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Different Types of Drug Tests in California

drug testing

If you have been newly hired, chances are you will have to submit to drug testing (depending on the type of work you’ll be doing.) But if the drug testing provider is fixed in a single location, then it is a problem because it is not possible for the employees to take the test during the office hours.

Therefore, California Mobile Alcohol Testing service is getting popularity. It is effective and not only new employees, people with suspicious nature; post-accident people can take the drug detection test at his or her own location. The mobile car will come to you and successfully take the test. You will be free from all pains, and you do not have to go here and there.

It is becoming more and more common for companies to require drug testing before offering a job to new employees these days. The main reason for this is that habitual drug users often cost the company a great deal of money due to tardiness, absences, insurance claims and more. It is in a company’s best interests to know if a potential hire will present a financial burden to them or not. Depending on the type of drug test they use, they can show the presence and amount of drugs or alcohol in a person’s system, each giving a different type of result:

 

Hair Follicle Testing

This type of test is more accurate in detailing a history of use by the potential hire. Trace amounts of drugs can be detected in the hair follicle for up to 90 days. This particular test can tell what types of drugs a person has used over an extended period, but cannot give evidence of the person’s present condition of impairment.

 

Breath and Alcohol Testing

With a Breathalyzer, one can measure the amount of alcohol in the blood. Law enforcement officials use these tests to determine whether a person is impaired or intoxicated at a specific time. These tests do not give any evidence or proof that a person is a habitual user and cannot measure activity over any extended length of time.

The results of these tests can only determine the number of drugs or alcohol in the person’s blood at the time of the testing. The person’s history of drug and alcohol use cannot be determined in this way.

 

Mouth Swab Tests

A mouth swab test is designed to collect saliva from inside the mouth to determine what the person has ingested within the previous few hours. It is only used to detect very recent drug activity and will give evidence of nothing long-term. This form of drug testing is probably the easiest to collect and is also less invasive.

The laws governing these types of tests can vary from State to State, and many businesses are now using regular drug screenings for their employees wherever it is allowed. It is vital for a candidate to know that if a positive result comes back on their tests that they are often afforded the legal right to challenge the results and demand a retest or an opportunity to give a reason for the results.

 

Common Mistakes When Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim

worker’s compensation

The biggest problem people face when filing worker’s compensation claims to receive benefits entitled is usually understanding and knowing the rules. Failure in complying could result in either minimum claim attained or completely denied.

Don’t let the following mistakes cost you a lot of money:

 

Assuming not to be entitled to a worker’s compensation- you do not have to ask yourself this question. If injured at the workplace, then you are entitled to worker’s completion act. It is, therefore, your right to claim compensation for your medical bills, without question.

Failure to report the accident- report the accident to your employer as soon as possible. It should be in writing or in person.

Failure to report to your doctor- all the details of the accident have to be on your doctor’s record. Any information absent will lead to denial of your claim. Don’t give them an excuse. A complete and accurate report is always necessary.

Failure to stay in contact with your employer- be available always for inquiries by your employer even when you do not work. Further information on your occupational injury may be required or you may be required to verify the information you already give.

Seeking coverage through a private health insurance- you should note that your health insurance covers medicals bills and also will not cover for on the job injury. But your worker plan covers all the costs associated with your injury or disability benefits.

Failure to claim due to no event caused the injury- do not assume, you may be eligible to get benefits as long as the injury was along the line of duty in your workplace.

The thought that pre-existing conditions will make you ineligible- as long as your pre-existing conditions are made worse by the injury, you are therefore eligible for benefits. The workplace injury has to be the reason for treatment in this scenario.

What if the employers seek to prove nothing has happened to me? Let this not be a question. To avoid paying for you they may try to prove that you are fine. In this case, it is nice to visit a trusted doctor and hire a worker’s compensation attorney. It is essential for financial help and also for your defense in court for the extremes.

Allowing the employer to “doctor shop”- they do not have the right to direct you to a specific doctor if they at all agree to pay. If they try to switch you to another doctor, you should consult a lawyer immediately.

Avoid costly mistakes and avoid delays by getting your work injury compensation filed correctly the first time.

