‘Tis the Season for Updating Company Handbooks & Forms!

As employers know, complying with California’s rigorous employment obligations means tracking an ever-moving target.  Now is the time when employers should be reviewing handbooks, applications, forms, and other employment documents/practices to ensure that they are up to date with the new laws that become effective January 1, 2018.  Don’t let out-of-date policies land you in hot water!

Below is a quick overview of the more critical changes that employers may need to address:

  • Ensure that the Employment Application does not request that the applicant disclose any prior salary history
  • Ensure that the Employment Application does not include any questions related to criminal history
  • Ensure that the Employee Handbook is gender-neutral and does not use pronouns or possessive language that suggests gender (his, hers, he, she, him, etc.)
  • If applicable, ensure that the Arbitration Agreement has been updated to include the most recently recommended language for improving chance of enforcement
  • Ensure that you have written Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation, and Domestic Violence policies that are provided to employees. Policies must expressly list all protected categories, outline the Company’s complaint and investigation procedures, inform the Employee that complaints will be kept confidential, and clarify Domestic Violence leave protections.  Obtain a signed acknowledgment from the Employee that this information has been provided.
  • For employers with 20-49 employees, ensure that your Employee Handbook is updated to include California’s new Parental Leave rights
  • Ensure that the Employee Handbook does not include any restrictions on how or where the employee spends meal and rest break time
  • Review the Company’s practices for handling document requests from the federal government in order to ensure that they comply with California’s new “Sanctuary State” protections
  • Obtain and post new 2018 Employment Law posters