on and off for a number of years without any complaints about her performance.  During her one-year probationary period, her performance was to be evaluated at three months, seven months, and 11 months.  At the completion of 12 months of probation, she would become a permanent employee.  She took a medical leave of absence after 8 months for surgery related to a disability.  She was to return to work on, or shortly after, the anniversary of her hiring date.  The district terminated her while she was on the approved leave because her performance had not been reviewed.

District Sued for Failing to Provide Disability Accommodations

Hernandez sued the district alleging it failed to provide a disability accommodation for her medical condition. She also claimed the district failed to engage in an interactive process.  The court found in Hernandez’s favor and awarded her $723,746 in damages.  The court concluded the district could have accommodated her by extending her probationary period. If necessary, the district could have deducted the four months she was on disability leave from her probationary period. Alternatively, it could have added the time away from work to the probationary period. The district argued it would have been required to make Hernandez a permanent employee on the anniversary of her hiring regardless of the performance evaluation. The court disagreed.

The appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision.

Disability Accommodations in the Workplace

Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities unless to do so would create an undue hardship. Employers and employees must engage in an interactive process to determine what, if any, reasonable accommodations will enable the employee to perform the essential functions of the job. I routinely advise employers on how to correctly process disability accommodation requests. I work with employees to obtain the disability accommodations they need. Many employers misunderstand their obligations, and employees oftentimes don’t know their rights and obligations.

Providing persons with disabilities equal access to employment is a fundamental right protected by state and federal laws. Understanding the rights and obligations of both parties is the most effective way of ensuring persons with disabilities receive the accommodations the law requires.

If you have a question or concern about workplace disability accommodations, contact the Nuddleman Law Firm.

Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman of Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted on this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employees and businesses throughout Silicon Valley and the greater San Francisco Bay Area including Pleasanton, Oakland, San Ramon, Hayward, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Los Altos, San Jose, the South Bay Area, Campbell, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Sunnyvale, Santa Cruz, Saratoga, and Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Benito, Mendocino, and Calaveras counties.

4th of July Parade in Danville

Danville 4th of July Parade

If you don’t have plans Wednesday morning, come to watch the Danville Parade. The Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley–of which I am a member–has organized and conducted the annual Kiwanis 4th of July Parade in partnership with the Town of Danville since 1975. The parade attracts 30,000-40,000 spectators each year and is a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate America’s birth.

You can read about the 4th of July parade here.

Hope to see you there.

4th of July Trivia

In the meantime, here are some interesting Trivia Facts about the 4th of July (from https://www.theodysseyonline.com/fourth-july-fun-facts-trivia):

1. John Hancock was the only member of the Continental Congress to formally sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.

2. The Fourth of July was not declared a federal holiday until 1938.

3. The first White House Fourth of July party was held in 1804.

4. Around 150 million hot dogs are consumed on Fourth of July (wonder if this statistic includes the hot dogs consumed during the annual Nathan’s Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest?)

5. Back in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, 2.5 million new people lived in the U.S. Now 240 years later, 311 million people live.

6. The now American-celebrated song, Yankee Doodle, was originally written by officers of the British army to make fun of backwoods Americans.

7. Three United States presidents died on the Fourth of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe.

8. July 4th is also celebrated in the Philippines because in 1946, the country was recognized as an independent nation.

9. In one year, $600 million is spent on fireworks alone in the U.S.

10. Most of the signers of the Declaration did not formally sign until August 2, 1776.

11. Though it is no treasure map as predicted by Nicholas Cage in “Treasure Hunt 2”, the message “Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776″ is written upside down on the back of the Declaration of Independence.

12. More than 14,000 firework displays are put on across the country on Fourth of July!

13. Bristol, Rhode Island is home to the world’s oldest Independence Day celebration. It dates back to 1785!

14. In 1781, the great state of Massachusetts became the first one to declare Independence Day a holiday

15. Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Display is the largest in the United States.

4th of July Quiz

Want more? Try your 4th of July knowledge with this Quiz.

Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman of Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.

Feel free to suggest topics for the blog. We are happy to consider topics pertaining to general points of Labor and Employment Law. We cannot answer questions about specific situations or provide legal advice over the Internet. If you desire legal advice, you should contact an attorney.

Using this blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. Using the Internet or this blog to communicate with the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Do not post confidential or time-sensitive information in this blog. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. cannot guarantee the confidentiality of anything posted on this blog.

The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. represents employers and employees in a wide range of employment law matters. Much of his practice focuses on wage and hour issues, such as unpaid overtime, meal and rest break violations, designing or enforcing commission plans, and other wage-related claims. He also advises employers on how to avoid harassment and wrongful termination claims, and represents employees who have been victims of unlawful discrimination, retaliation or harassment. The Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C. helps employers develop good employment policies, and helps employers and employees with disability accommodation issues.