What the Child Labor Laws in California

child labor

The American child labor laws have really changed the children living environment by protecting them from exploitation. The U.S. processing plants were shooting with a requirement for labor, and children could regularly be utilized and paid lower compensation than grown-ups. The essential wellspring of American child labor laws can be found in the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

Fair Labor Standards Act

As indicated by the Fair Labor Standards Act, for non-farming occupations, child younger than 12 may not be utilized at all aside from under certain exceptional conditions (like on-screen child characters). In the meantime, children between the ages of 12 and 16 can be utilized in specific occupations for a predetermined number of hours, while a child between the ages of 16 and 18 can labor for boundless hours in non-perilous occupations.

There are various exemptions to these standards, obviously, for example, labor by guardians, daily paper conveyance, and the previously mentioned child performing artists. Horticultural labor for children, then again, is substantially more indulgent, where a child as youthful as 12 might be utilized for a significant number of hours outside of school hours if the guardians give their authorization.

We also have various state laws that add to these limitations. Most states have their laws that mirror the government directions and add to them. For the most part, the more stringent law trumps, the more casual one with regards to child labor laws.

 

Farming Jobs

While child labor is firmly directed in the United States, there are still worries about underage specialists. Numerous children who labor in farming callings neglect to finish secondary school are frequently presented to dangerous pesticides, and experience dangers that prompt five time more noteworthy rate of fatalities than different minors their age who labor. Additionally, they are regularly required to labor exorbitantly for extended periods of time, frequently over 10 hours per day, which is not counting hours spent in school.

 

Acting

Child on-screen characters are another territory of worry for some, watch gatherings. While a standout amongst the most firmly directed classes of youngster specialists, state laws regularly enable the guardians to control their child’s profit. This can prompt frightful debate, particularly amid divorces or other family contradictions.

If you are a business considering contracting a child specialist, you may wish to counsel with a nearby lawyer for exhortation on how best to deal with that laborer. You can discover a rundown of lawyers in your general vicinity, including the individuals who concentrate their practices on labor law, by searching online or in a phone book.

 

Are Same-Sex Couples Entitled to Share Employment Benefits?

same-sex

One of the most important advantages of marriage is that you get an opportunity to share the employment benefits of your spouse like insurance and health. However, same-sex couples have struggled to take advantage of the various benefits. Forget the benefits, they have even struggled to get the right to marry.

 

However, due to the various recent movements, many jurisdictions have started accepting same-sex marriages.

 

Employers

As an employer, you must be wondering whether you have to provide them with the same benefits as received by a heterosexual couple. However, there are still many jurisdictions which are vague in this regard. The decision of the Supreme Court in the US Vs Windsor Case opened the possibility of legalization of gay marriages. However, states have power as well. Not all of them have legalized same-sex marriages. That is why there is so much confusion.

 

States and Marriage Laws

Another question which arises in the mind is whether the LGBT community will be considered as a protected class. If they are considered as a protected class, then they will be safeguarded against anti-discrimination laws.

 

Laws which violate the rights of the protected classes often get overturned. However, sexual preference is not usually considered as a determinant for deciding protected class. Recently, a law which declared same-sex marriage illegal was declared as unconstitutional by the federal courts.

 

But many states have not accepted the decision. So basically, the question is whether they should be considered as similar to heterosexual couples and what an employer should do. The answer is quite simple.

 

It completely depends on the state where you operate. Some states will require you to provide them with the same benefits. In the case of some states, there is no such compulsion. In instances where you operate in multiple states, you should follow the jurisdiction of that state which offers the maximum protection to LGBT communities.

 

Big Corporations

You will also find that most of the Fortune 500 companies have also started offering same-sex couples equal rights and benefits. And in case you operate in just one state, then you have to worry about the jurisdiction of that state only.

 

However, you also have to keep an eye on the various laws which will come related to LGBT community. There is a high chance that laws in the future will require you to offer equal rights to the LGBT community. In case you want to know more about the legal requirements, you can contact a labor attorney and they will be able to help you out in this regard.

 

Construction Accidents Caused By Defective Equipment in California

construction

A lot of companies and industries today rely highly on the use of machinery and equipment for their day to day functions and construction operations. Companies such as the construction, mining, manufacturing, and transportation need to follow basic safety precautions to keep their workers and operations off risks.

