New Law 2018 – Parental Leave Requirement Expanded to Smaller Employers

If your business employees 20 to 49 employees, you must prepare for a significant change that many small businesses deem a significant burden – job-protected parental leave.  On October 12, 2017, Governor Brown approved SB 63, which expands the leave requirements of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to employers who employ at least 20 employees within a 75 miles (down from the threshold of 50 employees).  If your company does not have a parental leave policy, or has one that does not meet the requirements of the new law, the next couple of months is the perfect time to create one, updated your employee handbook, and establish a contingency plan on how you will cover for employees who may take anywhere between 3 to 7 months of leave. Here is a short outline of the new Government Code Section 12945.6’s requirements: Employers with at least 20 employees within 75 miles of the worksite must now do the following: 1. Provide up to 12 weeks of parental leave to an employee who has worked for the employer for more than 12 … Continue reading

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Disability Accommodation

Here’s a common situation, an employee calls in sick and a couple of days later you receive a doctor’s note taking the employee off work for 2 weeks.  If you are an employer with 5 or more employees in California, you are subject to the anti-discrimination provisions of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).  If you have 15 or more employees, you are also subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  Both laws require employers to find a reasonable accommodation for an employee who suffers a physical or mental disability so that the employee could return to work.  California employers have the added duty to engage in the interactive process in good faith.  The interactive process is simply engaging the employee in a dialogue to understand their restrictions and available accommodations. Why does it matter? From a management perspective, truly engaging in the interactive process and making the appropriate efforts to accommodate a disabled employee shows all your workers that they are valued beyond being merely disposable workers.  From a legal/monetary standpoint, doing it right will prevent … Continue reading

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Victim of Domestic Violence Leave

Women make up just under half of the U.S. labor force (46.8% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).  Thus, ensuring that women are safe, healthy, and productive is imperative to your business and the country’s economic growth. Yet, every 9 seconds, a women in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted. A greater proportion of women are victims of domestic violence but men suffer from domestic violence as well. In fact, in 1 year, more than 10 million women and men are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence). In an effort to protect victims of domestic violence the California legislature have enacted laws to protect employees who are victims of domestic violence. Do You Know Your Legal Obligations to Your Employees? Non-discrimination: All employers are prohibited from discharging, discriminating, or retaliating against an employee: Who takes time off to appear in court pursuant to a subpoena or court order. (Lab. Code § 230) Because of the employee’s status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, if the … Continue reading

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10 Business Events that Should Trigger a Call to Your Lawyer

As an owner of a small business, I understand the external demands faced by small and medium-sized business owners.  Sometimes we think we can do it all . . . until we realize that we can’t.  At some point, a business owner wonders “when should I contact a lawyer?”  Unfortunately, many businesses wait until a problem that would have cost a few hundred dollars to fix turns into a $10,000 problem before finding a lawyer. Here is a list of when to call a lawyer for a quick consultation. As Desiderius Erasmus said, “prevention is better than cure.”  This is not an exhaustive list and the prevention is not absolute ,but at the very least, it will minimize your potential risks.  1.  Before hiring your first employee The Prevention: Violations of federal and California anti-discrimination laws; Misclassification of exempt and non-exempt employees; Violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and California laws on backgrounds checks and consumer reports; and Violations of federal and California employment laws on overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, and pay stub violations. 2.  Before firing an employee … Continue reading

In: California Civil Litigation, California Leave Law, Employment Law, Hiring a Lawyer | Leave a comment