Berliner Cohen Offers In-House Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Managers, March 2019

Prevention of Sexual Harassment for Small Employers: New Rules Apply to You Too! California businesses with 5 or more employees must provide sexual harassment prevention training (AB 1825) to all supervisory employees within 6 months of hire date or promotion, and biennially thereafter. Our lively, engaging program fully complies with the new statutory requirements. Get Compliant! Attend Berliner…

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Aleshia M. White

Ms. White has a litigation background which includes employment and general commercial litigation.  Her practice includes handling wage and hour claims, claims of employment discrimination, ADA compliance, wrongful termination, and breach of employment contract cases.  Ms. White has experience with FEHA and EEOC investigations and ADA Compliance.  

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2019 Employment Law Seminars

BERLINER COHEN AND EPIC BROKERS HOSTED COMPLIMENTARY SEMINAR! The courts and legislature had a robust year in 2018, resulting in a host of new federal, California and local employment laws as well as new federal and state cases covering fair pay and wage requirements, mandatory harassment training for all employees, and more!  Join Berliner Cohen LLP and EPIC Brokers (San Jose,…

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Lunch and Learn: How to Lawfully Pay Employees

A new case has changed pay rules; California employers must now pay workers for every task performed, even for trivial tasks performed before and after clocking into work. Join our Employment attorneys to learn how to properly pay hourly employees: including avoiding claims of “off the clock” work, paying for productive and non-productive time, commission…

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What You Need to Know About CA Gender Neutral Workplace Policies

Transgender individuals are often subjected to stigma and discrimination in the workplace.  Studies show that transgender people face double the rate of unemployment as the overall population, nearly half of transgender people who applied for a job were not hired, were fired, or were not promoted due to their gender identity, and nine in ten…

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing and Hiring

The Dos And Don’ts Of Interviewing And Hiring All too often, the restaurant industry suffers from “warm body syndrome.” Due to the pressures of this business, food service operators are often too quick to offer a job to a person who is unqualified. However, today, there is no reluctance to enforce employee rights.  The courtroom…

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Emily J. Tewes

Ms. Tewes is an associate in Berliner Cohen’s Employment Law Group.  Her practice focuses on all aspects of labor and employment matters including: personnel policies, wage and hour, discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination. Prior to joining Berliner Cohen, Ms. Tewes worked in People Operations in Silicon Valley for startup technology companies.  From this experience…

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Lindsay Hover

Ms. Hover is an associate in Berliner Cohen’s Business Litigation and Employment Law Groups. Ms. Hover represents various individuals and businesses in general civil litigation matters and counsels numerous clients.

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Isabella L. Shin

Ms. Shin is an associate in Berliner Cohen’s Employment Litigation Group.  Her practice focuses on all aspects of labor and employment litigation, including wage and hour disputes, employment discrimination, ADA compliance, and wrongful termination claims in both individual and collective actions. Prior to joining Berliner Cohen, Ms. Shin was an associate at a law firm…

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Susan E. Bishop

Ms. Bishop’s litigation practice includes working with management of public and private corporations and nonprofit organizations on issues, including employee relations, personnel policies, wage and hour matters, discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination.  She represents clients before State and Federal Courts, the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, California Labor Commissioner,…

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Eileen P. Kennedy

Ms. Kennedy has extensive experience counseling clients on federal and state employment laws and practices, including recruitment, hiring, employee/contractor classification, exempt/non-exempt status, compensation issues, leaves of absence, workplace accommodations, workplace privacy, discipline, and termination of employment. Ms. Kennedy has over ten years of litigation experience defending companies and individual managers in employment-related and other business…

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Christine H. Long

Ms. Long maintains a diverse litigation practice in employment, hospitality, business litigation and real estate. Ms. Long is the Chair of the Employment Law Practice Group and Hospitality Practice Group. Ms. Long’s employment and hospitality litigation practice includes handling wage and hour claims, claims of employment discrimination, ADA compliance, wrongful termination, and breach of employment…

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Ghazaleh Modarresi

Ghazaleh Modarresi defends clients in all aspects of labor and employment litigation. Her diverse practice includes litigating cases involving employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, wage-and-hour claims (both individual and collective actions), unfair business practices, whistleblower claims, and wrongful discharge. She represents employers in both state and federal court as well as before state and federal…

