Must-Read for All Employers: Gov. Brown Further Expands Sexual Harassment Laws in California

Brown lawOn September 30, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed over a dozen bills into law with the intent on making the Golden State the leader in the nation on the much-analyzed and discussed topic of sexual harassment.

Governor Brown signed his last bill on Sunday night.  Over his career, he signed nearly 20,000 bills, including 1,016 this year. The new laws, on a range of issues from climate change to criminal justice to gender issues, place California on the “left coast” politically.  Brown’s ambitions can be summarized by his statement that, “We are going to be the moral compass and the policy trendsetter of the country.”

While these new laws will benefit employees and address serious and relevant issues, they will continue to place more demands on employers across California who attempt to comply with the most legislated corporate territory in the country.

A full list of Governor Browns approvals and vetoes can be found in his Legislative Update.  Of the dozens of bills signed into law on September 30, the most relevant on this topic include the following: Continue reading

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California Labor and Employment Updates for 2018

CapitolThe California Legislature has passed the following labor and employment bills, which will become law effective January 2018.

PRIOR SALARY AND PRIOR CONVICTIONS

Salary History Information

AB 168 prohibits employers from asking job applicants for “salary history information,” which includes both compensation and benefits.  But where an applicant “voluntarily and without prompting” discloses salary history information, the employer may rely upon the information in setting the applicant’s starting salary.  As a result, questions about prior salary may not be asked in job applications or interviews by an employer or an agent of the employer.

Additionally, AB 168 requires employers to provide the pay scale for a position if the applicant requests it.  This bill makes California the first jurisdiction in the country to require that employers provide applicants with the pay scale for a position, upon “reasonable request.”

This bill applies to employers, both private and public, and will become effective January 1, 2018. Continue reading

New Policy Requirements for Employers Effective April 1, 2016

EmployeeHandbook_Pop_6467Beginning April 1, 2016, California employers with five or more total employees (whether or not all of those employees live in California) must update their anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and complaint-investigation policies, and distribute them to employees for signature. These policies must be in compliance with recent amendments to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and must be distributed to all employees.

attorney clientThe new regulations include the following:

  • Provides for additional protected classes under the FEHA;
  • Clarifies harassment liability;
  • Updates legal standards and legal remedies of discrimination;
  • Revises complaint procedures;
  • Clarifies the investigation process;
  • Expands record-keeping requirements; and
  • Expands the rights of pregnant employees and employees with service animals.

Continue reading