New Year Plan for 2016: Checklist for California Businesses

Photo by: Todd DiSantis

Photo by: Todd DiSantis

I love this time of year because in addition to the holiday parties and good cheer, it’s a time of reflection, taking stock of what we did well, where we could improve, and creating a plan for next year’s targets. You are probably doing the same thing for your business.

Here is a checklist for business’s New Year Plan to help your California business prepare for 2016.


  • Employment Applications – Check for compliance with California’s laws related to questions about arrest and criminal records. San Francisco is one of the 100 cities and counties that has implemented a “ban the box” law prohibiting those questions entirely.
  • Interview and Hiring Protocols – Review your interview questions and hiring protocols to ensure that your hiring decisions won’t give rise to discrimination claims. Systemic discrimination is a hot enforcement area.
  • Salaries – assess your starting (and incumbent) salaries to make sure that you can justify any pay discrepancies between people who perform similar duties. California’s new, tougher equal pay law goes into effect on January 1, 2016.

Policies and Procedures

  • Employee Handbook Review – make sure that your policies reflect that laws that govern your workplace depending on the number of employees you have. Your growth may have pushed you over a legal threshold that subjects you to more rules.
  • Social Media Policy – do you have one? No? You should have one.
  • Disciplinary Procedures – does your policy reflect the reality of how your managers discipline employees? If not, it’s time to re-write your policy and train managers.

The Big Picture

  • Customer and Supplier Contracts – Review your form contracts and make sure you understand what duties the parties owe to each other. Is there an arbitration clause, attorneys’ fees provision, and forum selection clause? You may want to revamp your contracts to ensure maximum protection for your business.
  • Intellectual Property – Is your intellectual property protected? Have you taken measures to keep confidential information confidential?
  • Collection – If you have past-due accounts, failure to make attempts to collect may result in waiver of your claims. If amicable attempts to collect fail, you may have to consider filing a suit to collect.

Every business should have a trusted employment attorney on your team of advisors. Call (949) 529-0007 or e-mail me to help manage your business’s risks in 2016.

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In: California Civil Litigation, Employment Law

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