The Personnel Files: Your A to Z California Workplace Law Blog

March 8th: International Women’s Day

The first “National Women’s Day” was observed in the United States in 1909, to recognize the 1908 garment workers’ strike in New York.  A year later, Women’s Day was recognized internationally at a conference in Copenhagen, where over 100 women from 17 countries created a worldwide day of celebration to advocate for women’s rights.  In… Read more »

How Can I Tell if I’m Being Sexually Harassed at Work?

We have previously written about what to expect from your employer after making a sexual harassment complaint, but how can an employee tell if what she is experiencing at work is sexual harassment? Both California and federal law prohibit sexual harassment in the workplace. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act defines sexual harassment as… Read more »

Confidentiality Agreements: The Growing Need to Take a Closer Look

In a case filed just last month in San Francisco Superior Court, a current employee of Google asserts claims against the company based on its allegedly overbroad confidentiality agreement that Google requires all employees to sign and its policies regarding the use and disclosure of confidential information.  (John Doe v. Google, Inc.; San Francisco Superior… Read more »

Severance Agreements in California: Understanding the Whats, Whens & Hows

As employment law attorneys we focus on the employment relationship from start to finish, but we spend much of our time dealing with the termination of that relationship.  We advise clients on the lawfulness of terminations and the best ways for employees and employers to reduce risk in terminating the relationship, and we litigate cases… Read more »

New Federal Overtime Rule Faces Roadblocks

The holiday season is when many employers announce raises, bonuses, and other increases in compensation. This holiday season, millions of workers were going to become newly eligible for overtime under the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule. However, a Texas federal judge recently blocked the new federal overtime rule from going into effect. Now, it is… Read more »

Employers Ignore the SEC’s Commitment to its Whistleblower Program at their Peril

Severance agreements have once again drawn the ire of the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission.   This time, the SEC fined an Atlanta –based company, BlueLinx Holdings, Inc., $265,000 for maintaining unlawful severance agreement provisions.  It seems that many companies are having a hard time complying with the SEC rule that makes it unlawful for an… Read more »

Will the New Federal Overtime Regulations Put More Money in Your Pocket?

A change to the federal overtime regulations that will come into play at the end of 2016 will likely have a significant impact on workers. The U.S. Department of Labor recently promulgated new overtime regulations which increase the national overtime salary threshold, thereby dramatically increasing the number of workers eligible for overtime. While hourly-paid workers… Read more »

Employers are Checking our Backgrounds, but Who’s Checking the Background Checkers?

For years, employers have used background checks in making hiring and promotion decisions.  Since the advent of the internet, and particularly since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, more and more employers are requiring background checks as a condition of applying for employment—and they are increasing their reliance on such checks.  Moreover, the internet has provided the… Read more »

New California Law Calls for Equal Pay for Women: Understanding Your Rights

From Robin Wright making news for demanding the same pay as her ‘House of Cards’ co-star Kevin Spacey to the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team filing an EEOC charge for pay discrimination, equal pay is having a moment–and California’s equal pay laws are no exception. On January 1, 2016, California’s Fair Pay Act took effect to strengthen the… Read more »

Ban the Box Movement Gains Steam

Legal protections often lag behind technology, and nowhere is this more true than in the area of workplace privacy. Employers literally have the world at their fingertips, able to explore every aspect of a potential hire’s life history through internet searches and background checks. It’s not just HR departments one must worry about; the world… Read more »