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Articles by James E. Hall, Mark T. Kobata, Marty Denis and D. Diane Hatch

Law Firm’s Arbitration Procedures Ruled Improper

August 2, 2007
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California law has for several years prohibited enforcement of mandatory arbitration procedures that are unconscionable. Employers are advised to carefully review the costs involved in mandatory arbitration and the specific processes by which employment-based claims can be resolved by arbitration which have met with court approval.
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Time-Off Request Too Vague for ADA Claim

June 29, 2007
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To avoid disputes about the nature of requested accommodations, it is suggested that, when requests for time off or job reassignments are made, employers require employees to specify, in writing, the nature of the request.
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Undocumented Workers Can Sue for Unpaid Wages

June 29, 2007
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Employers are advised that state wage/hour laws may not be pre-empted by federal immigration law. Employers who hire illegal workers may be liable to those illegal workers under applicable state wage laws in the same way they are to legal workers.
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State Law Penalties For Missed Meal, Breaks

June 15, 2007
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The court’s decision underscores the importance of ensuring that employers’ meal and rest break policies comply with applicable law, as well as the importance of ensuring those policies are being followed by all employees.
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Employee Rejects Employer’s Harassment Remedies

June 15, 2007
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Employer policies should afford employees multiple avenues for employees to complain about harassment and discrimination issues. It is equally important that employers promptly investigate such complaints and respond with appropriate remedial actions as warranted
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Employee Use of E-Mail to Discuss Union Matters

May 18, 2007
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Employers are advised to consult applicable state and federal laws that may address policies barring employee use of company e-mail for non-business matters.
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Risk From Medical Condition Under the ADA

May 4, 2007
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Employers are permitted to consider the risk of employing an individual with a physical affliction despite the mitigating effects of medical treatment.
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Drug Testing May Not Violate Fourth Amendment

May 4, 2007
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Drug testing of government employees must be based on special governmental needs and balanced against individual privacy rights to avoid a Fourth Amendment violation.
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Reference to Age in Termination Process

April 9, 2007
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Employers are advised that any comments by an employer about an employee’s age may constitute evidence of age discrimination or a bias against an older employee.
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