California employers have many questions about employment law that involve wages, discrimination and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) disputes and class action suits. They also need to provide training for managers and supervisors on complying with federal and state employment laws.
The attorneys of Bononi Law Group, LLP, have worked with hundreds of Southern California employers and partner both with small companies and Fortune 50 and Fortune 500 firms. For more information about employment law and our firm, review the helpful information provided below or call 866-295-7512.
Q. What laws pertain to hiring new employees?
A. State and federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating because of race, national origin, gender, pregnancy, age, disability or religion during the hiring process. They must protect the privacy rights of job applicants, including disclosing to prospective employees any background or credit checks performed as part of the hiring process. Employers must follow rules related to documenting immigration status and not discriminate against candidates over 40 because of their age.
Q. Do privacy protection laws prohibit employers from monitoring employees' emails and phone calls?
A. The Supreme Court has ruled that employees have only limited rights to privacy in their employers' computer systems. This means that employers are able to legally monitor visits to websites and can even prevent employees from visiting specific sites. It is legal for employers to limit employees' Internet use to business-related sites and to discipline employees who violate company policy. The courts have ruled that emails are company property if they are sent using a company email system. Many employers routinely monitor or archive emails sent through their system.
Q. Does employment law cover independent contractors as well as regular employees?
A. Independent contractors are not employees of the business for which they work and are not eligible for workers' compensation or unemployment. In most instances, they must pay taxes directly, as the company will not withhold taxes as they do for regular employees. Distinguishing between an independent contractor and a regular employee can be tricky, so consulting an employment law attorney can be helpful.
Q. What is the difference between at-will employees and contract employees?
A. Contract employees either have individual contracts or are part of a labor union that has bargained with the employer to determine wages, benefits and other conditions of employment. Employees who are not working under individual or collective contracts are at-will employees. As long as the employer does not discriminate or violate other employment laws, an at-will employee can be terminated for any reason.
Employment Law Information
Q. What information about employment law is available to employers?
A. Several public agencies have comprehensive employment law websites. These include:
United States Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) http://www.dol.gov/whd/
The Contract Employee's Handbook http://www.cehandbook.com/
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) http://www.nlrb.gov/
Employers that arm themselves with information and knowledge about California and U.S. employment law are in a much better position to avoid lawsuits, labor actions and employee problems. It is important for businesses and organizations to have assistance in matters involving employees. An experienced and knowledgeable employment law attorney can be an invaluable resource.