California Labor Code is Amended, Provides Employers Small Reprieve.

On October 2, 2015, Governor Brown signed AB 1506, legislation that immediately amends the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA).  The purpose of the amendment is to address increased civil litigation alleging technical violations of itemized wage statements employers are required to deliver to employees.  AB 1506 provides employers with a 33 day period to cure certain violations before an employee may bring a civil cause of action under PAGA.

So what is PAGA?  And what is so important about this amendment? 

Continue reading “California Labor Code is Amended, Provides Employers Small Reprieve.”


Jeff Bezos unveils Amazon's smartphone. (Ken Lambert/Seattle Times/MCT)
Jeff Bezos unveils Amazon’s smartphone. (Ken Lambert/Seattle Times/MCT)

For the second time in a year, Amazon has been hit with a Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violation claim based on its hiring process.  This week, a New Jersey man sued Amazon in federal court for denying him a job in reliance on a background report without warning him or providing him with an opportunity to correct the record.  According to the compliant, Amazon made a contingent offer of employment to the man following an in-person interview, which he accepted.  Amazon allegedly withdrew the offer of employment at its New Jersey facility based on information obtained in a standardized background report conducted by a third-party company, without warning the man or providing him a copy of the report or the opportunity to dispute the results, all violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s mandatory pre-adverse action notification requirement.
The FCRA permits employers to conduct background checks, which can include credit checks and criminal history.   However, under the FCRA, any company intending to take an adverse employment action based in whole or in part on information obtained from the consumer report must provide notice of that fact to the consumer, and must include with the notice a copy of the consumer report and a notice of the consumer’s rights to dispute the information contained within the report, prior to taking the adverse action.

The case against Amazon is a great reminder that although conducting background checks can be a best practice, if it is done without appropriate planning and training, a pre-employment investigation can be a potential source of liability.


Marijuana Legalization and Employer Drug Testing

Roundup on latest marijuana laws, court rulings, and trends and what all of this means for employers considering drug testing or Drug Free Workplace policies.

Recently, Oregon’s legal recreational marijuana market made its official debut, less than a year after the state’s voters legalized recreational marijuana sales. Oregon now joins Colorado and Washington as the only three states to legalize recreational marijuana sales. Voters in Alaska passed similar legislation, but the law has not yet taken effect. Recreational marijuana use is also legal in Washington, D.C., although the legalization does not extend to marijuana sales. Next year, voters in states including Arizona, California, and Maine will vote on legalizing recreational marijuana sales. Medical marijuana is currently legal in 23 states, and Washington, D.C. Read on to see how these changing laws will impact workplaces around the country. Continue reading “Marijuana Legalization and Employer Drug Testing”