Los Angeles Business Law Blog

An overview of California's retaliation laws for employers

Employees have the right to report labor violations in good faith. And if they file a complaint or a report, they also have state and federal protections against retaliation from their employers.

Most employers understand that retaliation is illegal. However, there is much more to know than that. Here is a quick summary of California's anti-retaliation laws for business owners.

Four Holiday-related Issues to Tackle with your Employees

Holidays - particularly the year-end Holidays, are supposed to be a time for relaxing and disconnecting. However, in the business world, that doesn't always happen. Between the end-of-year demands and the stress of trying to accommodate employee holiday needs and wishes, it can be a lot for employers to manage.

However, there are some basic steps every employer can take to minimize the disruption and conflict that can arise during this time of year.

More Employers are Eliminating Alcohol from Office Parties

Employees deserve to celebrate occasionally, whether it’s for hitting sales goals, making it to retirement or for an annual holiday party. Unfortunately, office parties can get out of hand when alcohol is provided. Employers may be held liable when problems occur at work parties, even when they are hosted offsite. An employer could face litigation if an employee experiences sexual harassment or assault at a company-funded event.

Safety and liability issues

Brewery Contract Dispute Comes to a Head

Business contracts often play a pivotal role in the future of any business. Based on these negotiations and agreements, companies set their goals and define their expectations for the next chapter.

When parties to a contract do not come to an agreement right away, though, there can be some fears about the fate of one or both entities. For instance, MillerCoors and Pabst Blue Ribbon battled up until just before a jury was to decide on their contract dispute before coming to a settlement that cements both companies' future in the brewing industry.

What to do if an Employee Violates a Confidentiality Agreement?

Employers have numerous tools at their disposal to protect their business and the elements that make it competitive. One such tool is a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA.

An NDA is a contract that prohibits signing party from sharing or otherwise misusing protected information, including the company's trade secrets (which are usually defined in the NDA). If an employee, for example, shares protected information (whether intentionally or unwittingly) in breach of the NDA, the employer can take legal action to enforce the agreement.

Making your workplace work for millennials

Statistics show that people in their 20's and 30's comprise a significant portion of most workplaces. These millennial workers often have some experience under their belt, unlike younger employees, and they are typically skilled in navigating technological resources, which can be more difficult for older employees.

Considering the crucial role millennials fill in many companies, some California business owners may wonder how they can attract these employees.

Small business owners: How you can prepare for a lawsuit

No business owner wants to be sued. However, the fact is that disputes can and do arise involving employees, partners and third parties, despite efforts to avoid them.

As such, it is important for owners to prepare for potential lawsuits. Knowing that there are protocols and resources in place to respond to a legal claim can make it less intimidating and overwhelming if the situation does arise.

Tips for preventing disputes when your employee is family

Many employers in small- or medium-sized companies hire family members to work for them. Employers might do this as a favor or because they want to hire someone they can trust. Whatever the reason, employers would be wise to protect themselves and the company in the event of a dispute. There are a few ways to do this: 

One surprising way your business could be breaking the law

As a business owner, you likely go to great lengths to avoid legal disputes and follow state and federal laws. You may have employment or independent contractor agreements with your workers, and partnership or joint venture agreements with your partners; if there are regulations with which you must comply, you might diligently review them and make any changes necessary to avoid fines and penalties.

However, you may not realize that you or your employees are doing something that could land you at the wrong end of a lawsuit claiming you are breaching copyright law.

Avoiding retaliation pitfalls

If you are considering taking action against an employee, take a moment to consider if that action could be deemed unlawful retaliation. Employment laws prevent an employer from punishing workers (and even job applicants) for “protected activity” regarding certain rights. Before you act, make sure that you won’t end up in a retaliation pitfall.

What is a “protected activity?

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