Drug Testing Laws in The State of California

drug testing

When it comes to drug testing for employees, the federal government places a few limitations on sensitive sectors such as aviation, transportation, and contractors working for the DOD and NASA, but for the most part, it does not specifically require or prohibit such tests.

In the case of California, the state’s constitution includes a right to privacy that extends to both government and private employees. However, despite the courts applying this right, it does not make the process illegal, and therefore the judgment is normally rendered based on the merits and demerits of each case.

• Drug testing regulations for job applicants in the State of California

In California, employers may compel their employees to pass a drug test as one of the requirements of their employment. However, for such a mandate to be lawful, it must be applied to all those seeking particular job vacancies and not just a couple of people because of their protected characteristics such as disability or race.

California also has a compassionate use law that permits residents to use marijuana for medical issues. However, such individuals have to get a physician’s written authorization. This means that any patient with a valid prescription for the use of marijuana may not suffer prosecution under California’s state laws for offenses related to the possession, use, or cultivation of a certain portion of marijuana. On the other hand, the Supreme Court of California declared that an employer may decline to hire an applicant who gets positive results for the use of marijuana, regardless of whether the drug had been legally prescribed for a particular disability.

• Drug testing regulations for job applicants in the State of California

When trying to establish whether or not a drug test was lawful, California courts take into account the employer’s reasons for undertaking the test against the employee’s legal expectations of privacy. The state acknowledges the fact that employees in such situations start with a stronger claim. This is because they already possess a job and have a working a history that the employer can use to properly evaluate their performance. This situation also assigns them more of a stake in the process since it gives the employer more of a reason not to test.

It is also important to note that when an employer has reasonable suspicion that one of their employees is using drugs, they may have legal merit to ask for a drug test. However, this may only apply if the suspicion is based on valid and objective facts.

Despite random testing being controversial in nature, California courts have still upheld the process when it comes to highly sensitive safety-positions.

• Notice and procedural drug testing rights for employees in the state of California

California statues do not provide for any specific drug testing protocols, which means typically rely on a balancing act when deciding such cases. As a result, employers are more likely to get a favorable outcome if they take the necessary steps to lessen the merits of an employee’s legal expectation to privacy. For instance, they can put in place a written policy clearly indicating when drug testing will be done for employees.

Lawful Firing Process in California


Do you have to terminate a worker? In the case that you have found a way to enable the worker to enhance his work execution – and they are not working – it might be time. These are the lawful, moral strides to take when you fire workers.


Guarantee that the organization’s activities, as you get ready to release a worker, are unquestionably sound. How you fire a worker sends a message to your staff that lasts – either positive or negative.


Employment firing is the last thing in an included procedure. Utilize it if all else fails, and when the instruction hasn’t worked.



Procedure for Ending Employment


In the event that you trust that the employee is unwilling to enhance his execution, you will need to begin a dynamic disciplinary procedure. Once more, documentation is basic so you have a record of the means you took simultaneously. Utilize a Progressive Discipline Warning Form to archive each progression.


In the event that you don’t trust that the worker is equipped for enhancing their work, what reason do you have for keeping the employee? Firing them will save everybody the misery of a long, drawn-out process. Certainly, now in your relationship with the worker, if the boss has done her job, you have adequate execution directing records and disciplinary activity frames on a paper to terminate the employee.


Following the process out to be standard every representative you fire, once you choose to begin in this way unless a strange occasion happens. You may likewise supply the worker with any number of choices, beginning with the execution modification.


You can inquire as to whether he can willfully stop as opposed to taking part in a disciplinary action. You can concede to a timetable by when the worker will have the desired performance changes. This may be that as it may, meddle with the person’s capacity to collect unemployment.


You can concur that, for reasons unknown, the representative is unequipped for doing the activity, give two or three weeks of severance pay, and say farewell.


Converse with a lawyer to see the greater part of your choices. In situations where you give any severance pay, for instance, you will need to request that the leaving representative sign a discharge that is distinctive for workers more seasoned than forty and under age forty.


