Spring 2004: Labor Code

Employer’s Legal Advisory – Spring 2004 – Download This Issue in .pdf Format Are You Violating the Labor Code? What could happen . . . Recently a lawsuit was filed in Ventura County alleging that the employer was in violation of certain sections of the Labor Code. This suit appears to have been filed as a result of the California Private Attorneys General Act (otherwise known as the “Bounty Hunter” law). That law (effective in January 2004) allows employees to file lawsuits against their employers based on violations of the Labor Code. Previously, the employee had to make a claim with the Labor Commissioner and that agency would determine whether to take action against the employer. Importantly, the law provides that the employee who brings the action is entitled to 25% of any penalties assessed against the employer. Additionally, the employer can be liable for the attorneys’ fees of the employee. There ... Read More

Summer 2004: Labor Code

Employer’s Legal Advisor, Inc. – Summer 2004 – Download This Issue in .pdf Format Changes to “Bounty Hunter” Law . . . But the Law Lives On Recently, the California Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, a bill that amended the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (also referred to as the “Bounty Hunter” or “Sue Your Boss” law). Generally, these amendments incorporated procedural requirements; allow for judicial discretion to reduce penalties; require court review of settlements; and exempts from coverage under this law (Labor Code Section 2699) minor violations of notice and posting requirements. These new provisions are effective immediately. These changes significantly reduce the possibility of frivolous claims and provide procedural safeguards. While this comes as good news for employers, these amendments did not change the basic function of the law which allows employees (and former employees) to file suit against their employers for violations of the Labor ... Read More

Summer 2005: Discrimination/Harassment

Employer’s Legal Advisory – Summer 2005 – Download This Issue in .pdf Format Discrimination and Harassment Update There have been a number of decisions this year in the state and federal courts that have further defined the legal requirements with regard to discrimination and harassment. Retaliation – For some time now, claims of retaliation have been on the rise. In the most significant case this year the California Supreme Court has found that a supervisor’s refusal to obey an order that he or she reasonably believes to be discrimination is protected under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). [In this case the supervisor had been told to terminate a female employee who was thought not to be physically attractive or “hot” enough.] Thus the employer cannot retaliate against the supervisor for engaging in such action if the employer knows that the supervisor believes the order to be discriminatory. Of particular note ... Read More