 

The companies can be able to keep their industries risk free, but there are dangers that a company cannot manage fully. Machines can malfunction from day to day operations, and such occurrences cannot be prevented entirely but rather managed. This can further prevent risks that can be exposed to their employees too.

Some law firms and companies in California serve as strong advocates for the humanitarian rights fighters for the employees who may get injured in the line of duty. They help the workers to get justice and to understand their rights. They also ensure that the workers get compensation if they get injured or exposed to risks in their jobs.

 

Obligation to Safety

Companies should ensure that their construction machinery is not faulty and that their equipment should not pose dangerous scenarios to their employees. There should be sufficient space created within the working area. This will ensure easy management of the risk if any may occur. Companies should ensure that their workers are working in a risk-free environment and that it does not violet the machinery guarding and operations.

Different companies have handled numerous cases that involve equipment and machinery such; factory machines, tractors, forklifts, dumpers, nail guns, belt sanders, and defective conveyor belts. These are some of the machinery and job-related equipment’s that may pose risks to the employees.
 

What To Do When Injured

If a worker is injured by a defective construction equipment when at work they can be able to help themselves by filing a compensation claim against their employer or company. They may be in turn be eligible for related medical benefits and supplementary income packages to cover them throughout the period that they are receiving their treatment.

Manufactures should also ensure that they produce products that are not defective to their consumers and customers too. This is very important as it will save the company from the costly and the lengthy lawsuits that may accompany such an occurrence. They should test their product to ensure that they are defective free and that they meet the required standards of production and their use.

 

If any defective may arise and cause serious harm to the product user, the next of kin or family may file a lawsuit claim to get compensation from the manufactures. This will enable the family get compensation and know the actual cause of the injury that may be caused by the product or the company. To avoid all this companies and industries should ensure that such risks are well cautioned and prevented from happening.

Social Media and Firing in California

social media

Nowadays, you probably won’t find a single person who doesn’t have a social media account. Whenever anything new comes up, we always first post it on our social media account(s), however, it often draws unwanted attention. This can be a big issue for businesses especially if the post has nothing to do with the business practices.

 

 

Avoiding Problems

In order to avoid such a situation, most businesses have some rules and regulations regarding social media posting. Many have banned posting on social media during the office hours or at least limited the kind of posts which you can make. For example, many organizations have banned employees from making posts related to politics. However, businesses need to make sure that their policies are not illegal.

 

 

At-Will Employment

Most of the places have at will employment, which means that the employee can quit the job any time he or she wants, The employer also has the right to fire the employee unless on illegal grounds like racial discrimination. Hence, if the employer doesn’t like any particular post, he has full right to fire the employee.

 

 

Employment Contracts

The situation is slightly more complicated if there is an employment contract. In an employment contract, the reasons for which the employer can fire the employee is already mentioned beforehand. If social media posting is not listed as one of the reasons, then the employee has the right to sue the employer for breach of contract.

 

 

Labor Guidelines

NLRB can also help you in figuring out when firing is justified and when it is not. Every year, NLRB receives hundreds of complaints from employees who believe they have been wrongly fired. Because of the receipt of so many complaints, they have issued a statement regarding this. As per them, employees have the right to discuss work-related problems with other employees. However, it is necessary to engage other employees in the post. Just merely complaining about work can get you fired.

 

 

First Amendment Rights

Many employees have claimed that they cannot be fired because of social media posting because it violates their right of free speech. However, that right can only be exercised while interacting with the Government. Private companies do not need to follow that. However, if you work for a Govt establishment, then it may apply.

 

 

If you think that you have been wrongly fired because of social media posting, then it is necessary to seek legal help immediately.

How to Deal With Employees Who Are Habitually Sick, Tardy and Absent

employees

Would you like to know how to deal with habitually absent, tardy, and sick employees? An employee may not be coming to work because he/she claims to be sick – others may be habitually coming late. If you want to fire such people, is there a risk?

 

Let us find out.

 

 

What Should I Do?

First, determine whether there are federal or state statutes that apply to the scenario. Then check if your employee has worked for at least a year at your organization and if he/she meets the minimum required working hours. After that, check if FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) is covering your employee.