Hold the Employment Termination Meeting


In the end, you will need to hold the work end meeting. I would not give a representative more than a couple of minutes see before the meeting. You will cause the representative superfluous stress and surprise. By and large, nonetheless, this minute is normal.


Finish the means in the Employment Ending Checklist. A few stages, you will need to have finished before the end meeting. Consider the end meeting to be the worker’s post-employment interview.


Lawful Hiring Process in California


Applicants for jobs in California have lawful rights even before they move toward becoming workers. Under government law, a business can’t make a change in its process of hiring in light of an applicant’s race, national origin, pregnancy, age, disability, or religion.


Download FindLaw’s Guide to Hiring to keep a handy manual for your rights in the employing procedure.



Interview Questions For An Employer


Employers ought to maintain a strategic distance from questions that identify with classes that are secured by segregation laws. Following are sorts of inquiries that ought to be avoided during an interview by employers:


  • Whether the candidate has youngsters or expects to have kids


  • Marital status of the candidate


  • The candidate’s race


  • The candidate’s religion


  • The candidate’s sexual inclination


  • The candidate’s age (other than ensuring they are old enough to work in California)


  • Whether the candidate has any disabilities


  • The candidate’s citizenship status


  • Inquiries concerning medication or liquor use by the candidate


A candidate may bring up issues identified with the above mentioned upon a prospective employee interview. Assuming this is the case, the business may talk about these items to the degree vital to answering the candidate’s inquiries.



Process Of Hiring


At whatever point a business tries to procure another representative, there is an assortment of things the business must do before the new worker can start work. These include:


  • Acquiring a government business distinguishing proof of citizenship for each new representative, from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)


  • Enrolling with their state’s business office for an unemployment file for each new representative


  • Setting up the worker’s compensation framework to withhold duties to be paid to the IRS


  • Getting laborers’ pay protection


  • Setting up an Illness prevention plan for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)


  • Posting the required employment law notifications in the working environment as required by the Department of Labor (DOL)



Among the hiring procedure, bosses ought to abstain from making guarantees to an upcoming or newly hired representative to any proclamations or guarantees as any denial of these can bring an “inferred contract” claim up for review. For instance, a guarantee that investment opportunities will be justified regardless of a given sum, that the representative has worked for, or that the worker will get noteworthy boosts in salary may bring about such a suggested contract.


This way, if these guarantees are not kept, the business can be said to have broken the suggested contract and will be mindful to the representative for any harm the worker acquired, depending on the business’s guarantees. Avoid making promises and you will save the company from a potential lawsuit down the road.

What You Need To Know About Domestic Violence Leave In California

domestic violence

Domestic violence is common in most homes. You will note that there are several reasons that cause abuse. These include unfaithfulness, mistrust and so forth. Violence at home can make the victims get injured and even die in the process.

This can make such individuals not to be productive in the workplace. This is the reason why these individuals require domestic violence leave. You will realize that issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking are all over the news.

California basically requires employers to notify employees about rights to domestic violence leave. Although the law provides protected time off to victims of domestic violence, most workers are not aware of these rights.

You will realize that the new bill basically requires the employers to inform each employee of his or her rights upon being hired and any time thereafter upon request.


The following are some of the frequently asked questions about domestic violence leave:


  1. Are employees entitled to domestic violence leave?

Employees who work in California are entitled to domestic violence leave. There is a bill that requires employers to inform all the employees of this right.


  1. When should the employees be notified of this leave?

The employees should be notified about this leave upon being hire and at any time thereafter upon request.


  1. What are the circumstances that can make an employee take a domestic violence leave?

There are several circumstances that can make an employee go on this leave. You will realize that most of these issues will be related to how you relate to your partner. If you normally have conflicts in your family, you are likely to encounter violence in the home. If you have been sexually assaulted, you should take a domestic violence leave.


  1. Once you have encountered violence at home, what should you do?

Once you have encountered abuse, you should seek medical attention for the injuries. You should also consider obtaining services from a shelter, program or rape crisis center. You can also consider going for psychological counseling. In addition, you can participate in safety planning and take necessary action such as temporary or permanent

During your leave, you should pursue the above-mentioned activities. This can help your health and get over your problem. Such issues should be forwarded to the Human Resources in order to address any employee concerns about retaliation for actually taking the time to address such serious personal matters. This can help you a great deal.