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Employer Alert: What You Need to Know About AB 1221 and AB 1209

California Law Now Requires Alcohol Servers to Go Through Mandatory Trainings The sale and consumption of alcohol is for better or for worse an integral part of the hospitality industry.  While the morals of society change, there has been no indication that alcohol consumption, unlike tobacco use, will be banished from hospitality establishments.  Historically, courts…

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Two New San Francisco Ordinances Go Into Effect In 2018

For San Francisco employers, two new local ordinances relating to lactation accommodation and requests for salary history will go into effect in 2018. “Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance” Beginning January 1, 2018, San Francisco will increase existing protections for nursing mothers working within the geographical boundaries of the city.  The Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance…

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Employer Alert: San Francisco Limits New Hire Questions

In 2018, Employers have more restrictions on the interview process if they are hiring or conducting business in San Francisco. San Francisco just enacted a law that prohibits employers from asking applicants about their salary history. The law will become effective July 1, 2018.  The “Parity in Pay Ordinance” prohibits San Francisco employers from using…

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Employer Alert: Transgender Employee Rights

In February we alerted you on the California State Legislature passing of AB 1732 here, which requires that, as of March 1, 2017, all single-user toilet facilities in any California business be identified as “all-gender.”  As of July 1, 2017, the Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) regulations have expanded upon laws relating to gender identity…

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Important Issues to Consider in Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)

A well drafted Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) can be used to protect your business’s trade secrets and other confidential information in a variety of different business related contexts, ranging from a nascent stage of development (e.g., when products, inventions, or ideas are presented to investors) to the potential disclosure of financial information to a prospective buyer…

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Agriculture

Agriculture Agricultural law, or agri-business law, has changed substantially over the years. This is an area of law that requires very specialized knowledge in a number of different areas. Our attorneys currently represent several agricultural operations and have both the knowledge and expertise in the varied areas of the law which affect agricultural businesses today.…

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Employers Mandated to Disclose Domestic Violence Leave Rights

The California Labor Code provides protected time off to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.  However, according to a study by the Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center, nearly 40% of survivors in the state reported being fired or fearing termination due to intimate partner violence.  Apparently, employees are not aware of their…

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A win for employers on the ‘Joint Employer’ Doctrine

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced on June 7, 2017 that it is withdrawing its 2015 and 2016 informal guidance on the “joint employer” doctrine.  The joint employer doctrine is used to determine whether a business can be said to effectively control the workplace policies of another company, thereby creating liability for them with…

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Labor & Employment Law

labor law attorney for employers

Labor & Employment Law Today, employers are tasked with having proper on boarding procedures, creating job descriptions, ensuring raises and pay standards meet certain criteria, while also being precluded from unduly restricting an employee’s right to communicate. Because the laws that apply to the labor and employment relationship are found at all levels of government—federal,…

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Speaker Event: Christine Long, Partner – Speaker at CRA Legal Center Live Roadshow

Grab your seat for this complimentary featured event series Please join the California Restaurant Association for our Legal Center Live Roadshow event series on May 23rd, 24th, and 25th! This educational event series will feature restaurant industry legal experts from Weintraub Tobin, Kaufman Dolowich Voluck, and Berliner Cohen. Seminar topics to include: AB 1732 –…

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Partners Christine Long and Susan Bishop Present at 2017 HR WEST

Susan E. Bishop and Christine H. Long will be presenters at the Northern California Human Resources Association’s 2017 HR West, March 6-8.  Their session, “California Employment Law Update: An Interactive Q&A, will be on Wednesday, March 8, 12:05 p.m. – 1:20 p.m. Examine the latest legislative and case developments and ask your toughest California employment law…

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Employer Alert: Effective March 1, California Businesses Must Gender-Neutralize Bathrooms

The laws affecting California businesses are ever changing and 2017 proves to be no different. Effective March 1, 2017, all California businesses will have to remove any labelling that designates a “single-user toilet facility” as either “male” or “female”.  The California State Legislature passing of AB 1732 established the nation’s most inclusive restroom access law.…

