Blog « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles

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HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 4
FEASTS AND FESTIVITIES

Contrary to perhaps common perception, California’s private employers have no legal obligation to grant employee time off for holidays or to pay for that time.  Whether to provide workers that time away – paid or unpaid – to promote workforce goodwill and morale is a different question.

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HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 3
NAME YOUR PASSION

With the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion, controversial politics is again taking national center stage, potentially in the workplace.

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HOW TO CALL IT EVEN

For decades, California has recognized the validity of “rounding” employee hours to the nearest five minutes, one-tenth or quarter hour, plus or minus, as an “efficient” and “practical” way to calculate pay as long as the practice did not deprive workers of their compensation over time. However, electronic technology’s advances may reduce rounding to an historical relic.

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CALIFORNIA MID-YEAR MINIMUM WAGE RATE INCREASES

California minimum wage is currently $14.00/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and $15.00 for employers with 26 or more. Governor Newson has projected an across-the-boards increase to $15.50/hour on January 1, 2023.

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FACE THE MUSIC

By survey, as many as one in three women have experienced workplace sexual harassment over their careers, with less than 20% ever reporting the matter to management. A 2021 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report  found California’s incidence to be significantly higher than the national average.

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HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 2
AT THE STARTING LINE

Workplace policy manuals (handbooks) often include a progression of employee classifications, such as probationary/introductory, regular, full-time, part-time, temporary, leased, exempt from overtime, and non-exempt from overtime.

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AVOID BLOWER BLOWBACK

While logic might suggest no need to reimburse an employee with unlimited minutes for business use of her or his phone, California follows different reasoning. 

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HANDBOOK HELPER EPISODE 1
TWO-WAY STREET

An employer should not underestimate the importance in confirming and preserving in writing “at-will” employment. Most states, including California, permit the employment relationship to end at the will of either the employer or the employee at any time unless the parties have agreed otherwise. Ambiguity can thus put management at a significant disadvantage.

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AVOIDING ACCESS DISTRESS

Akin to a speeding ticket, a former (or current) worker’s demand to see his employment records will likely come in due time to any employer. If the request arrives on an attorney’s letterhead, it will probably seek to create pressure by citing deadlines imposed by one or another California laws. Knowing the score – including ability to see when that lawyer is overreaching – can reduce the stress of the process.

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EMPLOYERS LOSE FOOD FIGHT

If an employee misses one or more off-duty meal breaks by the press of a day’s work, California Labor Code 226.7  requires the employer to pay an additional one-hour “break premium.” The same is true for any day that work demands cause an employee to miss one or more off-duty rest breaks. 

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