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Doug Larsen

California HR

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It's Here! The Supreme Court Issues The Brinker Decision

At 10 am today, the California Supreme Court issued its 54 page decision in Brinker.  The case was filed in 2004 by employees who challenged the company's meal and rest period practices.  The case presented a number of legal issues.  However, foremost among the issues is whether or not an employer is required to provide and ensure compliance with meal and rest periods, or whether the employer is required only to make them available to employees. 

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Accessibility and Swimming Pools

Periodically over the past 10 years businesses along the Highway 99 corridor have been fleeced for allegedly violating public accommodation statutes designed to assist those with disabilities.  The lawyers who file these actions -- typically thousands of lawsuits -- seek $4,000 per alleged violation.  And these violations can be as minor as a mirror that is an inch too high off of the floor. 

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Settling is Like Kissing Your Sister!

I just spent the last nine hours in a mediation.  A disgruntled former employee claimed unlawful discrimination and harassment.  The company of course denied any wrongful behavior.  And thus the argument ensued. 

In the end, the parties settled their dispute.  And to the extent that settlement brings finality to fees, frayed nerves and extra work, a settlement is a good thing.  But in the end, it's like kissing your sister.  There's no real satisfaction in that! 

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Politicians with Their Knickers in a Wad

Senators Chuck Schumer and Richard Blumenthal have asked Eric Holder whether employers can ask employees for their social media passwords. As federal representatives their only real concern is whether the practice violates a federal law. However, state Senator Leland Yee wants to make it illegal for an employer to ask for social media passwords or ask for a printout of social media activities. Why the big deal? I can't imagine an employer spending time on social media sites unless there is a problem in the workplace. HR professionals are too busy for such activities.

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