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2017 California Law Update Session – East Bay

NEW YEAR, NEW CHALLENGES: JOIN US FOR OUR ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE!  BERLINER COHEN LLP INVITES YOU TO A COMPLIMENTARY SEMINAR 2017 ushers in a host of new federal, California and local employment laws and new federal and state cases ranging from new fair pay and wage requirements to new regulation and rules on workplace…

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2017 California Law Update Session – San Jose

NEW YEAR, NEW CHALLENGES: JOIN US FOR OUR ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE!  BERLINER COHEN LLP INVITES YOU TO A COMPLIMENTARY SEMINAR 2017 ushers in a host of new federal, California and local employment laws and new federal and state cases ranging from new fair pay and wage requirements to new regulation and rules on workplace…

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2017 California Law Update Session – Modesto 2017

NEW YEAR, NEW CHALLENGES: JOIN US FOR OUR ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT LAW UPDATE!  BERLINER COHEN LLP INVITES YOU TO A COMPLIMENTARY SEMINAR 2017 ushers in a host of new federal, California and local employment laws and new federal and state cases ranging from new fair pay and wage requirements to new regulation and rules on workplace…

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Employer Alert: Are You Ready? New Federal Overtime Regulations Effective December 1, 2016

The new Federal Regulations require attention before year end. Effective December 1, 2016, the minimum salary threshold needed to qualify for exempt status will increase to $47,476 annually or $913 per week.  These new standards exceed the current California law requirements. Meaning that employers who are the minimum California requirements will be non-compliant as of December 1,…

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Assessing Employment Risks—Do I really need an Employment Law Audit?

Whether you employ five or five hundred people, employers need to periodically ensure that their policies and procedures comply with the law. Many employers use generic personnel policies that were written for larger workplaces, other industries, or even different states. However, California’s strict employment laws change annually, vary depending upon the number of employees, and…

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Berliner Cohen’s Guide to California’s Minimum Wages as of 2016

California’s minimum wage is currently $10.00, which has been in effect since January 2016. The minimum wage is set to increase now that Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (“SB”) 3. SB 3 increases California’s minimum wage each year so that it will reach $15 per hour in 2022 (unless the increases are temporarily delayed at…

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Labor Enforcement Task Force Visits – What Are Employer Rights?

Employers know that they are regulated by state and federal laws. However, few employers know the extent to which they are regulated and are caught off guard when regulators show up during peak business hours to conduct an inspection of their facility and records. This is a quick overview of an employers’ rights during such…

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Employer Alert: Time to Update Your Harassment Prevention Policy

Employers have long been advised to maintain a written harassment prevention policy and to enforce it.  Such policies typically define and prohibit unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, explain the steps to prevent against this unlawful conduct, and include an internal complaint procedure.  But as of April 1, 2016, these written policies may no longer be…

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Hiring Caregivers: Legal and Financial Considerations (Updated 2015)

Introduction “There’s no place like home.” That time-honored adage summarizes the motivations of people who want their children cared for at home as well as people who want to face advancing age, illness or infirmity in familiar surroundings. In either circumstance, in-home help may be necessary. These materials provide guidelines for those who are hiring…

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Employment Law Alert: California Requires Employers to Provide Paid Sick Days for Workers

Effective July 15, 2015, all California employers regardless of size will be required to provide up to 3 days of paid sick leave for eligible part-time and full-time employees.  On September 10, 2014, Governor Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (Assembly Bill No. 1522), which implemented this significant change.  Although the…

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Employment Law Alert: New Extended Deadlines for Compliance with ACA Employer Mandate

On February 10, 2014, the Treasury Department issued new rules that provide a grace period for all employers of over 50 full-time equivalent (“FTE”) employees to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) “employer mandate.” Mid-size employers of 50-99 FTE employees have been given an extra year (until 2016) to provide health insurance to their…

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California Employers Focus on Planning, Policies and Practices in 2014

In 2014, California employers should focus on planning, policies and practices and consider the following legal issues: Effective July 1, 2014, the California statewide minimum wage will increase to $9.00/hour, with a further increase to $10.00/hour on January 1, 2016.  As of July 1, all California employers will need to pay a fixed salary of not…