California’s Minimum Wage Increase

minimum wage

In California, employees are supposed to be paid the minimum wage stipulated in the state law. If employers fail to remit the set minimum wage, it is a violation of California labor and employment laws. The minimum wage is set to increase annually in all industries from January 2017 to January 2022. Of specific focus in this increase is employers with 26 or more employees. As for employers with 25 or fewer employees, the increase will take effect from January 2018 to January 2023.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


  • What are the new federal regulations with respect to the minimum salary level?

According to these regulations, 10% of the minimum salary level has to be allocated to incentive payments, commissions, and non-discretionary bonuses. This was previously not a requirement.


  • Which minimum wage laws should employers follow among local, state and federal minimum wage laws?

In California, most employers have to adhere to federal as well as state minimum wage laws. Cities also enact their own local base pay laws. This creates confusion on the part of employers. Under such circumstances, employers must follow the law that greatly benefits employees. For instance, California’s law demands a higher minimum wage rate compared to the federal law thus employees must be paid the state minimum wage rates.


  • What does the term minimum salary thresholds mean?

Simply put, the term refers to minimum wage requirements for exempt employees. There exists “white collar” exemptions for employees in job categories such as administrative, executive and professional categories. Initially, California’s minimum salary threshold was $41, 600. However, this has changed with reference to the new Federal Overtime Rule which puts it at $47,476. As a result, an employee is only entitled to this exemption under the “white collar” exemptions if he is paid not less than $47,476.


  • What factors qualify an employee for exempt status or the minimum salary thresholds?

Employers consider a number of factors when determining exempt status. Factors such as if the employee is responsible for the management of the business, charged with decision making or owns a special state license are used to guide employers’ decisions.


  • What action should I take if my employer fails to pay me the required minimum wage?

You can file a lawsuit to compel your employer to pay the wages. Alternatively, you can file a wage claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office.


  • Which employees are categorized as learners and should they be paid the proposed minimum wage level?

Learners are employees who have little or no experience in the occupations they are in. The law requires that these employees irrespective of their age be paid at least 85% of the base pay.


As a final point, employers must conform to California’s minimum wage requirements. Of key concern should be having precise pay policies that address the interests of both exempt and non-exempt workers. Doing so will avoid the risk of costly lawsuits which can be filed by employees if they feel their right to the set payment has been violated.

Fair Pay Act in California

fair pay

California has the most expansive Fair Pay Act which covers different classes of people. The law discourages any form of discrimination in the workplace based on ethnicity or ace. For example, if individuals are performing the same task in an organization, they are supposed to be paid equality.

If you have employees who perform similar duties in your workplace, then you will not be allowed by law to pay them different wages. You should try as much as possible to ensure there is fairness in your workplace. If you are discovered to have engaged in any form of discrimination, legal actions may be taken against you.

Some of the cases under which you can pay workers different amounts of money include the following:


A seniority system

There are some employees who are senior in their workplace. For example, they may have worked or long in the organization hence they have climbed the ranks for them to become senior employees. If you have such a system in your workplace, then you can use the system for you to pay employees at different rates in your organization.


A merit system

There are several factors which can contribute towards the merit of your employees. For example, if you have an employee who has added qualifications, then buy merit you can decide to pay such an employee more money. You should have a well-defined system for you to gauge the merit of the employee for you to avoid breaking the law.


Quality and quantity for production

If you have a system in place which measures the equality or quantity of production, then you can base your payment on such a basis. If you have an employee who tends to deliver more for the organization, then the employee deserves to be paid more than others who are performing less. The system should be well defined so that you can know how to pay employees at different levels.


Education, training, and experience of the employer

You should base your payment system on a different factor other than race, sex, and ethnicity when trying to pay the employees. If you have an employee who has undergone several other training as a way of trying to improve his career, then the employee can be paid more than others who have not undergone the extra training.

