Top 10 Things California Employers Need to Do For 2013

January 2013Articles Labor and Employment Alert

1. Make sure that you have a written and signed commission agreement on file for any employee earning a commission. AB 1396 and as clarified in AB 2675.

2. Comply with former employee requests for copies of personnel files. It is no longer sufficient to simply send signed documents from the file. AB 2674.

3. Do not demand that employees or applicants provide their user names or passwords for social media accounts. AB 1844.

4. Make sure to attach the new FCRA notice of rights to your background check consent forms and to any notices of adverse action taken due to results of background check.

5. Revisit your salaried non-exempt employees and confirm they are being paid correctly and that their paystub is accurate. Beware: New penalties apply for getting it wrong. AB 1744.

6. Pay attention to requests for religious accommodation. Do not just push employees who request dress-and-grooming accommodations to the back-of-the-house. AB 1964.

7. Stop paying four hours for mandatory meetings. The reporting time rules have been amended and give employers more flexibility.

8. Beware of changes coming to health care plans for 2014, including the roll-out of insurance exchanges, and start working with your broker in early 2013 to plan for major changes going forward. Check out our Employee Benefits Blog for the latest updates.

9. Review the new pregnancy disability leave regulations and make sure that you update your handbooks, notices, posters and medical certifications – and of course, your practices in administering pregnancy related leaves and accommodation requests – accordingly.

And finally, the biggest news for 2012 was Brinker, which means two things: (1) make sure that employees punch-in-and-out for meal breaks before the end of the fifth hour of each shift (early breaks are now okay if justified by business needs); and (2) make sure you update your handbook language to confirm that rest breaks are provided for every four hours or major fraction thereof. See the below blog posts for more related tips.

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If you have any questions about how these laws apply to your company or in any particular situation, please contact Nancy Yaffe.