california

What is Required for an Employer to Reasonable Accommodate A Disabled Employee?

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In our last blog, we discussed an employer’s obligations in regards to reasonably accommodating disabling employees. As we discussed, there is a lot of confusion and unclarity regarding what these responsibilities entail and what employers can do to reasonably accommodate disabled employees.

California courts have made it clear that they are looking for evidence of a “cooperative dialogue” and good faith on the part of both parties. Barnett, 228 F.3d. at 1014; Jensen v. Wells Fargo Bank, 85 Cal. App. 4th 245, 266 (200). Further, neither side is allowed to engage in obstructionist conduct. Also, the dialogue between employers and employees includes making reasonable efforts to communicate concerns and making information available to the other party.

For example, if the employee requests a particular accommodation, the employer must give it “due consideration.” If the employer rejects the proposed accommodation, it must “initiate discussion with the employee regarding the alternative accommodations.”

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been discriminated at work based on their disability? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://payablaw.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

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Employers Need to Give Notice and Post New Paid Sick Leave Laws

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A new year brings new laws for California employers. As we discussed in our last blog, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Family Act requires employers to provide paid sick leave.

Labor Code section 2810.5 has been amended in 2015 to require employers to provide written information at the time of hire about new paid sick leave entitlements.

Specifically, this law requires that notices must now also include language advising employees of their right to accrues and use paid sick leave, their right to be free from retaliation, and their right to file a complaint.

An employer is also required to display in each workplace of the employer a poster notifying employees of these paid sick leave rights.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://payablaw.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act Allows Three Paid Sick Days Per Year

Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014

This year, California will become one of only a few states to require employers to provide paid sick time to employees.

The newly mandated The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, which will come into effect on July 1, 2015, requires a minimum of hours be provided to employees for the care of themselves or family members during illness. In a special 4 part series, we will break down this unprecedented act and explain how it applies to you as an employee and how it will affect employers.

Not only have employees benefited from the newly increase in the state’s minimum wage (read our article on California’s increase in minimum wage here), employees can now also count on at least THREE (3) paid sick days per year. The benefits to employees are substantial as employees are allowed to take 3 paid sick days per year to attend to their own health or their family members. While employers will reap benefits in the form of increased employee productivity and morale.

Tune to our next article explaining this noteworthy new law and how it affects employees and employers in 2015.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://payablaw.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

Is it against the law for an employer to be open for business on every holiday some of which you have to work?

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No. There is nothing in California law that directs that an employer must close its business on any particular day. It is up to the employer to select which days it chooses to be open or closed for business. If your employer is open on a holiday, like Christmas of New Years, and schedules you to work that day, there is nothing in the law that obligates your employer to pay you anything but your regular pay and any overtime premium for all overtime hours worked.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

All You Need to Know About Vacation Time

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In California, there is no legal requirement that an employer must provide its employees with paid or unpaid vacation time. However, if an employer does have an established agreement or policy to provide paid vacation, then there are certain restrictions on the employer on how to provide vacation pay.

Earned vacation time is considered wages, and vacation time is earned as labor is performed. For example, if an employee is entitled to 2 weeks of vacation per year, after 6 months of work he or she will have earned 1 week of vacation. Vacation pay adds up as it is earned and cannot be forfeited regardless of the reason for the termination. Unless otherwise agreed by a collective bargaining agreement, upon termination of employment, all earned and unused vacation must be paid to the employee.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been deprived of your vacation time? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

How Long of A Meal Period Are You Entitled To?

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According to California law, an employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period of no less than 30 minutes. However, if the total work period day of the employee is no more than 6 hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employee and the employer.

A second meal period of not less than 30 minutes is required if an employee works more than 10 hours per day. However, if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employee and the employer only if the first meal period was not waived.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been deprived of your meal period? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

All You Need to Know About Rest Periods

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California law requires that employers allow employees to take a 10-minute paid rest period for every 4 hours worked. The rest period should be given in the middle of the work period as is practicable. If the circumstances of the work prevent the employer from giving the break at the preferred time, the employee must still receive the required break, but may take it another point in the work period.

