Month: January 2016

As an Employee, What Types of Records in my Personnel File am I Entitled to See?

As an Employee, What Types of Records in my Personnel File am I Entitled to See

California law provides that current and former employees (or a representative of the current and former employee) have the right to inspect and receive a copy of the personnel files and records that relate to the employee’s performance or to any grievance concerning the employee.

Categories of records that are generally considered to be “personnel records” are those that are used or have been used to determine an employee’s qualifications for promotion, additional compensation, or disciplinary action, including termination.

The following are some examples of “personnel records”:
– Application for employment
– Payroll authorization form
– Notices of commendation, warning, discipline, and termination
– Notices of layoff, leave of absence, and vacation
– Notices of wage attachment or garnishment
– Education and training notices and records
– Performance appraisals/reviews
– Attendance records

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

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As an Employee, Am I Entitled to See Everything in my Personnel File?

As an Employee, Am I Entitled to See Everything in my Personnel File

According to California Labor law, no, you do not have the right to inspect everything in your personnel file.

California law provides that current and former employees (or a representative of the current and former employee) have the right to inspect and receive a copy of the personnel files and records that relate to the employee’s performance or to any grievance concerning the employee.

However, this rule does not apply to:

– Records relating to the investigation of a possible criminal offense
– Letters of reference
– Ratings, reports, or records that were:
a. Obtained prior to your employment,
b. Prepared by identifiable examination committee members, or
c. Obtained in connection with a promotional examination.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Do I Have the Right to Inspect and Receive Copy of My Employee Personnel Files and Records?

Filing documents

As of January 1, 2013, California law provides that current and former employees (or a representative of the current and former employee) have the right to inspect and receive a copy of the personnel files and records that relate to the employee’s performance or to any grievance concerning the employee.

According to Labor Code Section 1198.5, inspections must be allowed at reasonable times and intervals, but not later than 30 calendar days from the date the employer receives a written request.

Upon a written request from a current or former employee, or a representative, the employer should provide a copy of the personnel records, at a charge not to exceed the actual cost of reproduction, not less than 30 calendar days from the date the employer receives the request.

If a former employee is seeking to inspect his or her personnel records after being terminated for a violation of law, or an employment-related policy, the employer may comply with the request by doing one of the following:

(1) making the personnel records available to the former employee for inspection at a location other than the workplace that is within a reasonable driving distance of the former employee’s residence, or

(2) providing a copy of the personnel records by mail.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

What are the Time Limits for Filing a Complaint for Discrimination and Retaliation with the DSLE?

What are the Time Limits for Filing a Complaint for Discrimination and Retaliation with the DSLE

The majority of California Labor Code Statutes allow six months from the occurrence of the adverse action of discrimination and retaliation to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner.

If you file a complaint under Labor Code Sections 230(c) or 230.1, you have one year to file from the time of the adverse action.

If you file a complaint under Labor Code Section 1197.5, you have two years from the time of the adverse action.

But, if you file a complaint under Health and Safety Code 1596.881, you have 90 days from the occurrence of the adverse action to file a complaint.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

What is Employee Retaliation and When Does it Occur?

What is Employee Retaliation and When Does it Occur

Any employee who is discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or in any manner discriminated and/or retaliated against in the terms and conditions of his or her employment for engaging in a “protected activity” may file a complaint for employee retaliation.

Examples of some protected activities include filing or threatening to file a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner’s office, taking time off to serve on a jury, complaining about a safety or health hazard, and/or refusing to perform work that may be hazardous.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

If your Family Member Helps in your Business for a Few Hours a Day, Is He or She Considered an Employee?

If your Family Member Helps in your Business for a Few Hours a Day, Is He or She Considered an Employee

Yes, under California labor law, if a family member helps in your business for a few hours a day, he or she is considered an employee.

An employee is defined as someone you engage or permit to work. Even if your worker is part of your family, he or she is considered an employee.

Don’t forget that since he or she is an employee, you, as the employer, must provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance to cover him or her in case of a work-related injury.

Also, you are also required to pay the minimum wage unless the employee is your spouse, parent or child and you are a sole proprietor or partnership.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Do I Have to Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Do I Have to Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Yes, every California employer using employee labor, even including family members, must purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance (Labor Code Section 3700).

If you do not have Workers’ Compensation Insurance for your employees, it can be expensive as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement is required to issue a penalty prohibiting further use of employee labor until you do purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance for your employees.

The penalty for failure to have Workers’ Compensation Insurance is based on the greater of either:

1. Twice the amount the employer would have paid in workers’ compensation insurance premiums during the period the employer was uninsured, or
2. $1,500 per employee.

However, there are exceptions for partnerships. If the only workers performing labor are the partners and corporations where the corporate officers are the sole shareholders, in such a case, the corporation, officers and directors come under the Workers’ Compensation provisions only by election.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Can Your Boss Force You to Work Overtime?

Can Your Boss Force You to Work Overtime

The answer to the question of whether your boss can force you to work overtime is rather complex. However, the short answer is that, under federal law, it is legal to for your boss to make you work overtime even when you don’t want to.

Your employer can require you to work overtime and can fire you if you refuse, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA (29 U.S.C. § 201), the federal overtime law.

The Fair Labor Standards Act sets no limits on how many hours a day or week your employer can require you to work. It requires only that employers pay employees overtime for any hours over 40 that the employee works in a week. However, some state laws give employees more rights than the FLSA does, so check with your state department of employment or labor to be sure.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/

Do I Have to Take Time off for Lunch?

Do I Have to Take Time off for Lunch

As an employee, you cannot be force-fed, but some states require employers to give employees a meal break. And this means employees must take the break, or their employers risk the wrath of the state labor department.

The specifics of the time off — how long it must be, how long you must work before you are entitled to a break, and whether or not you are entitled to be paid for the break time — depend on your state’s law.

David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (800) 401-4466 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/