Webinar Recap – California Calling: Compliance Tips for Employers in the Golden State

By Kelsey Basten

Published on March 20, 2019

Webinar Recap – California Calling: Compliance Tips for Employers in the Golden State

GovDocs teamed up with Dan Prokott – Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP – March 19 for our first webinar of the year, California Calling: Compliance Tips for Employers in the Golden State.

If you couldn’t attend, no worries! We’ve put together the top takeaways here:

Effectively Handle Hiring

When hiring in California, employers must pay attention to:

  • Providing notices or training on protected classifications
  • Limitations on what criminal history may be considered in the application process
  • Salary history bans
  • E-Verify rights or requirements
  • New hire documents
  • New hire training, such as sexual harassment and human trafficking training

Avoid the Real Lawsuits of California

California employers often struggle with keeping up with the latest wage and hour laws, resulting in lawsuits between employers and employees. These types of laws include overtime, meal/rest breaks, lactation accommodation, travel time for non-exempt employees, commissions, expenses and wage payment issues.

One of the most prevalent laws is the California Fair Pay Act. To avoid a lawsuit, employers should look at the fine print, which states:

Employees who perform “substantially similar work” under similar working conditions must be paid equally, unless the employer can demonstrate that the wage differential is based on either: (1) a seniority system; (2) a merit system; (3) a system that measures earnings by quality or quantity of production; or (4) a bona fide factor other than sex, race or ethnicity (such as education, training or experience; employers are required to demonstrate that these factors account for the entire pay differential).

Also, under this law, employers are prohibited from preventing employees from disclosing their wages and from retaliating against employees for invoking the act.

Don’t Take a Break from Staying on Top of Leave Laws

California employers must pay attention to the following paid leave policies:


Employers in California are not permitted to have “use it or lose it” policies. Also accrued and unused PTO/vacation leave must be paid out upon separation.

Paid Sick and Safe Leave

Under state law, employers must provide one hour of paid leave per 30 hours worked or front load at least 24 hours or three days. These hours must be allowed to carry over but may be capped at 48 hours. The accrual period begins at start of employment and may be used after 90 days.

Employers must beware that local ordinances may differ from state paid sick and safe leave.

California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

The CFRA has a basic minimum duration of two weeks when the leave is taken for the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child, but an employer shall grant a request for a CFRA leave of less than two weeks duration on any two occasions.

Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL)

The PDL covers employers with five or more employees and provides up to four months leave. Under this law, employees are entitled to use any accrued leave concurrently and employers must reasonably accommodate pregnancy-related conditions. PDL does not run concurrently with CFRA leave.

Parental Leave

California employers with 20 or more employees must provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child.

Learn More About California Employment Law

Want to learn more about California employment law? Check out the recording of our webinar, California Calling: Compliance Tips for Employers in the Golden State, where we take a deep dive into the challenges that come along with California employment law.

This Labor Law News Blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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