It is not permissible to choose to work through both of your rest periods so that you can leave your job 20 minutes early or arrive late.

If an employer does not authorize or permit a rest period, the employer must pay the employee one hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each workday that the rest period is not provided.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Are you or anyone you know been deprived of your rest periods? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.

3 Common Overtime Mistakes

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The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulates the payment of overtime. Here are three common overtime mistakes:

Mistake #1: Misclassifying employees – some employers classify workers as independent contractors to escape liability for overtime wages. Courts look at whether an individual is “economically dependent on the business to which he renders service or is, as a matter of economic fact, in business for himself,” and they use a variety of factors to determine whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor.

Mistake #2: Exemption confusion – Paying an employee a salary does not necessarily make him exempt from overtime wages. Most employees who are exempt from overtime fall under the executive, administrative, or professional exemptions (also known as the white- collar exemptions), which require payment on a salary basis. However, for the white-collar exemption to apply, an employee must meet the duties test and be paid a minimum salary of $455 per week.

Mistake #3: Calculating the regular rate – employers should make sure to properly calculate employees’ regular rate of pay. Overtime is calculated at 1.5 times an employee’s regular rate for all hours worked in excess of 8 hours up to and including 12 hours in any workday and for the first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. Further, double overtime is calculated as 2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 12 hours in any workday and for all hours worked in excess of 8 on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek. However, an employee’s regular rate is not necessarily the same as the hourly rate. If an employee’s only compensation is his hourly rate, the regular rate is the same as his hourly rate, and the overtime rate is 1.5 or 2 times that amount. If you provide any compensation over and above straight hourly wages, make sure you calculate any bonuses or compensations which must be included in the calculation of the regular rate.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Do you have any questions about your overtime wages? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

Governor Brown Signs New Employment Bills into Law

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California Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law two bills that affect California employers.

A.B. 2751 strengthens an old law, which made it unlawful for an employer to engage in an “unfair immigration-related practice” or otherwise retaliate against a person for engaging in protected conduct (please see our last post in what constitutes “protected conduct”), including making a written or oral complaint about unpaid wages.

The new law clarifies that the civil penalties are payable to the employees who suffered the violation, and that employer cannot retaliate against employee for updating his/her personal information based on a lawful change of name, Social Security number, or federal employment authorization document. The new law also expands the definition of “unfair immigration-related practice” to include an employer’s threat to file a complain with the government against an employee who attempts to exercise a right protected under employment laws.

Also, another new law clarifies that rest or recovery periods to prevent heat illness count as compensable hours worked.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases.

Questions about your rights at work? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/

Tips for Ensuring Meal and Rest Break Compliance

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Many California employers face lawsuits for meal and rest break compliance. There’s a lot that can be done to avoid accidentally not providing employees with the meal and rest breaks they’re entitled to. Here are some tips for employers to help ensure that meal and rest breaks are taken appropriately:

– Evaluate systems to ensure that they don’t hinder employees from taking rest and meal breaks. For example, make sure that employees are not being schedule too much.
– Schedule breaks and relief rather than relying on employees to do it without prompting.
– Ensure that employees record the time out and time in for the meal period. Note that in the absence of proof that an employee took a meal period (ie. clocking out), it will be presumed they did not. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure they have the opportunity to take the meal break.
– Have a complaint written “on-duty meal period” agreement on file.
– Set up a system for employees to report violations.
– Track and discipline violations.
– Talk to the employees who miss breaks. The key here is to show the employees that they have a responsibility to take breaks they have been provided and that they cannot just not take it to try to get the premium pay, and doing so will result in disciplinary action.

Taking the above precautions will ensure employers will face less meal and rest break violations.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases

Are you or anyone you know not been given your meal or rest breaks? Contact the Law Offices of Payab & Associates @ (800) 401-4466 or visit http://employmentlawyersla.com/ if you have any questions regarding your rights at the workplace.