Starbucks in Hot Water and How You May Be Affected Too

On July 26, 2018, the California Supreme Court handed down a new ruling that the federal de-minimus rule has not been adopted under California wage and hour statutes and regulations. The federal de-minimus rule allows employers not to compensate employees for working a trivial amount of time (up to 10 minutes) each day without compensation if the time is administratively difficult to track. However, in this case, a Starbucks manager, alleged that he and other workers who performed store closing tasks were due wages for time spent working off the clock each shift, and the California court agreed. Read more

A Post Harvey, Moore, Louis C.K. World

It is everywhere.  People you thought would never do it…they have done it.  People you respected, want to respect, can no longer respect, are facing sexual harassment charges, and their reputations, businesses, and livelihoods are going up in flames.  The world is changing because women are finding their collective voice to face their harassers and to change the workplace culture.  It’s about time.  But, what will this month’s headlines do to evoke change?  And what role do you, as an employer, have in creating a non-hostile workplace?Read more

To Telecommute Or Not To Telecommute – That is the Question For Employers

IBM recently implemented a dramatic change, announcing that they are ending telecommuting at their company, which not only impacts the hundreds of thousands of employees who work there, but could have an impact on companies around the United States and the world.  Overall, in the United States, about 25% of all employees work remotely all or at least most of the time.Read more

Top 10 COVID-19 Employment Questions

Nannies, Housekeepers, and Gardeners, Oh My! – Am I an Employer?

Many of us need the valued help of others to make our lives run smoothly. I, for one, would not be able to be a practicing attorney and mother of two busy boys, without the assistance of baby-sitters and the woman I call “my fairy princess,” Vicky, our housekeeper. When I first brought someone into our home, I never thought of myself as an “employer.” I thought about it as two people having different needs that served a similar purpose (i.e. I needed to work, or go grocery shopping, or take a shower), and the baby-sitter needed money to support their livelihood. I did not consider the legal ramifications of this employment relationship.Read more

The “Business” of Practicing Medicine: The Top 5 Mistakes Doctors Make

Doctors who run their own practices have to be superhuman in a sense. Not only are they expected to practice their medical specialty to a high standard of care, they are required to keep abreast of electronic reporting compliance, employment laws, OSHA, payroll, HIPAA requirements, marketing, collections, and so much more. It is no wonder then that mistakes (unrelated to medical malpractice) are made, costing doctors time, money, and stress.

Read more

Bill O’What Now?

The New York times unleashed a bombshell six days ago, on April 1, 2017, revealing that five women were paid approximately $13 million in exchange for keeping silent about the sexual harassment charges against Bill O’Reilly.  All of the women accusing Mr. O’Reilly of sexual harassment either worked for him or appeared on his Fox network show, “The O’Reilly Factor.”  The allegations included verbal abuse, unwanted advances and lewd comments.  This was not the first time that Fox News had to pay a large settlement for sexual harassment claims against Mr. O’Reilly.Read more

Don’t Make This Uber Mistake

The recent headlines coming out of Uber have been dominating employment law feeds and for good reason. What is taking place currently at this company is such an unfortunate situation that could have been so easily avoided if the employees’ complaints had been properly handled.

According to her written account of what took place, Susan Fowler, a site reliability engineer at Uber, did the right thing.Read more

WorkWise Law’s “Aha” Moment

We have a confession to make. We are lawyers who do not like lawsuits. Having been in the trenches for the last decade, working as plaintiff attorneys, we have come to realize that in the employment field, too many businesses are unaware of their legally required obligations.  One problem is that human resource professionals are spread too thin, with responsibility for hiring, firing, maintaining payroll, facilitating discussions amongst coworkers and between the employees and their supervisors, fixing broken machines, ordering stationary, and ensuring that the company is staying in compliance with all relevant employment laws.  There are few jobs in a company that carry such a broad range of duties and responsibilities.  This need for such broad expertise in so many different fields can lead to a host of costly problems.Read more