“Unconscious bias” is a workplace term we often hear discussed these days by HR professionals and legal experts. Many people are unsure of the exact meaning of this term or they think it is some new age concept or perhaps the latest buzzword describing a new form of discrimination in the workplace. Actually, it’s neither. The fact is, unconscious bias is present in all of us and it has been around for as long as humans (and workplaces) have existed.
Each year, California employers are faced with the task of keeping up with a whole new round of labor laws and regulations, most of them courtesy of the state legislature. This year is no exception, with many changes occurring midyear. Staying up to date and ensuring compliance with these ever-changing state, local, and federal laws is an ongoing and serious responsibility for employers and HR professionals. Fortunately, there is help.
Although confidentiality agreements that prohibit employees from discussing their salaries, benefits, or internal disciplinary investigations with other employees may sound reasonable, such policies generally violate federal labor law. A recent decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that a Phoenix hospital’s confidentiality agreement was unlawfully restrictive of employees’ Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Last April, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law the Medical Marijuana Act (MMA), which legalizes the use of medical marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania. The new law will allow patients with serious medical conditions to access medical marijuana with a physician’s certification at designated state dispensaries.
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