In a previous post we covered what you need to know about maternity leave. But that is only useful if you have a typical pregnancy. What if it’s a hard pregnancy, and you need more than the usual amount of maternity leave? You are probably wondering:
- What if I get put on bed rest and can’t work?
- What if my labor is horrible and I need more than 12 weeks to recover?
- How much disability leave can I take?
- Can my boss refuse to let me take disability leave beyond my maternity leave?
- Do I have the right to return to the same position afterwards? Same pay?
- What else do I need to know?
Click through for ten critical pieces of information that you need to know about pregnancy disability leave…. Continue reading
I love reading my local news. The Orange County Register does a good job covering local business affairs. Jan Norman, covering small business, is a fantastic reporter. She is objective and fair. But I have a little beef with her recent article, “Business survey ranks Calif. 47th in lawsuit climate.”
The article is about a survey conducted by the U.S. Chamber Institute of Legal Reform (ILR), a national lobby group for big business. According to ILR’s website:
The (ILR) is a national campaign, representing the nation’s business community, with the critical mission of making America’s legal system simpler, fairer and faster for everyone.
Further down the page it states:
ILR aims to neutralize plaintiff trial lawyers’ excessive influence over the legal and political systems.
This is a ridiculous position. Plaintiff lawyers are consistently the underdogs representing the little guys. In general, they don’t have millions of dollars to throw at cases like the lawyers who were surveyed by ILR. Moreover, plaintiff lawyers don’t have the lobbying power that Corporate America has in Federal and State legislatures.
Read more after the jump….
Many employees never even bother to read the employee handbook. That’s understandable. They are long, boring, and mostly full of lawyery language that makes the average joe want to shoot himself. I get it.
Well, many California employers have employee handbooks (as they should), and many of them include within the handbook an arbitration clause. What is arbitration and why should the employee care? According to the American Arbitration Association:
Arbitration is the submission of a dispute to one or more impartial persons for a final and binding decision, known as an “award.” Awards are made in writing and are generally final and binding on the parties in the case.
Arbitration basically is an alternative to filing a lawsuit in court. There are many advantages and disadvantages to arbitration. But I’m not writing here to talk about that. What I’m interested in, is whether or not they are enforceable. Meaning, if you sue your boss for sexual harassment, discrimination, or some other employment claim, can you employer force you into arbitration to take your claim out of the court system?
I mentioned in an earlier post that I would post more information on the California Supreme Court decision Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court. The Brinker decision was huge in the employment law world. It clarified some of the most tricky wage and hour issues.
Here are a few of the important rulings:
Lunch breaks: An employer is supposed to give a 30 minute uninterrupted meal break to employees who work more than five hours. An employers obligation is to relieve its employee of all duty, with the employee thereafter at liberty to use the meal period for whatever purpose he or she desires. The employer does not need to ensure that no work is done. An employer cannot discourage or impede meal periods. If the employer has the employee do work during his or her lunch break, the employee must be paid for it. If the employer relinquishes control and the employee decides to keep working with the employers knowledge, then the employer must still pay the employees hourly rate, but not an additional premium. For those who like bullets:
- Employees who don’t work more than 5 hours don’t get a meal period.
- Employees who work over 5 but not more than 6 hours get a meal period, unless they’ve waived it in writing. If they don’t waive it, the meal period must begin by the end of the 5th hour.
- Employees who work more than 6 but not more than 10 hours get a meal period regardless of whether there’s a waiver. The meal period must begin by the end of the 5th hour.
- Employees who work more than 10 hours get a second meal period. If they don’t work more than 12 hours they can waive the second meal period. If they don’t waive it, the meal period must begin by the end of the 10th hour.
Orange County, CA – What is the duty of loyalty? Does it apply to a employee? Employer? What is California’s rule regarding the duty of loyalty?
These are all extremely valuable questions for both the employer and the employee to have answers to. First, the employee duty of loyalty basically means this: An employer has the right to the undivided loyalty of its employees. The duty of loyalty is breached and may give rise to a tort cause of action on behalf of the employer when the employee takes action hostile to the employer’s best interests. Stokes v. Dole Nut Co. (1995) 41 CA4th 285, 295.
What on earth does that mean? It means that an employee isn’t supposed to compete with his or her employer while he or she is employed.
Well, what does “compete” mean? Easy answers after the jump….