Tag: employment law attorney

Changing California Employment Laws Could Impact Your Business

Changing California Employment Laws

California Employment Laws

Several important employment law changes are taking effect in California on January 1st, 2022. If you own or operate a small or mid-sized business it is crucial that you take action to ensure that your company’s policies and procedures are still in full compliance with federal, state, and local regulations. Here, our Fremont employment lawyer for employers provides an overview of the changing employment laws in California and explains the value of seeking professional guidance.

An Overview of the Key Employment Law Changes in California

Over the past several years, California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a number of bills with employment law provisions. A few changes officially took effect on January 1st, 2022. Some of the most notable employment law changes include:

  • Revision of the California Family Rights Act: In 2020, there were significant changes made to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). In 2021, a new bill (AB 1033) was passed to fix a drafting error within the previous CFRA reform. Further, AB 1033 expands the CFRA mediation program for small employers.
  • Heightened enforcement of wage and safety violations: As of January 1st, 2022, Senate Bill 606 took effect in California. The legislation significantly expands the Cal/OSHA’s authority to hold employers accountable for certain types of wage violations and workplace safety violations. It is crucial that small employers ensure full compliance with all state and federal wage and hours laws and all state and federal safety regulations. 
  • New rules on severance and settlement agreements: New regulations regarding severance and settlement agreements are taking effect in California. Among other things, the law prohibits employers from including non-disclosure provisions in most settlement agreements pertaining to a workplace harassment claim or a workplace discrimination claim.
  • Continued COVID-19 workplace safety compliance: Finally, there are continued COVID-19 workplace safety regulations that employers need to be aware of in 2022. With the spread of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant, COVID-19 is expected to be a significant workplace safety issue in 2022. Employers must comply with SB 336 and AB 654.

Small Business Can Benefit from an Employment Law Review for 2022

As a small business owner in the Bay Area, you undoubtedly have a lot on your plate. It is imperative that you do not allow California employment law changes to go unaddressed. The start of a new year is an excellent time to seek professional legal guidance regarding employment handbooks as well as employment policies and benefits. Our experienced California employment lawyer for employers can conduct a comprehensive review of your company’s practice to ensure that you are in full compliance with all applicable regulations—both the already established rules and the updated laws.

Contact Our California Employment Law Attorney Today

Lynnette Ariathurai is a skilled employment lawyer for employers. If you have any questions about California’s changing employment laws, we can help. Contact us today for a confidential consultation. We provide employment law representation throughout the region, including in Fremont, Newark, Hayward, East Bay, Milpitas, Union City, San Leandro, Gilroy, San Jose, and Santa Clara.

California employment laws, employment law attorney, employment law changes

Steps to Defend a Claim When an Employee Sues

business attorney

Owning and operating a successful business is challenging in the current economic environment. No business owner wants to face a lawsuit—especially a legal claim from one of their own employees. If your company is facing a complaint from an employee, it is imperative that you know what to do to protect the best interests of the business. Here, our Fremont employment law attorney for employers highlights five key steps to take to protect yourself and your business against an employee claim.

1.     Understand the Nature and Scope of the Claim

First and foremost, it is crucial that you take the time to understand the nature and scope of the claim. Did the employee actually file a lawsuit or did they initiate a claim with state or federal regulators? In employment law cases, many claims go through a regulatory agency before any lawsuit is filed. You may be facing a claim with the:

  • California Labor Commissioner’s office
  • California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH)
  • United States Department of Labor (DOL)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

2.     Do Not Take It Personally, Do Not Punish the Employee

As challenging as it can be, it is important to remember that employment law claims are not personal. These complaints should be handled in a professional manner. If the employee still works for your company, do not take any adverse action against them—even if you believe that they filed a false claim in bad faith. You do not want to expose your company to liability for retaliation. The EEOC notes that retaliation is the most common basis for employment claims nationwide.

3.     Identify and Preserve Relevant Documents and Record

Employers can effectively protect their interests by identifying, gathering, and organizing all documents and records that may be relevant to the claim. Not only do employers have a general obligation to save information once a claim has been filed, but these records can form evidence to help protect your business against liability.

4.     Notify Your Insurance Carrier (If Applicable)

Does your company have employment practices liability insurance or another type of related insurance coverage? If so, it is crucial that you notify your insurer once a claim has been filed. In general, insurance policies require that businesses/organizations provide timely notice of a legal claim. Failure to tell your insurance carrier that a claim has been filed could undermine your coverage.

5.     Consult With an Employment Attorney for Employers

Employment law is complicated. There are many specialized rules and regulations in place under both federal and state law. Employers facing a lawsuit (or formal claim) from a current or former employee can benefit from consulting with an experienced employment law attorney. A lawyer will be able to review the specific circumstances of the case and help you determine the best course of action—whether that is building a strong defense or working towards a solution in mediation.

Schedule a Confidential Consultation with a California Employment Lawyer

Lynette Ariathurai is an experienced employment law attorney for employers. If you have questions about defending an employee claim, attorney Ariathurai can help. Contact us now for a confidential consultation. We represent employers in Fremont, Newark, Hayward, East Bay, Milpitas, Union City, San Leandro, Gilroy, San Jose, and Santa Clara.

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