Editor in Chief

Bernadette M. O'Brien is an attorney at law in California.

She is the author of the popular Lexis Nexis publication Labor and Employment in California; A guide to Employment Laws, Regulations and Practices Second Edition which has been in publication since 1992. The book covers an array of employment related issues including discrimination, sexual harassment, wage and hour, family Medical Leave Act, and Privacy in the workplace.

She is of counsel with the Law Offices of Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLP in the firm's Sacramento office.

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Co-Editor

Rene Thomas Folse, JD, Ph.D. is an attorney at law and licensed psychologist in California.

He has practiced workers' compensation law for 35 years. His focus of practice involves claims of mental health injury where forensic psychology is involved in the evaluation of the claim. He has been an instructor and lecturer for many organizations and educational institutions and teches continuing education courses for attorneys, physicians and psychologists.

The EmploymentLawAcademy is pleased to offer our users FREE access to California Unemployment Insurance and Disability Compensation Programs - Online Version by David W. O'Brien, California Unemployment Insurance Administrative Law Judge (Retired). The paper version of this text contains nearly 1000 pages of information and law covering the California unemployment and disability Insurance claim. The online version may be searched by keywords, or you may navigate from chapter to chapter.

Recent Employment Law News for Feb 07, 2016

Tesoro, Steelworkers Reach $8.08 Million Settlement
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 00:33:00 - Pacific Time

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has approved a settlement agreement between Tesoro Refining and Marketing and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO-CLC (Steelworkers). Under the bilateral agreement, Tesoro will pay more than $8.08 million to 769 employees at their Carson, CA and Anacortes, WA facilities who engaged in the winter 2015 refinery strike. Workers at the Carson, Anacortes, and facilities across the country began a strike that stretched into late March when a new contract was reached. Once an agreement was reached ending the largest refinery strike in 35 years, employees at the Carson and Anacortes facilities returned to work. On March 6th, Tesoro awarded bonuses for the previous year to non-unit and non-striking employees, but withheld such bonuses from striking employees deeming them ineligible to receive them under the parties' Memorandum of Understanding. These annual incentive bonuses were based upon performance and profits during the previous calendar year. By entering into the agreement, Tesoro did not admit to any violations of the National Labor Relations Act. Read more here.

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Yahoo Sued For Alleged Illegal Mass Layoffs
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 22:26:20 - Pacific Time

Under the leadership of Marissa Mayer, Yahoo implemented a quarterly performance review, in which every employee at the company is ranked on a scale of 1 to 5. Yahoo used the ratings to fire hundreds of employees since Ms. Mayer joined the company in mid-2012. Further, Yahoo is implementing a streamlining plan that will involve additional job cuts. Amidst this, a former manager, Gregory Anderson, an editor who lost his job has filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination and violation of state and federal laws governing mass layoffs. The lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court in San Jose, California. Anderson alleges that senior managers at the company manipulated the rating system to terminate hundreds of employees without just cause to further the company’s financial goals. Anderson also alleges that the job cuts, which included about 600 other employees, amounted to illegal mass layoffs. Originally posted by the New York Times. Read more here.

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A Pregnant Employee Cannot Be Forced To Leave Her Job
Tue, 02 Feb 2016 21:46:12 - Pacific Time

As a recent case demonstrates, an employer cannot force an employee to leave her job because of concerns that she cannot perform her job duties due to the pregnancy. In the recent case, DeHaven's Transfer & Storage, Inc., a moving company, has agreed to pay $35,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC had charged in a lawsuit that DeHaven's discriminated against a female employee when it fired her because she was pregnant. According to EEOC's complaint, around October 2013, DeHaven's hired Heather Centeno as a packer. Around April 2014, Centeno's crew leader told DeHaven's business manager that Centeno was pregnant. Subsequently, the business manager told Centeno that pregnant women should not be doing the packer job, as it was unsafe. In response, Centeno explained that her doctor said it was safe for her to work as a packer. Several weeks later, DeHaven's business manager again expressed concern to Centeno that she should not work while pregnant. The same day, the company owner allegedly told Centeno's crew leader that he should not bring Centeno to work any longer because of her size, and stated that she looked terrible. DeHaven's fired Centeno that same day. Read more here.

