Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Employment Laws in 2015

Familiarize yourself with new employment laws taking effect in 2015 across the United States. For a listing of recent updates in state employment laws, visit

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Employment Laws in California 2015

Here are some key changes that went into effect in 2014 and are slated for 2015.  This is not a comprehensive list but some highlights.
Changes To California Wage and Hour Law
Minimum Wage Increase to $9.00/Hour (AB 10)
Effective July 1, 2014, the California minimum wage is $9.00 per hour.  It will increase to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016.  
Liquidated Damages for Minimum Wage Violations (AB 442)

Employer Liability for Labor Contractors’ Wage and Hour Violations (AB 1897)
Protections for Domestic Workers (AB 241)

Penalties for Failure to Provide “Recovery Periods” (SB 435)

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave – Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522)
Effective July 1, 2015, millions of California employees will be entitled to paid sick leave.  The law applies to employers of all size, and to employees who work 30 or more days in California within a year of the commencement of employment.  
Limitation On Criminal History Inquiries (SB 530)
SB 530 prohibits employer inquiries and reliance on criminal convictions that have been judicially dismissed or ordered sealed.  
Additional Leaves of Absence Requirements (SB 288, SB 400, and AB 11)

New Protected Categories Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act; Expanded Definition of Harassment (AB 556, AB 1443 and SB 292)

Expanded Definition of National Origin (AB 1660)

Additional Immigration-Related Protections (AB 262, AB 524, and SB 666).
AB 263 prohibits certain “unfair immigration-related practices” based on an employee’s assertion of rights under the Labor Code or applicable local ordinance.  
Whistleblower Protection for Employees Who Report Violations of Local Rules or Regulations (AB 496)
California common law protect employees who report alleged violations of federal or state law or regulations.  SB 496 expands protections in Labor Code section 1102.5.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday, February 25, 2013

Litigating Wrongful Dismissals

Employers generally can dismiss employees with or without cause.

If you are dismissed without cause then in many jurisdictions the employer must provide 'reasonable notice' prior to your departure. It is this grey area that drives many cases of employment litigation.

It is previous case-law that determines what is the ‘reasonable notice’ period that employers need to provide in any given situation. There are Statutory requirements in terms of what a ‘reasonable notice’ period has to be at a minimum but often the common law notice periods are substantially longer.

Often the biggest issue is the cost of litigating a ‘wrongful dismissal’. The wrongfully dismissed employee (which includes the employee who did not receive a sufficient ‘notice’ period (or pay instead of the ‘notice’) has a duty to try to find alternate employment. If alternate employment is available, this can significantly reduce (if not eliminate) whatever ‘damages’ the employee would have suffered.

Provided by the law firm of Taylor Conway specializing in real estate and injury law.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Does my employer need a reason to fire me?

The power of the employer to dismiss employee rests with your jurisdiction (province or State). For example, your employer does not need a reason to fire you in most Canadian provinces. The law requires that the employer either have ‘cause’ for firing you or the employer must provide you with reasonable ‘notice’ of your dismissal. First, if the employer has a reason to fire you, such as you have been taking money illegally from the business or you have been fighting with your co-workers, the employer has ‘cause’ and need not provide you with any ‘notice’ of your dismissal. The employer can have you leave employment immediately. Second, if the employer does not have a reason to fire you, they can still dismiss you but only if they give you proper ‘notice’. What this means is that they have to let you know that after a reasonable period of time (based upon your seniority, experience, income, responsibility etc.) you will be dismissed. Alternatively they can dismiss you immediately if they pay you what you would have been paid had they dismissed you after the notice period. For example, your employer can decide that they just don’t like you and tell you that your job will end in three months. Instead of keeping you for the three months (as a disgruntled employee), they can simply pay you the three months’ salary and send you on your way. Provided by the law firm of Taylor Conway whom specialize in litigation and injury law.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Walmart Employees Plan Protest

A limited 'strike' by some Walmart employees is planned for Black Friday in an attempt to raise awareness against the nation's largest private employer. Of course, the impact, be it minimal, will have zero impact on sales as Walmart shoppers are such because of one reason--price. Lower prices means lower inputs and the largest input is salary.

Of course, this is not about Walmart, the employees will use them as an example, but low age employees clear across the board in the US are suffering. Result?

Perhaps the union can once again rise up and look after the minimum wage worker (Rather than the historical trades). But again, unlikely to happen, as the very same people who work for minimum wage shop in the stores that employ them. Vicious cycle.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Men Need Not Apply

South Korea's Samsung operations in China are coming underfire for alleged sexual discrimination. An advertisement for positions at Samsung specified applicants be female and also be free of any communicable diseases. Chinese laws forbid any discrimination based on gender, and also states that refusing an applicant employment because of pathogens is illegal.

Here's the poster below:

The argument defending Samsung's questionable hiring practices in China is that, obviously, they don't know about the laws in place. This information comes at a time when Samsung is now under review for inhumane practices at their factories. The Samsung plants are accused of employing underage children, forcing long hours of work, and withholding pay.

The good news is, both American and Chinese labor watchdogs are confronting the situation. Let's hope these practices change for the better, though sadly, there are so many factories with inhumane working conditions in China that it will take a mammoth effort to usher in quality working conditions for the employees.