 

If so, he/she is entitled to unpaid leave of up to 12 weeks per year. You can choose not to pay any employee on FMLA leave. In addition, you may tell the employee to notice you early as well as provide certification of their health condition. Although you cannot discipline such an employee, you can transfer him/her to another position with at least the same benefits and pay as the current position. Next, determine if ADA is protecting your employee (Americans with Disabilities Act).

 

The act requires you to accommodate employees with disabilities provided they can fulfill the essential functions of the job. ADA only protects those suffering from something very serious in order to qualify as a disability. Either ADA or FMLA does not say you can tolerate unending absenteeism.

 

If your employee, with no disability, has exhausted his/her FMLA leave, you can opt to fire or discipline him/her. Nonetheless, before you do anything, consider having an expert opinion on state laws from labor laws and an employment lawyer.

 

 

Should I Make An Employee Handbook?

In order to handle such cases with ease, consider including such policies in your employee handbooks. In the handbook, you can include all the above topics and ensure all the employees acknowledge receiving it.

 

Then make sure you enforce those policies equally across the board to avoid any misplaced claims. One of the simplest ways to alleviate such a problem would involve defining each job description as clearly as possible including the essential job functions. If the policies differ from one job category to another, enforce uniformly per category.

 

Nevertheless, when there are no such attendance policies, you can introduce them by noticing all the employees. Having detailed and accurate records can also protect you from discrimination claims.

 

 

Keeping Records

When an employee is absent, record when, why and any disciplinary actions taken if any. You can use those records to fight any claims that may come after terminating an employee. As always, you can contact an attorney if you are facing that situation. He/she may help you handle risks of liability, make appropriate attendance policies and answer difficult questions you have.

 

In addition, you can ensure your business activities like hiring, disciplining and firing employees. Better you spend little now instead of later paying more.

Jury Duty Leave Laws in California in the Workplace

jury duty

Jury duty service is very important in enhancing democracy in America. As such, California’s jury leave law which is derived from the Labor Code section 230 recognizes employees’ freedom to engage in jury duty. Jury duty is a process where citizens act as witnesses in a court of law upon receiving summon papers. In most instances, employees are reluctant to serve on a jury due to fear of lack of compensation by their employers. It is, therefore, necessary for employers to create jury duty leave policies that motivate employees to participate in jury service.

In relation to jury duty leave laws in the workplace, there are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The questions are as follows:

Is it obligatory to pay an employee attending jury duty?

The law does not compel employers to pay employees attending jury service. However, some employers have formulated jury duty leave policies that guarantee employee compensation for their service. In organizations where there are no such policies, the employee does not receive compensation.

Do I commit an offense by communicating with my employee in the course of a trial?

It is not an offense to communicate with your employee as long as it is during the trial recess. However, it is an offense to discuss details of a trial with the employee.

Do I have the mandate to verify that my employees will attend jury service?

It is your right as an employer to request your employees to furnish you with the necessary documentation-notice of proceedings, a court order- that confirms they will be attending jury service.

When should I withhold compensation for my exempt employees on a jury?

An employer is required to pay exempt employees for the total days worked. Even so, an employer can withhold compensation if jury duty deprives the employees of their ability to execute tasks for the entire jury service week.

Is there any chance that I can be compelled to pay my nonexempt employees?

There are instances where an employer may be compelled by a contract or union agreement to pay nonexempt employees.

Do courts compensate employers who compensate employees for jury service?

Unfortunately, courts do not compensate employers. If an employer compensates an employee for attending jury duty, the employee ought to refund the juror’s fees to the employer.

To wrap up, it is key for employers to enact jury duty leave guidelines that are fair to employees. This should be done since jury service is part of employees’ duty as citizens to influence the legal process. With respect to employees who hardly understand about jury duty leave laws, it is wise to consult legal experts in California labor laws to get more insights these laws.

 

What is Compensatory Time? 

compensatory time

Compensatory time brings up the issue of whether a worker is qualified for additional time remuneration, and this has been a fervent case issue of late in California. The primary explanation for this is the way a representative is qualified for extra time compensation. This needs to be an accurate request that relies upon the particular certainties and situation of one’s business.

