Employment Law

What Are My Employer’s Obligations When I am Pumping at Work?

What Are My Employer’s Obligations When I am Pumping at Work? August is National Breastfeeding Month, with a theme of “Support Changes Everything.”  The United States Breastfeeding Committee developed this campaign in conjunction with breastfeeding coalitions, member/partner organizations, and individual supporters to generate advocacy for necessary policy and practice changes and “build a landscape of… read more

Visiting Angels Lawsuit

Visiting Angels Lawsuit Rukin Hyland & Riggin is currently investigating 

Girls in Tech x Gainsight: Know your Legal Rights in the Workplace

The #MeToo movement has put workplace sexual harassment in the spotlight, with numerous high-profile sexual harassment and assault allegations against powerful leaders in multiple industries. #Metoo has helped shed light on, and create a public conversation surrounding workplace issues that often go unreported. As more and more people step forward to share their stories, and… read more

Get Ready For California’s New Mediation Confidentiality Disclosure Law, Effective Jan 1, 2019

The new year is almost upon us, and with it comes a new obligation for California attorneys participating in mediations. Effective January 1, a California attorney representing a client in a non-class/non-representative action must provide the client with a printed disclosure explaining mediation confidentiality and obtain the client’s signed acknowledgment. Why is this happening now?… read more

I think I’m being sexually harassed at work. What should I do?

First, you should know that you’re not alone.  Unfortunately,

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

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 Depart of Labor’s 

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

California Employment Background Checks: Know Your Rights

For years,

EEOC Announces Pay Data Rule to Combat Workplace Pay Discrimination

There is good reason that Bay Area residents readily bandy about slang terms such as “tech bro” and “brogrammer”—terms that evoke a distinctive image—a tech scene made up of young male employees. Although the wage gap persists nationwide, recent reports have shown that both hiring and pay disparities are particularly pervasive in Silicon Valley, from… read more

Don’t Let Your Startup Blow Up

Over the years, we have observed a familiar pattern that catches many start-ups off guard and can prove costly and distracting. Worse yet, these companies could easily have avoided the problems. One of the Biggest Mistakes Start-Ups Do Companies in the early stages of growth predictably generate buzz and excitement that feeds the hopes of… read more

The Critical Case Recap: Week of October 13, 2014

Dynamex v. Superior Court (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate Division): What It’s About:  Employer Dynamex appealed the trial court’s denial of its motion to decertify, arguing that the court improperly adopted the definition of “employee” from IWC Wage Orders to determine the status of class members, instead of using the common law definition of… read more

U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Scope of Religious Accommodation in Abercrombie & Fitch Hijab Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that it would review the Tenth Circuit’s decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch.  731 F.3d 1106 (10th Cir. 2013).  In that case, the Tenth Circuit held that an employer is not liable under Title VII for failing to accommodate an applicant’s religious dress unless the applicant explicitly notifies… read more

The Critical Case Recap: Week of October 6, 2014

Ybarra v. Apartment Investment and Management Company (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District): What It’s About:  The Court of Appeal vacated and reconsidered its prior order reversing the trial court’s order denying the defendant’s motion to compel arbitration.  In light of Iskanian, the Court of Appeal held that the representative action waiver in the… read more

I was 1099’d: Employer Liability for Independent Contractors in the Service Sector

The Problem With Misclassifying Independent Contractors As the economy improves, there has been an increased focus on the problem of

New California Law Expands Harassment Training Obligation

The subject of bullying in schools and in the workplace has over the past several years attracted nationwide attention and generated significant discussion.  California recently took its first steps toward addressing the problem of workplace bullying. New Law Aims to Prevent Workplace Harassment On September 9, 2014, Governor Brown signed AB2053.  This new law amends… read more

California Becomes Second State To Require Paid Sick Leave

California Governor Jerry Brown yesterday signed into law the

Ninth Circuit Affirms Class Cert Grant to Claims Adjusters

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit gave plaintiffs an important victory in off-the-clock overtime cases when it affirmed the district court’s grant of class certification to a class of auto, property, liability, casualty, and special investigations claims adjusters in Jimenez v. Allstate .  The Court first rejected Allstate’s argument that the common questions identified by the district… read more

You Say Franchisor, I Say Employer.

