Employers across many sectors are gaining confidence and starting to hire and/or re-hire again.
According to Wendy Lane and Olivia Goodkin, members of the labor and employment team at Los Angeles-based law firm Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff, this is an ideal time for California companies to take a close look at their workplace policies (which may need updating) and to get up-to-speed on important labor laws.
"During a period of expansion, companies need to remember to consistently adhere to all laws governing the hiring and firing of employees, especially where there has been a prior layoff and the company plans to re-hire only certain former employees," says attorney Wendy Lane, a partner at Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff. Olivia Goodkin, head of Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff's Labor and Employment department, adds "This may mean revamping job descriptions, drafting social media policies, instituting additional employee training, or just keeping an eye on game-changing rulings."
Lane and Olivia Goodkin, both seasoned labor and employment lawyers, are available to discuss these and other related issues. They have considerable experience advising employers, drafting employment handbooks and policies, and representing companies in litigation and investigations of wage and hour disputes and claims of wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination and misappropriation of employer trade secrets. They also frequently speak on emerging legal issues surrounding social media and the workplace, including leading quarterly seminars for clients at Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff's offices.
Here are some of the topics Rutter Hobbs and Davidoff's team can elaborate on (attorney names link to bios):
Tips for Employers as They Grow Their Workforces - Among other actions, it's a good time for companies to revamp their job descriptions. Why? In addition to being useful tools in performance evaluations, disciplinary actions and terminations:
Job descriptions help employers determine whether a qualified individual with a disability is able to perform essential functions of the job, avoiding any awkward interviews that might run afoul of laws protecting the physically and mentally disabled.
Job descriptions clarify whether a position is exempt or non-exempt under applicable federal and state laws. Class action wage and hour lawsuits are filed daily against companies of all sizes for failing to provide meal and rest periods and overtime wages for non-exempt employees who have been misclassified.
Ways Employers Can Protect Themselves From Litigation - Some basic rules to follow include:
Have every employee sign an "at-will" agreement; make sure employees are properly classified as exempt or non-exempt; ensure supervisors take harassment prevention training; regularly update the Employee Handbook and distribute to employees with changes highlighted; and
Address social media policies (While employers may be held liable for what their employees post on social media, the National Labor Relations Board has recently filed a number of complaints against employers that have terminated employees for making disparaging comments about their employers and co-workers on Facebook). Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff's employment team has drafted and revised social media policies for numerous clients to help them balance these competing concerns.
Talk to counsel about asking employees to sign arbitration agreements with class action waivers in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling.
Be careful about "telecommuting employees." Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff's employment team advises employers about special "litigation traps" which arise with respect to telecommuting employees because it is more difficult to monitor those employees' hours of work, meal and rest breaks, and other working conditions at the employees' remote or home offices.
To arrange an interview with Wendy Lane or Olivia Goodkin at Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff: Contact Carla Collado at 310.824.9000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff -Los Angeles-based Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff is a full-service law firm founded in 1973. The firm's seasoned attorneys represent middle market companies, early stage entities, large corporations and individuals in matters involving business litigation and dispute resolution; corporate and securities; bankruptcy, reorganization and capital recovery; estate planning and trust litigation; advertising, media and intellectual property; labor and employment; and, real estate. The firm's diverse team of attorneys and experienced, tenured staff collaborates to deliver consistently excellent service in a timely and cost-effective manner. For more information, please visit www.rutterhobbs.com