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San Jose employment discrimination defense lawyerTwo words that can strike fear into the hearts of business owners are: Discrimination Lawsuit. Why? One reason is that many business owners have little or no insurance coverage to help pay the cost of a discrimination claim from an employee or customer. 

Another concern is that the quantity and variety of discrimination claims keep growing. California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, for example, handles between 10,000 and 20,000 discrimination claims per year. In addition, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission handles between 80,000 and 100,000 discrimination claims per year. 

One of the latest issues in employment law involves the hiring of people with a criminal record.

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San Jose employment discrimination defense attorneyCalifornia’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers to prevent harassment in the workplace and avoid discrimination in employee hiring, promotions, and compensation on the basis of:

  • Ancestry, color, national origin, or race
  • Physical or mental disability, medical condition, or genetic information
  • Sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Military and/or veteran status

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is charged with enforcing this civil rights law and issuing regulations that clarify exactly what businesses must do to comply with the law.

One of the latest regulations, which takes effect July 1, 2018, clarifies the definition of the term “national origin” and thus the kinds of employer actions that would be considered national origin discrimination.

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Silicon Valley employment law attorney employee benefitsWhen you think about the employee benefits offered by top tech firms, what comes to mind? Free snacks, game rooms, and stock options? In the competition for highly-skilled employees, do you see many job candidates asking about your retirement savings program?

It is not uncommon for tech startups to skimp on retirement savings plans, on the assumption that their younger-than-average employees have other priorities. In addition, setting up a 401(k) program may seemingly involve too much administrative hassle and expense for a small business owner. On the other hand, employers play a valuable role in educating workers about important matters like health care and financial planning.

So, what should a Silicon Valley business owner do? Here are a few things going on in the arena of retirement savings that California employers should be aware of:

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San Jose wage and hour disputes attorney minimum wageCalifornia provides its workers a thicker blanket of legal protections than most other states, particularly when it comes to that number-one employee priority: the paycheck. 

Business owners operating in Silicon Valley must stay up-to-date on both state and local wage and hour laws in order to avoid employee pay disputes. Such disputes can take the form of a wage claim filed with the state Labor Commissioner’s Office (also known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement) or a lawsuit filed in Santa Clara County courts. In addition, the Santa Clara County District Attorney has the power to prosecute cases of wage theft and to bring civil enforcement actions.

Here is a basic overview of California’s 2018 minimum wage laws:

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San Jose, CA employment lawyer workplace violence policiesHave you ever wished that you could skip work because you were worried about what might happen that day? Maybe you were anxious about having to give an employee a poor performance review or worried about being laid off yourself. But have you ever been afraid of being killed or injured by someone you encounter at your workplace? 

This is not just an issue for healthcare workers or teachers. Workplace violence has become a serious issue for all American employers. Consider, for instance, that the number of workplace homicides in the U.S. rose from 404 in 2013 to 500 in 2016 (the latest year for which figures are available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). These trends demonstrate the need for employers to take steps to protect their employees’ safety.

Address the Issue of Workplace Violence in Employee Handbooks

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