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COVID-19 Impacts H-1B Visa Applications, Processing

As of noon, Eastern time on March 20, the initial (and brand-spankin’ new) 2021 H-1B Visa application process officially closed, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, by March 31, it expects to have notified registrants with selected applications that they’re eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for their named beneficiary. …

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DFEH Issues Employment Information on COVID-19

As California is working to slow the spread of the COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has created DFEH Employment Information on COVID-19 to provide employers with answers to some burning questions. The DFEH’s FAQs cover a range of questions, including: Whether employers may send employees …

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What Is and Isn’t ‘Essential’ Business Under California’s ‘Stay at Home’ Order

On March 19, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 directing all residents to stay home, except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential critical infrastructure. This state order came on the heels of a number of local “shelter in place” orders that were also implemented up and down the state. As …

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Employees Who Settle, Dismiss Individual Claims Can Still Bring PAGA Lawsuits

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court ruled that employees that settle and dismiss individual Labor Code violation claims against employers can still pursue a claim under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), a statute that deputizes them to enforce violations on behalf of the state. Before the PAGA, only the state’s Labor Commissioner, not employees, could …

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Medical Proof of Disability Needed to Start Accommodation Process

One of my employees who has been with the company for a few years (and who was about to get written up for failing to complete projects in a timely manner) came to me and said she needed more time to complete her work because she’s dyslexic. I asked her to provide me a doctor’s …

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Accommodating Pregnant Employees in Potentially Risky Workplaces

We have a pregnant employee working in the plant where there are a lot of chemical exposures. Her doctor has not restricted or limited her work duties, but we are concerned about her exposure to these chemicals. What are our options? First, make sure her doctor is fully aware of the issues in the plant. …

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Cal/OSHA Renews Emergency Wildfire Smoke Regulations

This year’s dry, windy winter has government agencies predicting a quicker start to wildfire season. As you may recall, last summer, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) enacted emergency wildfire smoke regulations designed to protect outdoor employees as a response to the severe wildfire seasons of the past few years. The emergency …

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Employers Must Pay Workers for Security Screening Time, California Supreme Court Rules

Today, the California Supreme Court ruled that Apple must pay employees for time they spend undergoing security screening of personal items after clocking out at the end of their shift — a question the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal asked the California Supreme Court to answer more than two years ago (Frlekin v. Apple, Inc., No. S243805 (February 13, …

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‘Super Bowl Fever’ Sweeps Through Workplaces

Look around at your co-workers today, because, on Monday, it’s very likely several of them won’t be at work. Yes, “Super Bowl Fever” will sweep through offices next Monday, February 3. An estimated 17.5 million workers plan to miss work that day, according to the 2020 Super Bowl Fever Survey commissioned by The Workforce Institute at Kronos …

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Exempt vs. Nonexempt: Not All Managers’ Duties Are Managerial

In California, employees who work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week are entitled to overtime pay. However, there are several exemptions to the overtime law, permitting employers to pay certain categories of employees a flat salary without overtime wages. One such exemption is for executives, who are typically …

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