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Category Archives: Labor and Employment Law

How to Manage an Employee Who Has Filed an Employment Charge

While many employment discrimination charges are lodged by employees who have been terminated or otherwise severed from their employers, charges can and do originate with current employees as well. This can create a sensitive and awkward situation as the employer struggles to continue to manage the employee while avoiding the appearance of retaliation. This can… Read More »

Tread Lightly During a Union Campaign

A union campaign is often an extremely sensitive time for employers during which even innocent missteps can compromise the goodwill of employees and easily lead to labor litigation. Some employers may think the best course of action is to distance themselves as much as possible and go on as if nothing were happening. However, even… Read More »

Supreme Court Punts on Union Election Agreements

Corruption or the appearance of corruption has long been an issue in labor-management relations. As such, federal statutes make it illegal for employers to deliver anything of value to the unions that either currently represent their employees or seek certification to do so. While this clearly prohibits outright bribery, a recent case coming out of… Read More »

SCOTUS Adopts Strict Standard for Retaliation Cases

Retaliation claims are an ever-present threat to employers once an employee has filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Some employers live in fear of these employees and worry that any disciplinary action or routine adjustment in duties could be construed as retaliation. Fortunately for employers throughout the nation, the… Read More »

Supreme Court Considers Validity of NLRB Appointments

Presidential appointments are frequently the source of much political wrangling. However, the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral argument on a case that could have broad constitutional implications, in addition to a massive effect on the specific issue of labor law. On January 13, 2014, the court heard argument on a case seeking to invalidate… Read More »

Adjusting to CA’s New Domestic Violence Discrimination Law

Being a victim of domestic violence or abuse can have a significant effect on an employee’s life. Many businesses — large and small — have struggled with how to accommodate workers in this unfortunate position and how to respond if it begins to interfere with their job performance. These struggles are the primary reason why… Read More »

Collective Bargaining Agreement Trumps Wage & Hour Laws

Since U.S. jurisdictions first began regulating wages during the New Deal, there has always been some degree of tension between employment law dictates and the principle of freedom of contract. While the general rule has been that employers cannot use freedom of contract to circumvent wage and hour laws, a California appeals court has recently… Read More »

Court Rejects School Employee’s Due Process Challenge

Employees in the private sector are not used to the concept of due process prior to discipline or termination. However, the rules for public sector employees are different. Years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public employment is a protected interest, the deprivation of which requires due process, in the case of Cleveland Board… Read More »

California Court Sides with City Over Public Sector Retiree Rights

With more and more municipalities throughout the United States finding themselves in the red, public employee pension rights are under increasing scrutiny. Many municipalities can no longer afford to support the pensions and other retiree benefits to which they committed during better economic times. However, employers seeking to reduce their obligations to retirees must tread… Read More »

Oakland Raiders Sued for Wage and Hour Violations

It can be easy to forget that professional sports clubs are still businesses that face the same personnel issues as any other employer. The Oakland Raiders football team recently received a harsh reminder of this fact when a rookie member of its cheerleading squad filed suit in California state court alleging wage and hour violations…. Read More »

Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau
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Redwood City, CA, 94063 USA
650.568.2820