California Labor Code section 2802 requires an employer to reimburse employees for all expenses which were necessarily incurred in the course of employment. While this is a relatively straight-forward statute, it may not always be easy to apply in business. The most common form of employee reimbursement is automobile costs. The California Supreme Court recently issued a ruling which gave employers some guidelines for the reimbursement of employee car expenses.
By Hugh A. McCabe
There is no legal requirement in California for an employer to provide its employees with either paid or unpaid vacation time. However, most employers do provide some kind of vacation benefit either to ensure its employees get needed relaxation and work rejuvenation or to remain competitive for retention of their employees.
Unfortunately, lawsuits under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) are becoming a fact of life for business in America. These lawsuits are not only costly but are difficult to defeat. The United States government has imposed a series of regulations which outline minimum requirements for compliance with ADA. Plaintiffs then sue under the technical aspects of the ADA and request attorney’s fees. Often, business can be violation of the ADA without realizing it.
If your company is subject to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) or the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), it is important to recognize these laws impose many obligations beyond the mere duty to provide leave to eligible employees when asked to do so. This is especially important when an employee is potentially subject to an adverse action by the employer. Employers need to ensure compliance with these laws to avoid claims and lawsuits for wrongful termination or retaliation.
By Hugh A. McCabe
Although it may not always be the most pleasant aspect of the job, hiring and firing is an essential part of running every business. In order to prevent potential lawsuits, all employers should be aware of the following simple, although not always obvious, employment law tips.
In 1998, the California Supreme Court ruled supervisors were not personally liable for damages resulting from wrongful termination or discrimination. The California Supreme Court recently granted review of Jones v. The Lodge at Torrey Pines where a supervisor was held personally liable for retaliation when an employee lost his job. Individual supervisors need to be aware their actions could put their personal assets at risk.
The U.S. Supreme Court in a recent decision said employees claiming they received disparate treatment based on gender or race must do so within 180 days of the original discriminatory action -- not within 180 days of their last paycheck. The New York Times reported approximately 40,000 pay discrimination cases were brought between 2001 and 2006 and many of them will likely be barred by the Court’s new interpretation of Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act.
By James A. McFall
The aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) brought into focus a number of coverage issues that have previously not been confronted by the insurance industry or its customers. Terrorism by nature is a disruptive force. The resulting destruction is not just limited to physical damage but extends to far reaching, yet subtle, economic disruption.
By Matthew R. Souther