Top 10 Trends Facing California Employers in 2018January 3, 2018 – Alerts Labor & Employment Alert
Harassment issues dominated the headlines in 2017. What lessons were learned and what can California employers expect in 2018?
Here is my annual Top Ten Trends list, drawn from our most popular blog posts of 2017:
#1 — No business (regardless of industry), nor individual (regardless how successful or powerful) is immune from sexual harassment claims.
#2 — It’s time to revamp your harassment policy to ensure your harassment prevention training is relevant and engaging.
#3 — Investigate promptly – but please don’t rush to judgment. Take action, if necessary, but remember the accused have rights too.
#4 — Managers mess up (often inadvertently), so you have to train them. Make sure they understand they are required to report any harassment issues, and supported when they do so.
#5 — Ensure that managers understand how to coordinate with Human Resources with regard to any accommodation request (whether as to disability, religion, or gender identity/expression).
#6 — Recruitment will be more complicated because you can’t rely on prior salary history to set your pay rates, and you can’t ask about criminal history until after an offer is made. Make sure your employment applications are updated.
#7 — The three wage-and-hour claims to expect in 2018 are: (1) overtime rate claims that include claims for miscalculation of sick pay; (2) fair pay claims (on the basis of sex or race); and (3) rest break claims when the policy requires the employees to stay on premises.
#8 — Plan now for stoned employees in 2018; if you intend to enforce marijuana use as an illegal drug (as it still is under federal law), make sure your policies say so, and you take action uniformly.
#9 — The intersection of PAGA with class actions and arbitration agreements promises to remain an active and complex area of litigation, with no realistic end in sight.
#10 — Hope that the state and federal legislatures would focus on something helpful for employers, like creating a new category of dependent contractors instead of focusing on a knee-jerk reaction to harassment issues that will hurt employers (such as banning arbitration agreements for harassment cases and making such settlements taxable).
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If you have any questions about how these issues apply to your company or in any particular situation, please contact Nancy Yaffe at 310.598.4160 or [email protected] or any other member the firm’s Labor & Employment Department.