New Year rings in 8 big changes for California employers

Most of my small business clients appreciate brevity — so I’m providing you with the barest possible review of 8 big changes going into effect on New Year’s Day.  

  1. Employers cannot force employees to sign arbitration agreements.
  2. “No rehire” provisions in settlement and release agreements are no longer permitted in most cases.
  3. An ABC test created by the court has made it almost impossible to classify workers as independent contractors. That is now the law.
  4. The legislature extended the statute of limitations on harassment, retaliation and discrimination from one to three years. This means you need to maintain personnel records for a long time.
  5. The statute governing lactation accommodation which was already very difficult for employers to meet was made more burdensome for 2020. The law requires employers to publish a written policy on lactation accommodation.
  6. On a positive, note the statutory deadline for employers with 5 or more employees to provide one hour of sexual harassment prevention training to all employees and two hours of sexual harassment prevention training to supervisors and managers was extended to 1/1/21.
  7. Paid family leave was extended from six weeks to eight weeks.
  8. California just became the first state to outlaw racial discrimination based on hairstyle. The law legally protects employees from discrimination based on their natural hair. The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2020 prohibits the enforcement of grooming policies that disproportionately affect people of color, particularly black people. This includes bans on certain styles, such as Afros, braids, twists, cornrows and dreadlocks.

Now that I have listed most of the 2020 employment law changes that affect small business owners, let me know if you want fuller descriptions and I will provide them to you free of charge.

Happy New Year!

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