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Obama Administration Wants Employers to Disclose Pay Data
Tue, 02 Feb 2016 02:21:28 - Pacific Time

The Obama administration is proposing a new rule to address unequal pay practices by requiring companies with more than 100 employees to submit salary data by race, gender and ethnicity. Specifically, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced a proposed revision to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) to include collecting pay data from federal contractors, and employers with more than 100 employees. The new data is intended to identify possible pay discrimination. EEO-1 data provides the federal government with workforce profiles from private sector employers by race, ethnicity, sex, and job category. This proposal would add aggregate data on pay ranges and hours worked to the information collected, beginning with the September 2017 report. Proposed changes are available for inspection on the Federal Register website and will be officially published in the Federal Register on February 1, 2016. Members of the public have 60 days from that date April 1, 2016, to submit comments. Read more here

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Lawsuit Alleges Company Only Hired Male Miners
Fri, 29 Jan 2016 21:50:00 - Pacific Time

Relying upon the Supreme Court's 2015 decision in the case, the Southern District of Illinois on January 19th confirmed that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can proceed with its sex discrimination action against Mach Mining, which operates a Johnston City, Ill. coal mine. Judge J. Phil Gilbert, to whom the case is assigned, rejected the company's attempt to use supposed flaws in the agency's pre-suit conciliation process as a basis for delay or dismissal of the case. In 2012, EEOC filed suit against Mach Mining alleging that it violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by failing to hire even a single woman for a mining position despite receiving applications from qualified women. The agency's complaint alleges that the company did not even have bathroom facilities for female miners. Mach Mining responded to the Commission's sex discrimination claims by trying to dismiss the agency's action on the basis of supposed failures in the statutorily required pre-suit conciliation process. Read more here.

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Employer Sued For Allegedly Failing to Provide Pregnancy Disability Leave
Fri, 29 Jan 2016 20:51:45 - Pacific Time

NHC Healthcare/Clinton, LLC, a licensed nursing center that provides a wide array of skilled nursing, therapeutic and rehabilitative services, has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a pregnancy and disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). According to the lawsuit, NHC Healthcare hired Tonya Aria as a full-time licensed practical nurse. Aria suffers from paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), which, without medication, can cause rapid heart rate, numbness in the extremities, tunnel vision and occasional blackouts. Aria's PSVT is controlled by medication.  NHC was aware of Aria's medical condition. Aria learned she was pregnant and stopped taking her PSVT medicine due to possible side effects to her unborn child.  As a result, Aria's PSVT symptoms became uncontrolled.  Due to her medical condition and pregnancy, Aria was placed on leave for three work days in early January 2013.  On January 15, Aria was fired because of absences related to her pregnancy and PSVT.  According to the EEOC, NHC Healthcare failed to accommodate Aria by allowing her medical leave and subsequently firing her because of her disability.  Read more here.

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Employer Will Pay $180K For Alleged Disability Discrimination
Fri, 29 Jan 2016 20:42:54 - Pacific Time

P.H. Glatfelter Company, a global paper manufacturer headquartered in York, Pa., will pay $180,000 to settle a federal disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC charged that Glatfelter required all individuals who applied for (or worked in) positions involving operation of forklifts or similar equipment to undergo a medical examination and pass a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) physical qualification standard for the operation of commercial motor vehicles. However, federal law does not require drivers of forklifts or similar equipment to pass the DOT standards for commercial motor vehicles. Read more here. 

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U.S. Supreme Court Grants Review in Another Exempt Status Case
Tue, 19 Jan 2016 22:40:12 - Pacific Time

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted review in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, a case in which the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the dealerships service advisors did not qualify as exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act exemption for salesman partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles.” Oral arguments will likely be scheduled for Spring 2016

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