Any reasons which you base to pay your employees should be based on the law rather than discrimination.

New Arbitration Protection For CA Employees

arbitration protection

The California government has recently approved a set OF laws in favor of employees in California which include new arbitration protection laws. The most important bills included SB 1063, approved on September30th, 2016, stating that all employees must be equally paid when working with the same skill-set and under same conditions, regardless of gender, race, and ethnicity. Further amendment AB 1676, in the bill, regulates that “prior salary shall not, by itself, justify any disparity in compensation.”


More Bills

Another bill prohibits employers from labeling a single-user toilet facility as reserved for either gender – male or female. AB 1732, effective since March 1st, 2017, was approved after considering the rights of LGBT community, caretakers, and other personnel within the vicinity who may require convenient access to toilets without much hassle.

Under AB 2377, employers are required to notify employees of their right to avail domestic violence leaves, which also includes leaves for protection against stalking and sexual assault. Other bills include the prohibition of employers from questioning their employees about juvenile convictions, minimum wage limit, and prohibition of cigarettes and e-cigarettes at work.

However, the most notable of all bills were the ones regarding arbitration protection, since arbitration in California is a suppressed issue for several years now.


Arbitration Protection Bill

California’s legislature approved the new statutes, after the Wells Fargo scandal, on mandatory arbitration laws for employees in CA.

The first approved statute concerning arbitration was SB 1007, passed on September1st, 2016. It specifically touched on the rights of either party in an arbitration to arrange for a certified stenographer to record the proceedings of the arbitration. These records may be helpful if an arbitration is not successful and employees seek help from the state.

While most businesses seek mandatory arbitration and oppose all bills against this practice, the government has therefore made it mandatory to keep records of the proceedings of such arbitrations to prevent exploitation of either party.

Another new law on arbitration protection that was passed on September 9th, 2016 – Statue SB 1241 -requires employees within California to refrain from taking the assistance of arbitration laws practiced outside the state. Since its approval, employees are now legally barred from claiming their arbitration in other states, and from applying laws practiced in other states to California.

Though it was primarily opposed by businesses owing to the fact that California state government legally protects employees that have been forced into out-of-state for dispute handling, the bill was approved considering the exploitation of employees by employers who required them to practice laws from other states even when the employment is in California.


Smoking Restrictions Laws in California

smoking restrictions

California smoking restrictions have been changing frequently over the years. There were places which were exempt from previous smoking law regulations. For instance, workplaces with less than five workers were exempted from the restrictions.

But, the update of the law nowadays restricts smoking in public places provided there are other people who access the space for services. For example, even if you own a private workplace where you serve clients, you are prohibited from smoking in such a place.


Minimum smoking age

The minimum smoking age in the previous law was at age 18. But, the new California smoking laws have raised the age to 21. If you used to smoke while you were under 18 years, you are not allowed to smoke under the new laws.

Even though the restrictions apply to all workplaces, some employers such as those who run tobacco shops are allowed to accept smoking in specific places. In cabs of large trucks and private smoking lounges, the employers can enjoy smoking. The previous laws did not restrict employers with less than five workers to limit smoking in workplaces.

The employees were also allowed to smoke during breaks. But, the law in California has enacted and prohibited all forms of smoking in the workplace. It is necessary for you to check out the laws and get updated accordingly.


E-cigarettes are put in the same category as tobacco products

The previous laws did not restrict the use of e-cigs and vaporizers in public places. But under the new laws, the use of e-cigarettes has been categorized as tobacco products.

If you used to use your e-cigarettes in public places, then you should be careful because the law has been changed to restrict the use of e-cigarettes in public places. Other incidences where workers can smoke in workplaces include cases where there are no other nonsmoking workers present.

If you own a car or truck with a private space, you can as well designate the place as a smoking zone where your employees can smoke. But, you should ensure the place where you allow smoking is separate from the areas where you serve your customers or where other employees who don’t smoke will come across.

Vaporizers and e-cigarettes are treated the same way tobacco is treated. If you had complied with the past smoking restrictions in Californian, then it is necessary for you to change your workplace policy and ensure you comply so that you can avoid being in the wrong side of the law.

