Employment Lawyer

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  • Employees hands tied with noncompete agreement

    Can your employer stop you from going to work for a competitor? In California, the answer is probably no.

    What Are Non-Compete Agreements?

    When an employee starts a new job, he is usually presented with a flurry of paperwork to fill out and sign. Usually, the employee has little time to read everything–and doesn’t. One of the things that is often buried among the other documents is an agreement that the employee won’t later compete with the employer. Such a document, often called a “non-compete agreement” or “covenant not to compete,” seeks a promise from the employee that he won’t later go work for a competitor or start his own business in the same area. Employees often sign these agreements without realizing the devastating impact that they can have. . . .

  • unsigned severance agreement

    Employers often offer severance payments to employees who are terminated or laid off. The payments usually come with strings attached; mainly, that employees must give up all rights to sue the employer for any claims that they may have. Employees may be required to sign lengthy severance agreements with complicated terms and conditions to receive their payment.

    If you are provided with a severance agreement, you must think carefully before signing it. You are well-advised to consult with an experienced employment lawyer to help make an informed decision. A lawyer can help you understand the legal rights you are giving up. They can explain [ . . . ]

  • As I argued last week in my blog post on CELA Voice, we’re spending more time telling women how to navigate around bias in the workplace than we are trying to fix it. In the second post of the series, titled Organizations have the power to reduce unconscious bias, I explain how employers can reduce the effects of bias in their workplace. Many mistakenly believe that it would be too hard or take too […]

  • Female programmers defy stereotypes

    We’ve had a surge of self-help articles and books telling women how they should act if they want to advance in the workplace. For example, women are told to “lean in,” “be more confident,” and “ask for a raise, but do it in a way that is ‘feminine’ so you don’t come off as demanding or unlikeable.”

    Sex discrimination has been illegal for fifty years. Rather than telling women how to navigate a biased system, shouldn’t we focus on how to stop the bias in the first place?

    Ramit’s two-part series, published in the CELA Voice Blog, addresses implicit biases, how they hurt women in the workplace, and what employers can do to reduce their effects. . . .

  • Worker wearing a hijab

    Yesterday, the EEOC issued a new publication that discusses employees’ rights with respect to religious grooming and dress in the workplace. The publication, Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities, is written in question-and-answer form and addresses some of the most common issues that come up when workers require religious accommodations with respect to their clothing and grooming. It is meant to guide employees and employers; you do not need to be a lawyer to understand it.

    Here are some of the key points from the EEOC’s publication:…

  • American workers keep falling behind

    As corporate profits soar, American workers’ pay keep falling behind. But the movement to increase the minimum wage for American workers has been gaining momentum. In the past year, six states, including California, have raised their minimum wage. Here in California, the minimum wage will go from the current rate of $8 an hour to $9 an hour on July 2, 2014 and to $10 an hour on January 1, 2016. Now, the movement is getting national attention.

  • No fun to be around a sick coworker

    How many times have you heard someone coughing, sneezing, and snotting away at work and wondered why they didn’t just stay home? Did you wince every time they coughed? Were you scared of getting sick yourself? Did you get sick? People come in to work while sick for a number of reasons, but for many it is financial: they simply cannot afford to take an unpaid day off work. That may change soon.

  • social media

    As social media use has become widespread, it has become common practice for employers to search the social media accounts of potential and current employees, and to take action as a result of postings on social media sites. A 2012 CareerBuilder survey found that 37% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates. They do so to learn more about the candidates, and to determine whether there are reasons not to hire them. Many employers also monitor the social media accounts of their current employees. Depending on how it is done, such monitoring can be unlawful, particularly if an employer is seeking […]

  • worker in need of a reasonable accommodation

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) require accommodations for employees with disabilities. If a qualified employee requests a reasonable accommodation, the employer must provide it unless it “can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation […]

  • A whistleblower's whistle

    2014 will be the year of the whistleblower in California.

    Here’s why: On January 1, 2014, new laws (AB 263, SB 496, and SB 666) went into effect that fixed major gaps in Labor Code § 1102.5, the California whistleblower protection law. These are gaps that you probably didn’t even know existed . . . .

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