The presence of alcohol in offices has ebbed and flowed over time and largely depended on the type of business, from drink carts in advertising agencies à la Mad Men to keg refrigerators at startups. The once popular office perk may or may not be waning, but the number of companies addressing the issue and the attention those decisions are generating is certainly increasing. Companies across the country are evaluating their alcohol policies, or lack thereof, particularly in light of #MeToo developments and are considering the following: Continue Reading Companies Are Rethinking their Approach To Alcohol in the Workplace
Voters in Michigan, Utah and Missouri passed marijuana-related ballot measures in the November 2018 elections. Michigan, which legalized medical marijuana in 2008, became the tenth state to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Utah voters agreed to institute a formal structured medical marijuana program, greatly expanding the scope of the state’s existing medical marijuana law, and Missouri voters for the first time authorized the state to create a system of licensed marijuana dispensaries for medical purposes. Each of these measures recognizes that marijuana remains a controlled substance, and illegal, under federal law, and that authorized users, growers, physicians, and any others who properly support or participate in these programs will be shielded from liability only under state law.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, California has had the highest number of reported cases of human trafficking in the country over the last six years, followed by Texas and Florida. Human trafficking victims include men and women, adults and children, and foreign nationals and United States citizens. Recent studies indicate that hotels and motels are common locations for sex trafficking.
In light of these startling statistics, now is a good time for employers to become informed about new legislation associated with human trafficking crimes and to implement or update their anti-human trafficking policies and practices. Continue Reading New California Legislation Imposes Human Trafficking Training Requirements on Hotel and Transit Employers
In a time when workplace violence seems to be on the rise, many companies have adopted a strict no tolerance policy even for conduct outside the workplace. In California, however, employers need to be cognizant of the protections afforded individuals that may make such terminations riskier than the company may expect. One employer got just such a reminder last week when a California jury returned an $18M verdict against it for terminating an employee after he was arrested for threatening his girlfriend outside of the workplace.
There may be some changes coming to how California enforces its antidiscrimination law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). In February 2017, a bill (Senate Bill 491) was introduced in the California Senate proposing to allow local government entities to enforce antidiscrimination statutes.