employment lawyer san francisco bay area

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.

Employee and Employer Liability For Causing Car Crash By Sending A Text


Employee and Employer Liability For Causing Car Crash By Sending A Text

Do you have any employer liability If your employee texts while driving?

Did you know you could be held liable for sending a text that results in a car crash? Typically, victims of car accidents blame the other driver who may have been driving while texting. One Court recently held, however, that even a remote texter could be held liable if the recipient of the text causes an accident.

In my most recent article titled “Beware a New Way Employers and Employees Could Be Liable for Texting on the Job” for Maximize Social Business I analyze that decision and how it may apply to employers and employees who text and/or receive texts on the job.

My article has unexpectedly generated quite a bit of interest. It was chosen as a Top Blog post by CommPRO.biz, and I have received requests for interviews by a CBS radio affiliate. There certainly will be more developments in this area of the law as Courts try to catch up with technology.

More States Pass Workplace Password Protection Laws


More States Pass Workplace Password Protection Laws

A new law went into effect on October 1, 2013 regarding social media password protection in the workplace. Two more laws will go into effect in the next few months, and several more could be passed next year. And, unfortunately, this trend does not appear to be ending anytime soon.

In my recent post for Maximize Social Business, which is creatively titled: “New Password Protection Laws In The Workplace,” I analyze some of these new laws and point out similarities and differences which may cause headaches for multi-state employers. Even single-State employers need to be aware of legislation in other states as well as their own because such laws are spreading quickly around the country. It is never too late to contact me, or another employment law/HR attorney to help your business comply with legal requirements and implement strategies to reduce legal risks so that you can focus on running a successful business.

Personal Devices in the Workplace Policy – What Employees and Employers Need To Consider


Personal Devices in the Workplace Policy – What Employees and Employers Need To Consider

New potential for disaster in workplace employment law is BYOD (bring your own device).

The number of individuals owning and using personal mobile devices continues to skyrocket. Employers can no longer simply bury their head in the sand to this phenomenon. Instead they should address this issue head-on by either creating a Bring Your Own Device (“BYOD”) policy, or a policy prohibiting the use of personal devices in the workplace. In doing so, employers need to analyze many legal and security issues regarding their employees bringing and using personal devices in the workplace.

Employees too should consider whether they truly want to use personal devices for work purposes and the loss of privacy and other ramifications for doing so.

In my latest post for Maximize Social Business titled “Workplace BYOD Policy: One Size Does Not Fit All” I analyze many of the pros and cons and other issues regarding the use of personal devices in the workplace. What position has your employer taken on the personal devices in the workplace policy (BYOD) trend? If your employer has not addressed this issue head on, do you use your own device for any work-related purposes (like checking work email)?