Construction Accidents Caused By Defective Equipment


Most construction workplaces in California have policies that make safety everyone’s responsibility the new Californian construction law is limited in this approach makes it necessary for companies to put in place signs advising workers to identify safety hazards.

The law also requires that when workers lose their lives or get injured in the course of delivering their services either through negligence or ineffective construction equipment the workers must be compensated for the inconveniences. Top construction accidents leading significant fatalities include falls from ladders, vehicle beckoners, and failed machinery, cave-ins, front-end loaders, electrocutions and many other.


Workers’ Compensation

All employers in California are required by law to cover their employees under their workers’ compensation plans. In case of accidents, workers are likely to benefit from this insurance policy plan enabling them to gain from such benefits as lost wages resulting from the accidents, medical bills, and other benefits that are payable in the event of one losing his/her life.

Workers covered under such compensation policies are normally not eligible of suing their companies. However, for companies hiring undocumented laborers and subcontractors, their workers are qualified to sue them for the above-stated benefits.



To determine the person liable for the construction-related accident solely depends on the nature and cause of the accidents, however, whether the accidents occur as a result of Defective Equipment or on-site negligence construction companies must be prepared to deal with the aftermath. In the case of defective equipment many parties are likely to be named as defendants in the lawsuit, however, in most cases, the manufacturer will be liable for the manufacturing, design and marketing defect that has led to the accident.

With all the equipment used in construction sites chances of getting involved in an accident are high but with proper safety measures in manufacturing this equipment the rates of the accidents can be curbed. The laws in California are tuned to make manufactures and supplies of equipment liable for accidents that result from their poor design however before using any equipment it is advisable that a proper analysis of their effectiveness is carried out before use.

Construction accidents usually involve failures on multiple levels; this can be due to inadequate supervision, inadequate training and when all this is added to inferior or somewhat defective equipment it could lead to a severe construction tragedy. Given that these construction accidents involve rigorous activities it is good that once it has occurred, you seek the help of an attorney

Is It Possible To Sack Somebody For Their Social Media Complaints

social media

Currently, almost everyone is using at least one of the different social media platforms available. This has made people use social media as a way to notify other people what is happening around them in real time. Although this may be great in some ways, it can lead to unwanted attention or publicity for a business if employees post business practices related information.

Occupation Policies
Some businesses implement rules regulating the use of social media for its employees because they acknowledge the possible harmful effects it can have on their businesses. The regulations may involve limiting what employee post, prohibiting its use while working as well as not associating oneself with certain, actions, causes and political stance. However, businesses should consider legal implications before proceeding with these things.

At-Will Hire
At-Will Hire means that either the employer or the employee can terminate the job contract at will and many states support that. If an employer doesn’t fire someone illegally, then he or she is allowed to do that legally without offering an explanation. Some illegal things may include discrimination or prohibition of any kind.

Employment Contracts
There are employees sign contracts before they begin working. On the contract, you can find almost everything about the job including grounds for termination, employment relationship among other things. The employee can sue the employer in case there was a breach of contract during the termination of the contract.

Labor Guidelines
In some cases, the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) may go a step further and clarify when an employer cannot legally fire an employee because of social media posts. NLRB receives thousands of employee complaints, who have been fired because of what they post on their social media accounts, every year.

In order to educate people about forbidden employment practices, NLRB gave a report regarding the matter. According to the report, all employees have a right to engage one another to some extent – protected concerted activity. Employees can discuss work-related issues on social media such as working conditions but labor laws may not cover an individual employee complaining about the job.

First Amendment Rights
Workers can argue that their right to speech is being violated when an employer fire them due to their social media contents. However, the right only caters those interacting with the government. Government employees can enjoy this right and sue anyone violating their right but it does not cover private employees.

Legal Help
Lastly, there is need to consider a number of crucial factors when justifying whether an employee termination, due to their social media activity, is legal. Some factors may include protections available, state laws and protected concerted activity’. A lawyer can guide the employee or employee about legal implications of using social media in a particular state.


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