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Employment Law Alert: New Pregnancy Regulations Provide Guidance to Employers

Effective December 30, 2012, the Fair Employment and Housing Commission issued new pregnancy discrimination regulations.  These regulations provide guidance to employers about their obligations to pregnant employees and applicants. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) defines “sex” to include pregnancy, childbirth, or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth, and now also includes breastfeeding. …

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Employment Law Alert: Sexual Harassment Can Constitute a Hate Crime

A California Court of Appeal recently held that employees who experience sexual harassment in the workplace may sue their employer as well as the alleged harasser under the Ralph Civil Rights Act (California Civil Code §51.7).  Section 51.7 is a “hate crime” statute which provides recovery of damages, civil penalties, and attorney’s fees.  Unlike when…

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Employment Law Alert – CA Supreme Court’s Long-Awaited Decision on Meal Periods & Rest Breaks

On April 12, 2012, the California Supreme Court decided Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court of San Diego (Hohnbaum), the seminal case on meal periods and rest breaks for non-exempt employees in California. While leaving intact the ability of employees to file class actions or individual actions against employers that fail to provide meal or rest…

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Employment Law Alert – CA Supreme Court Strikes Down Arbitration Agreement

In late February 2011, the California Supreme Court held that where an employee was required to sign an arbitration agreement with his employer, and the arbitration agreement stated that the employee waived his right to a hearing before the California Labor Commissioner regarding wage claims, the entire arbitration agreement was unenforceable. See Sonic-Calabasis A, Inc. v. Moreno.…

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Employment Law Alert – U.S. Supreme Court Expands Who Can Sue for Retaliation under Title VII

The United States Supreme Court recently expanded the scope of who is protected from workplace retaliation in the case of Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP.  Until 2003, both Eric Thompson and his fiancée, Miriam Regalado, were employed by North American Stainless (“NAS”).  In February 2003, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) notified NAS that Ms.…

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2011 Berliner Cohen Employer Update

LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS Paid Leave for Organ and Marrow Donations SB 1304 adds a new provision to the California Labor Code, effective January 1, 2011, which extends to private employees a benefit formerly available only to public employees.  Previously, state workers who had exhausted available sick leave were permitted to take up to 30 days of…

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Employment Law Alert – Stimulus Package Adds New Employer Notification Obligations under COBRA

The Federal economic stimulus package that has now been signed by the President includes temporary COBRA health insurance premium subsidies to employees who are involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009.  The subsidies apply to COBRA premium payments that are made starting March 1, 2009. Please take note of the new notification…

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Employment Law Alert – Upcoming ADAAA Changes & Potential Implications to California Employers

In the early 1990’s, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) which prohibits discrimination against persons with physical or mental disabilities in employment, housing and public accommodations.  At the same time, the California legislature amended the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) to expand the scope of its protections against discrimination, harassment and retaliation…

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Employment Law Alert – CA Supreme Court Strikes Down Non-Competition Agreements

In August 2008, the California Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited decision in Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP.  The Court departed from prior decisions in the federal courts by determining that a provision in an employment agreement that even “partially” or “narrowly” restricts an employee from serving customers or competing with a former employer was invalid…

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Employment Law Alert – Supreme Court Grants Review of Brinker Case

On August 29, 2008, the California Supreme Court granted review of the Fourth District Court of Appeals’ decision in Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court of San Diego (Hohnbaum).  The prior appellate court in the Brinker case held that employers have some flexibility in scheduling meal periods and rest breaks, and that while employers must provide meal periods,…

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Contractor or Employee? – Legal Pitfalls in Worker Classification

What is the Difference Between an Employee and an Independent Contractor? Employee – an individual who performs services for you, and who is subject to your control regarding the method and manner in which the work will be performed Independent Contractor – an individual who performs services for you, but you control only the result of the…

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Dancing in a Minefield: The California Wage and Hour Law Tango

The adage “Everything old becomes new again” has particular meaning both for employers and for the lawyers who sue or represent them. California’s wage and hour laws were promulgated during the 1930s to implement such New Deal concepts as minimum wage, overtime and “one day’s rest in seven.” Over the ensuing decades, the California legislature…

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