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 Mar 31, 2015

FSK's 5th Annual Southern California Conference
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:33:14 - Pacific Time

On Friday, June 19, 2015, Floyd, Skeren & Kelly, LLP will hold its 5th Annual Southern California Conference.

The conference will take place at the Disneyland Hotel, located in Anaheim, CA.

We invite you to join us for this full day conference that will offer education on both Employment Laws and Workers' Compensation.

Some of the topics we will cover are:

The Latest Information on California's Paid Sick Leave-Ensure Compliance Before July 1, 2015; Mastering California Leave Laws Related to Disabled Employees: A Closer Look at the FEHA Regulations;
Interactive Process, and Accommodation; Preventing Work Comp Fraud in the Workplace;
Understanding and Complying With the New California Family Rights Act Regulations;
Sexual Harassment Claims Continue to Plague the Workplace- Employer Best Practices for Prevention and Response; How to Effectively Manage and Defend Work Comp Claims-Advanced Techniques From the Experts; Performance, Discipline and Termination-Best Practices for Avoiding Liability with These Vital HR Actions;
Work Comp Resignations and C&R's-What are the Legal Implications? and much more.

MCLE, CEU and HRCI Credits are approved for this conference.

For more information and to register, please visit FSK HR Training.

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Ellen Pao Loses Discrimination Case Against Silicon Valley Venture Capital Firm
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 04:57:41 - Pacific Time

Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers,  has prevailed in a closely watched gender discrimination suit. Plaintiff Ellen Pao had accused the firm of discriminating and retaliating against her in the course of her employment and eventual termination. The lawsuit amplified concerns about the lack of diversity in the technology industry. Read more here.

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EEOC Chair Comments on Pregnancy Discrimination Case
Thu, 26 Mar 2015 15:37:04 - Pacific Time

The statement below is from EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang, concerning the Supreme Court's decision in Young v. UPS. This case raised the question of whether a pregnant woman was entitled to changes to her job, such as light duty, in order to continue working during her pregnancy. The "decision in Young v. UPS is a clear win for women and families across America…The Court's analysis reflects the broad protection Congress intended when it passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978. I am pleased that the Court also recognized that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, provides important protections for employees with pregnancy-related conditions. As a result of this decision, many pregnant women who were previously denied accommodations will now be entitled to receive them." Read more here.

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against UPS in Pregnancy Discrimination Case
Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:50:21 - Pacific Time

In a landmark decision (Young v. United Parcel Service) the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against UPS in a case alleging discrimination pursuant to the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). UPS only provided light duty assignments to employees injured on the job. Thus, UPS denied a light duty position to a pregnant employee because her lifting restrictions (20 pounds versus the 70 pounds required by her position) were unrelated to a work injury. UPS defended its policy on the basis that all employees, other than those with work related injuries were treated the same, and thus there was no discriminatory intent under the PDA. The Supreme Court rejected their interpretation of the PDA. Read more here.

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California Assembly Committee Approves “Family Holiday” Bill
Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:40:57 - Pacific Time

California’s Assembly Labor and Employment Committee has approved a bill (AB 67) requiring double pay for work performed on certain holidays referred to as “family holidays,” specifically December 25 of each year (commonly referred to as “Christmas”) and the fourth Thursday of November of each year (commonly referred to as “Thanksgiving”). CalChamber has opposed the bill, stating that “AB 67 would also unilaterally increase the cost of doing business only for those employers who have a physical presence in California, thereby automatically placing them at a competitive disadvantage with online companies and out-of-state businesses that would not be subject to this cost.” The bill is headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Read more here.

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U.S. Labor Department Reaches $84 Million Settlement With BNY
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 00:39:44 - Pacific Time

The Bank of New York Mellon has agreed to repay $84 million to employee benefit plan customers as part of a settlement with the U.S Labor Department (DOL). The agreement was reached as part of a larger settlement that resolves private lawsuits against the bank as well as suits brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and the New York State Attorney General. An investigation by the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration found that, for most standing instruction foreign currency exchange transactions with customers, including retirement plans, the bank allegedly assigned nearly the worst prices at which currencies had traded in the market during all or part of a day. Read more read.

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EEOC Sends Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on ADA and Wellness Programs to OMB for Clearance
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 00:32:05 - Pacific Time

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) voted to send a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the interplay of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with respect to wellness programs to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance. This proposed rule, which was approved by a bipartisan vote, would amend the regulations implementing the equal employment provisions of the ADA to address the interaction between Title I of the ADA and financial incentives as part of wellness programs offered through group health plans. The submission of the NPRM to OMB represents the start of the regulatory process. After OMB approval, the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register for a 60-day public notice and comment period. The NPRM cannot be made public prior to its publication in the Federal Register. Read more here.

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Employer to Pay $125,000 for Allegedly Terminating HIV-Positive Employee
Sun, 22 Mar 2015 00:21:01 - Pacific Time

Gregory Packaging, Inc., a nationwide manufacturer and distributor of juice products to school districts and medical institutions, has agreed to pay $125,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In its lawsuit, the EEOC charged that Gregory Packing terminated an employee from its Newnan, Georgia, facility after learning that he was HIV-positive. According to the EEOC's lawsuit, the employee worked as a machine operator in the packaging department at the company's Newnan plant.  Despite his good job performance and demonstrated ability to perform his job in a safe manner, Gregory Packaging admitted it terminated the employee because of his HIV status. "The company now acknowledges that the employee's continued employment after he became HIV-positive did not pose a threat to the health or safety of him or others," said Robert Dawkins, regional attorney for the EEOC's Atlanta office. Read more here.

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