There are many steps business owners should take to protect their companies (and themselves personally) from employment law wage claims. In my book, the number one way to do so is to ensure that the company's timekeeping practices comply with the law.
It is easy to get confused regarding what deductions are permissible from exempt (salaried) employees' pay. While there are numerous applicable rules, today we discuss this issue as it pertains to vacation and sick leave.
Employers frequently struggle with the question of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. Companies in California now have much clearer guidance with the recent California Supreme Court decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (Dynamex).
When an employer or employee finally concludes that the employment relationship must end, both sides should consider a key opportunity - negotiating a severance agreement. Why? When an employer-employee relationship ends on less than amicable terms or where there is already a potential dispute, such agreements can help both sides avoid going down a road of lengthy litigation and legal costs. When crafted properly, severance agreements benefit both sides. Here are some reasons why:
Employers spend countless hours worrying about, and in some cases, trying to ignore, overtime hours worked by their employees. Don't hide from the overtime issue; instead, take charge of it through effective planning and management.
Under the new "Ban the Box" law, California employers are no longer allowed to ask applicants about their prior criminal history before making a conditional offer of employment, in most circumstances.
The State of California has expanded protected parental leave eligibility to employees of qualified companies with 20 to 49 employees. Effective January 1, 2018, the "New Parent Leave Act" provides up to 12 months of protected leave for eligible employees to bond with a new child.
Many California employers may not be aware that the law regarding rest breaks for employees has changed. Employees are no longer required to remain on premises during rest breaks, the breaks cannot be interrupted, and employees can't be "on-call" during rest breaks.
On July 17, 2017, the latest version of the Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form was released by the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.) Employers are required to use this revised form as of September 18, 2017. The new form is dated "07/17/17" in the lower left hand corner of its pages. This form is currently designated for use through August 31, 2019.
An updated version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification form, has been released by the USCIS (the United Stated Citizenship & Immigration Services) and must be the only form in use by employers effective January 22, 2017.