A bill sponsored by the Transgender Law Center and Equality California was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. The bill, Vital Statistics Modernization Act, simplifies changing ones birth certificate for transgender Californians. Another bill, the Gender Nondiscrimination Act, was also signed by the governor and it provides further protection from discrimination for California residents who identify as transgender.

The Vital Statistics Modernization Act has been regarded as a key step to reducing the difficulty that transgender residents face with documents required by the state. The process for a person looking to change his or her gender on a birth certificate is streamlined. According to the only documents necessary to make the change is a note from a medical professional stating that the person has "undergone 'clinically appropriate treatment'". The Executive Director of the sponsor organization Transgender Law Center stated, "Having identity documents that match who we truly are is critical to our ability to work, travel and thrive." The difficulty to travel around the U.S. or internationally by plane is especially difficult for a person who has changed genders due to the scrutiny faced at security checkpoints.

The other bill changed the definitions under the law to bolster the protections against discrimination for transgender men and women. The Transgender Law Center said that these changes "provide[s] clarity to those who are victims of unlawful discrimination as well as for business owners, employers and other entities required to comply with the anti-discrimination protections..." Contact Daneshvar Law at (323)850-5801 if you believe that you have been discriminated against on the basis of your gender or sexual orientation.
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AuthorLaw Offices of Hasti Daneshvar
Am I required to pay wages to employees who serve on jury duty?

You are not required to pay wages to non-exempt employees who serve on jury duty. Exempt employees must be paid full salary for any week in which they perform any work. There is a difference in that you must pay an exempt employee who works any part of a week and is on jury duty, versus a non-exempt employee who does not have to be paid. This is just another reason it is so important to properly classify your employees.

The California Labor Commissioner has stated in the Enforcement and Interpretations Manual that federal law, with respect to jury duty, is compatible with state law and will be followed. Any exempt employee who works any part of a week and who serves on jury duty must be paid salary for the full week. Both the U.S. Department of Labor and the state Labor Commissioner, however, will allow employers to offset any amounts received by an employee for jury fees for that particular week.

Exempt employees are subject to certain compensation requirements in order to retain the exempt status. Code of Federal Regulations Section 29 CFR 541.602 provides that an exempt employee must be paid on a salary basis to be considered an exempt employee. The general rule contained in paragraph (a) provides that if an exempt employee performs any work within a week, then that employee must be paid salary for the full week. Under paragraph (b), there are certain exceptions when the exempt employee is absent of his/her own volition. The exception does not apply to jury duty. Paragraph (b)(4) requires that exempt employees who work any part of a week be paid full salary for that week. If not, the exempt status will be lost. An exempt employee who misses a full week of work because of jury duty does not have to be paid salary for that week.

It's crucial that employers recognize that very seldom will an exempt employee perform absolutely no work in a week— even answering e-mail, listening to voicemail, reporting to the office outside of jury duty hours will all constitute work during the week.

Additionally , California Labor Code Section 230(a) provides that an employer may not discriminate against an employee for taking time off to serve as required by law in an inquest jury or trial jury, if the employee,prior to taking time off, gives reasonable notice to the employer that he/she is required to serve.Labor Code Section 230(a) does not require the payment of wages for non-exempt employees nor the payment of salary for exempt employees who miss work because of jury duty. Both classes of employees, however, are protected from being discriminated against.
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AuthorLaw Offices of Hasti Daneshvar
Under California wage and hour laws, employers are required to pay all non-exempt hourly employees for attending mandatory company meetings. This means that when workers in California are required to go to a meeting, regardless of whether or not the meeting is held in person at the company or another location, or even a webinar held over the Internet, the employee is entitled to compensation at the regular rate of pay if the meeting time falls within the first 8 hours of the workday and 40 hours within the workweek. However, if mandatory meeting time pushes employees past the 8 hour workday or 40 hour workweek, California employees are entitled to overtime pay for the time spent attending mandatory meetings.

California employees are also entitled to compensation for attending mandatory training. If your former or current employer makes you perform job training off-the-clock and without compensation, contact The Law Offices of Hasti Daneshvar today to learn about how to get reimbursed for training time.
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AuthorLaw Offices of Hasti Daneshvar
Nationwide Push to Ban Pre-Employment Credit Checks


Have you ever been asked to sign an authorization form allowing a company to check your credit report when applying for a job, and wondered "why in the world would they want that?"  It's quite understandable why employees would feel uneasy about disclosing such personal information.  After all, an employee may wonder what their ability or inability to pay their debts has to do with a day's work?  Ironically enough, it's that same need to repay debts that sends people to work in the first place.  On the other hand, it's also understandable why employers may want to obtain these applicant's credit reports. Perhaps there is information within the pages of that credit report that may point to dishonesty that will assist the employer in making his decision to hire or not.  


I know that when drafting employee handbooks for my clients, I usually include language requiring the employee to provide written consent to obtain his or her credit report.  This is especially important with job positions where the employee has access to money, financial records, and or billing.  


Recently, however, there has been a nationwide trend in banning credit reports before hiring employees for certain job positions.  According to the Associated Press, "Last year California lawmakers voted to curb the use of such checks, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill under pressure from Chamber of Commerce leaders who called it a "job-killer."  However, given today's poor economy and exceptionally high unemployment rate in California, I believe it's very likely that legislation protecting consumer rights will follow. 


States may ban credit checks on job applicants 

 
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AuthorLaw Offices of Hasti Daneshvar
WILL EMPLOYERS BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE INSURANCE UNDER THE NEW HEALTH CARE BILL? No, however, employers with over 50 employees who don't offer health insurance will be required to pay a $2,000.00 gov't. assessment for every full-time employee if they have even one employee who receives federal subsidies to purchase health care coverage. Employers with fewer than 50 employees aren't subject to that fee.
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AuthorLaw Offices of Hasti Daneshvar