There are, however, several hard principles that are important to be aware of about overtime wages, whether you are an employer or an employee:

a) Overtime compensation cannot be waived. Any agreement by an employee to waive overtime pay or to accept less that the statutory rate he is due is invalid and unenforceable. In other words, even if the employer and employee sign a written agreement in which they will agree that the employee will not seek overtime pay, the employee will still be able to sue (and likely prevail in) later demand overtime pay for the hours worked more than the statutory workweek.

b) For the overtime rate of wage in California, the employer must be employee one-and-a-half time of his “regular” rate for every hour worked above 40 hours per week, or for any time worked beyond 8 hours per day. The employer is to pay double time when the employee works over 12 hours in a day. Under state law, the regular rate of pay is calculated by dividing a weekly salary into 40 hours or a normal workweek. Regular rate includes bonuses and commissions that the employee might be earning as part of his wages. That the commission is paid on a basis other than weekly, and that payment is deferred for a period past the worker’s normal pay day or payroll interval, don’t pardon the business from including this installment in the representative’s customary rate.

c) Certain employees are exempt from overtime laws. Under federal law, workers employed in a bona fide executive, administrative or professional capacity are exempt from overtime wage benefits. Certain kinds of employees are also exempt from overtime rules as a matter of law. This includes amusement park/recreational park employees, outside sales persons, sailors, criminal investigators, computer system analysts, baby sitters and personal attendants.

d) The time that counts toward overtime except for regular working hours is standby or “on call” time which may be compensable under federal law if it is spent primarily for the benefit of the employer and his business. This, of course, depends on the specific circumstances of each case. Under California law, an employee must be paid for a time considered to be on duty while on the employer’s premises.

f) Taking time off instead of overtime under California law, employers may not require employees to take time off instead of overtime compensation. But employees have the right to request compensatory time off at the rate of one-and-one-half hours off for each hour of overtime worked provided that a written agreement establishes this arrangement before a performance of the work.

Gender Identity Discrimination in California Workplaces

gender identity discrimination

Gender identity discrimination is the treatment of someone unfairly or unequally based on their gender identity or expression. Gender identity discrimination in workplaces has been a major source of concern, especially for the LGBT community. You may be undergoing gender identity discrimination at your workplace and you have no idea that it is illegal and you can take actions against it.

 

 

What Are The Signs Of Gender Discrimination At The Workplace?

  • Being forced by your employer to uphold a dressing standard that is inconsistent with your gender identity or expression.
  • Being required by your employer to use restrooms of a gender that you do not conform to.
  • Being given less pay denied promotions or employment because of your gender identity.
  • Being fired because of undergoing a sex reassignment surgery.
  • Being teased or threatened by workmates or your employer because of your gender identity or failure to refer to you by your new name.

 

What Are The Laws That Protect You?

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employment discrimination and harassment of workers on the basis of gender identity.

The Gender Nondiscrimination Act has also brought more clarity on the existing laws by adding “gender identity” and “gender expression” to their categories. Regulations have also been added to the act regarding transgender identity and expression at work. The new regulations require all employers within the state of California to follow and implement policies regarding issues of:

Dressing: Employers cannot impose a dressing standard inconsistent with the employee’s gender expression.

Restrooms: Must be equal facilities regardless of one’s gender identity as backed by the California’s Equal Restroom Act. Employees must be permitted to use the restroom they best identify with.

 

Transitioning: The regulations prohibit discrimination on any employee, before, during or after transitioning.

Preferred name and identity: Employers should follow the employees’ request to be addressed by their preferred name that conforms to their new gender identity.

Documentation: An employer should not inquire into the sex, gender or expression of a person as a condition of employment.

 

What Action Can I Take If I Feel Discriminated Due To My Gender Identity At My Work Place?

If you feel you are being harassed or discriminated at work, it is essential that you consult a California Employment Lawyer with evidence of the discrimination in the form of letters or emails and names of the harassers so as to build a strong case.

 

Why Is The Gender Non-Discrimination Act Important?

This Act was put in place not just to protect transgender people but to let every other person know that discriminating against someone on the basis of their gender expression is illegal. It covers every part of California with exception to federal workers because they are not protected by non-discrimination laws.

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