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Arbitration provisions unconscionable; trial court properly refused employers’ efforts to enforce agreement

February 28th, 2011

Arbitration provisions in independent contractor agreements were unconscionable and, therefore, a trial court properly denied a petition by employers seeking to enforce those provisions in order to arbitrate gender and sexual harassment complaints filed by the plaintiffs, a California appeals court ruled in affirming the trial court (Wherry v Award, Inc, February 9, 2011 [certified [Read more...]

As summer approaches, experts address issues of dress codes, vacation request policies, child labor, and seasonal hires

February 28th, 2011

With warm, pleasant weather and the summer season fast approaching, the potential for employment law problems increases in the workplace. From companies struggling to accommodate multiple vacation requests and operating with minimal staff, to skimpy summer fashion that could prompt sexual harassment claims, employment law experts are helping companies navigate through the workplace dilemmas created [Read more...]

Arbitration agreement’s waiver of “Berman” hearing contrary to public policy, unconscionable

February 25th, 2011

The California Supreme Court, in a 4-1 decision, ruled that a provision in an arbitration agreement that required an employee to waive the option of a “Berman” hearing was contrary to public policy and unconscionable (Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc v Moreno, February 24, 2011, Moreno, C). However, the court concluded that the arbitration provision could be [Read more...]

Though managers caution against it, most workers say they frequently come to work sick

February 25th, 2011

Seventy-six percent of employees admit to at least somewhat frequently coming to work when feeling under the weather, according to an Accountemps survey. One-third (34 percent) of workers interviewed said when a colleague comes in sick, they worry most about being exposed to his or her illness; only 8 percent are impressed by their coworker’s [Read more...]

City directive requiring physician’s note upon return from medical leave did not violate the Rehabilitation Act or constitutional protections on informational privacy

February 24th, 2011

A city’s directive — which required police division employees returning to duty following sick leave, injury leave, or restricted duty to submit to their immediate supervisor a copy of their physician’s note stating the “nature of the illness” and whether the employee is capable of returning to regular duty — did not violate the Rehabilitation [Read more...]