Employees sue their employers for a variety of reasons, and generally seek advice from an employment attorney if they have a sense that their rights have been violated due to a protected characteristic. Many employees do not know what federal or California employment laws entail, but want to ensure that justice is served and their dignity is restored. If you are thinking about suing your boss, it can be helpful to know some of the most common reasons why other employees sue their employers.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that hugging at work can create a hostile work environment if the hugging is unwelcome and pervasive. Yolo County Sheriff Edward G. Prieto was charged with inappropriately hugging a female correctional officer over 100 times within a 12-year period. At one point Prieto hugged the correctional officer to congratulate her on her marriage. To some people, this behavior may seem harmless and friendly, but the correctional officer thought Prieto’s hugs were inappropriate and, ultimately, the court agreed.
So, does this mean that if you hug a longtime coworker in a congratulatory way, he or she will file a sexual harassment complaint against you? Not usually. But hugging in a professional environment can certainly cause confusion. While some coworkers may welcome hugs, others do not want to be touched — even if you have the best of intentions. But when is hugging at work okay? These guidelines for hugging in the workplace can help you decide when it may be an appropriate time to hug a colleague, and when you should probably just opt for the standard handshake.
If you plan on applying for a new job this year, you must complete a new version of the Form I-9 when you are hired. As of January 22 2017, newly-hired employees are required to complete this new form within three days of being hired.
Much of the form remains the same as the previous version, but there are some very important changes that employees need to know.
According to a recent decision by the California Supreme Court in the case of Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., California employees are entitled to breaks during their work day that must be duty-free, meaning that an employee cannot be required to perform any work-related job functions during his or her break time, including being on-call.
Failure to allow employees to have completely duty-free breaks can result in severe financial liability for the employer. Employers are required to pay employees up to one full hour’s worth of regular rate pay for any legally mandated breaks taken by employees that were not completely duty-free.
If you’re like us, then it is important that you lend a helping hand to your neighbors whenever possible. While we as attorneys seek to make the community a better place by offering employment law services to employees and serving on boards for various local organizations, the holiday season always has us pondering how we can give back even more. And if you’ve found this blog post, you’re likely thinking the same yourself!
During this season of giving, it is even more helpful to the community if you consider asking your coworkers or employees to participate in a group volunteering day, offering a coworker-backed donation to a local charity, or even adding a fundraising opportunity to your corporate holiday party. Not only will these acts of giving bring comfort to those in need, but they will make everyone in the workplace feel like they are giving back — plus helping workers feel a sense of comradery.