On December 16, 2013, the Senate introduced another bill (S3115), the “Healthy Workplace Act,” seeking to prevent workplace bullying, abuse, and harassment. The bill would prohibit any conduct in the workplace that a reasonable person would find hostile, including derogatory remarks, humiliation, insults, conduct undermining an employee’s work performance, etc. If passed, it would become an unlawful employment practice for an employer to subject or permit an employee to be subjected to an abusive work environment, or to retaliate against an employee for asserting protections under the act. The legislation would provide a right to a civil cause of action affording full tort damages, equitable relief, attorneys’ fees and costs, and in some circumstances, punitive damages. However, an employer would be able to assert an affirmative defense to certain co-worker abuse if the employer promulgated an effective policy to prohibit and deter the abusive conduct and the employee failed to take advantage of appropriate preventative or corrective opportunities provided by the employer. Prior versions of this bill were unsuccessfully introduced in 2008 and 2012.
One of the most common problems employers face in today’s workplace—where technology and the demand for employee responsiveness blur the line between work and non-work time—is determining which employees are entitled to be paid overtime compensation and are subject to hours of work rules (under the Employment Standards Act, 2000) and which are not.
On September 8, 2012, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1964, the Religious Freedom Act of 2012, which amends Section 12926 of the California Government Code. This new law enhances the protections for employees against religious discrimination by, among other things, strengthening the definition of what constitutes an undue…..
A federal court in the Eastern District of Louisiana recently ruled that Louisiana’s ban on project labor agreements on public works projects was neither unconstitutional nor preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).