CA Supreme Court opinion on franchise law Yesterday, the California Supreme Court addressed the circumstances under which a franchisor may be deemed to be the employer of a franchisee’s employees for purposes of the

Rhea v. General Atomics

In Rhea v. General Atomics, 14 C.D.O.S. 8201, the California Court of Appeal on Tuesday reaffirmed an earlier decision holding that an employer can require (or allow) an exempt employee to use vacation/paid time off (PTO) for partial day absences without compromising the employee’s exempt status.  The Rhea Court further held that an employer can… read more

My coworkers are harassing me. What are my rights?

Many people often ask me, “Is it harassment if my coworker makes racist remarks?”  The answer: maybe. Not every mean or rude comment qualifies as harassment. On the other hand, many employees suffer long periods of unlawful harassment or sexual harassment from their fellow employees but are unaware of what they can do about it…. read more

Overtime Pay Nuts and Bolts

Who is entitled to overtime pay in California? Both federal and California law requires that employees be paid the minimum wage for all hours worked and that nonexempt employees be paid the

Criminal Records in the Hiring Process

Should an employer have the right to disqualify applicants based on criminal convictions?  If so, should the law impose any limitations on this right?  There exist strong arguments on either side of the debate.  From the employer’s perspective, uniform application of a policy excluding candidates who have a criminal conviction – i.e., application of the… read more

The Critical Case Recap: Week of June 30, 2014

Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers (California Supreme Court) What It’s About:  Newspaper home delivery carriers claiming they had been misclassified as independent contractors, brought a class action for overtime wages, unreimbursed business expenses, and other employment benefits.  Affirming a Court of Appeal decision, the California Supreme Court found that the trial court had erred in… read more

Supreme Court to Clarify Employers’ Duty to Provide Pregnancy Accommodations Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Two days ago, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of a former United Parcel Service employee’s claim that the company violated the federal

White House Summit on Working Families: Possible Changes to Federal Leave Laws

According to the United Nations, out of 185 countries and territories with available information, the United States is one of the only three countries in the world, along with Papa New Guinea and Oman, lacking paid maternity leave.  Most developed countries provide both paid maternity and paternity leave, and paid family and sick leave.  Countries that… read more

EEOC v. Ford Motor Company

Telecommuting as Disability Accommodation? When Yahoo! CEO Marisa Mayer implemented a ban on telecommuting at the company in 2013, the initial backlash seemed to focus primarily on her taking a step that would most harm those for whom she had served as a role model – working mothers in Silicon Valley.  After stepping into the… read more

3 Things to Consider in Physician Agreements

Can Doctors Negotiate Contracts? I’m surrounded by doctors.  No, I’m not in a hospital, I’m just married to one (a doctor-to-be, that is).  My husband is an M.D./PhD student, who recently finished his Ph.D. and is currently in his third year of medical school.   Many of our friends are medical students, residents, and fully licensed… read more

The Rise of the Anti-Fraud Whistleblower

Journalists have called

Brendan Eich, Free Speech, and the California Labor Code

Ilya Somin over at the Volokh Conspiracy has an interesting post about the implications of the Brendan Eich/Mozilla affair.  For those of us in California, of course, free speech protections in the workplace are nothing new.  California law has long prohibited employers from punishing employees for expressing their political views.  For example, Labor Code sections

California Court of Appeals Invalidates Contractual Provision Limiting FEHA Time to Sue

In its first published ruling on the subject, a California appeals court has rejected as unreasonable and as against public policy an employer’s attempt to contractually shorten the amount of time an employee has to sue under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  Pursuant to the FEHA’s statutory requirements, codified at Cal. Gov. Code… read more

What Are PAGA Penalties?

PAGA Overview California’s Private Attorney General Act of 2004-or

Unpaid Internships

Intern Programs and Compliance With the Law For employers, December raises questions about how to prevent problems at the holiday party and what to do when the alcohol and holiday-spirit induced indiscretions inevitably arise. June brings questions about the unpaid interns scheduled to arrive in the next week or so. Although some companies have in… read more

Is An Employer Required to Provide Employement References?

Employers are not under any obligation to provide employment references for former employees. Providing employment references may leave former employers open to legal liability from the former employee and the prospective employer. For example, if the employer makes disparaging comments about a former employee and as a result, the employee is not hired for the… read more

What Responsibilities Does Your Employer Have Under the FMLA?

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (

The Importance of Formal Performance Reviews

There is no legal requirement that employers perform formal performance reviews of employees, just as there is no general requirement that an employer have just cause to fire an employee. An employer may, however, be required by the terms of an employment contract, employee handbook, or collective bargaining (union) agreement to review an employee annually,… read more