employment law

New Employment Laws for California Employers


New Employment Laws for California Employers

How will the new employment laws affect your business?

For 2014, there are a few important new, or changed, employment laws that go into effect that California employers and employees should be aware of. In December 2013, I notified folks on my email distribution list about 12 of the more significant changes in the law. Now, I am happy to post a PDF version of my summary of the laws, and the practical implications of them.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss these laws, or any other employment/HR issue.

Happy New Year!

Employer Avoids Liability Due to Employees’ Facebook Discussions


Employer Avoids Liability Due to Employees’ Facebook Discussions

Employees have a right to complain in Facebook discussions, but an employer may avoid liability if the employee is terminated.

Employees have the freedom to discuss and even complain about workplace issues and gripes. In non-union and unionized workplaces, employees are permitted to engage in protected concerted activity for the benefit of each other. Before social media, employees would typically discuss these issues together, in-person. Now, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have taken the place of the water cooler and break room.

Recently, however an administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board determined that one of these employee discussions crossed the line and was not protected activity. This ruling is good for employers. It also reiterates why employees should think twice about being Facebook friends with co-workers, and how unprofessional use of social media can doom employment relationships and lawsuits.

For a more complete analysis of this case, read my latest post titled “Employee Was Properly Facebook Fired” published as my monthly Social Media and Employment Law contribution to Maximize Social Business.

Helping Other Solo and Small Law Firms


Helping Other Solo and Small Law Firms

Small law firms can provide a great value to their clients.

I had the pleasure of moderating and participating on a panel yesterday regarding becoming a solo practitioner. The discussion was focused on starting out, malpractice insurance issues, fee agreements and engagement letters, client communications, and many other interesting topics and obstacles (real or perceived) to going solo.

It was a great opportunity to hear about some of the ups and downs others have faced, and to discuss resources for small firms/solos. And, it was refreshing to be reminded about how the solo network can really provide much more value to clients than the traditional large firm/large fee structure.

This panel was the fourth in a series of Law Practice Management presentations sponsored by the Contra Costa County Bar Association. The next, and final gathering is set for October 16, 2012 titled “Business Etiquette For Success” and will include wine and appetizers!

Social Media and Employment Law


Social Media and Employment Law

I am honored and excited to let you all know that I have become a monthly contributor to Windmill Networking, an organization dedicated to helping businesses and professionals leverage social media. Not surprisingly, I am providing content on the topic of Social Media and Employment Law. My monthly posts will appear during the first week of each month. Of course, I will continue to post updates here as well.

My April 2012 post is titled “Employers Be Cautious Using Social Media To Screen Job Applicants.” This article looks into the use, pitfalls, and challenges of using social media in recruiting and hiring, and discusses the well-publicized topic of employers demanding social media (Facebook) login credentials from applicants.

My May 2012 article examines guidance from the National Labor Relations Board regarding employer policies on social media in the workplace. This post is titled: “Employers: Don’t Ignore These Two Acronyms for Social Media Policy Compliance.

Windmill Networking is lead by Neal Shaffer, a Forbes Top 30 Social Media Power Influencer, and the blog where my posts appear is an AdAge Top 150 Global Marketing Blog. Not only will you find my monthly posts, but you will also be able to read tips on how you and your company can use all types of social media for marketing, public relations, B2B, and more.