It's Time For Your Employment Policies Checkup 

The California legislature has been busy, and it is time again to review your employment policies for the new year, especially in light of the many new changes ahead in 2018 for California employers. 

Starting January 1, California employers will be prohibited from making any pre-employment salary inquiries. It is important to alert your human resources department, managers and hiring team to this new law. Also, all California public and private employers will be prohibited from making any criminal history inquiries before a conditional offer of employment is made - this is an expansion on some "ban-the-box" legislation already in effect. So, make sure you review employment applications and hiring protocols in order to eliminate this inquiry. 

While you review your employment documents, also check that your workplace posters are current for 2018. Specifically, starting January 1, California employers must post the new mandatory poster on transgender rights along with other mandatory workplace notices in a prominent and accessible location. The "Transgender Rights in the Workplace" poster was developed by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and can be accessed on its website

A big development in 2018 for small California employers with 20 - 49 employees is the new and expanded parental leave law, requiring such employers to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child's birth, adoption or foster care placement. This law does not create additional leave rights to employers with 50 or more employees, who are already required to provide the same benefit under the California Family Rights Acts (CFRA). The practical effect of the new expanded parental leave law is that now smaller California employers are included in the employee benefit protections already burdening larger employers under the CFRA. This expansion of law will create a significant burden on smaller California employers and they must plan accordingly. 

Also in 2018, large California employers with 50 or more employees will have to ensure that their sexual harassment training covers harassment based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. 

A couple of other reminders: ensure you are using the new I-9 form for employment eligibility; review the new 2018 minimum wage increases; ensure compliance with state and local paid sick leave laws; and confirm that rest breaks provided to non-exempt employees are free of employer control. 

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Contact us if you have questions or if you would like us to review your employment policies and procedures to ensure compliance with California's labor laws, new and old.

JonesBell, LLP is the Southwest California Synod's legal representative, and specializes in employment law for church organizations. To discuss  your  employment law needs, contact Asha Dhillon (  or Kevin Fitzgerald ( or call (213) 485-1555.

 (818) 507-9591 | | Synod Website

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