Every other month or so, we share informative, interactive webinars that equip business owners and HR managers in California with the information they need to be successful. Recently, we welcomed Monica Weimer, senior professional in Human Resources and HR consultant at MammothHR. She reviewed the “HR Essentials in California.”
Which Laws Prevail?
Overall, every HR manager should know that while there are various municipal, state, and federal laws governing employment, we are required to comply with the one that’s most beneficial to the employee.
For example, Monica notes that there is no federal law about sick leave. However, there is a state law in California. And in some municipalities, there are even more focused, beneficial laws that override the state law.
“All Work Must Be Paid”
With minimum wage laws rising every year, be aware of local laws that govern your company. Also, Monica points out that any work done by an employee that benefits the company must be paid, so she recommends being clear about what is considered authorized work for each employee.
Get to Know the Leave Laws
State and federal laws regarding paid and unpaid leave can get complicated, as they often are dependent on the number of your employees. In addition, Monica points out, they may or may not run concurrently. She recommends being aware of the various laws that may impact your company so if an employee comes to you requesting a protected leave, you know which one they may be entitled to and how to manage it.
Defining a Disability
This is another area where you want to be aware of the related laws. Monica describes the California Fair Employment and Housing Act as more protective than the federal government’s Americans with Disabilities Act. The key thing to remember is that a disability is defined by an employee’s medical provider and should be verified with a medical inquiry form. Together, with the employee and medical provider, you can seek to provide reasonable accommodations.
Harassment Training Awareness
With California laws changing regarding harassment training, you will want to be aware of what your employees will require by the end of the year. In addition, Monica says prevention is the best tool when it comes to harassment. Clear policies and a positive, safe company culture are the start.
No one likes this topic, but sometimes after appropriate corrective action, it’s the only option. Monica reminds us to be “cognizant of discrimination.” She recommends being consistent with your own company policy and with how others have been treated, and know whether the employee was given plenty of time to take corrective action. She also recommends clear communication and documentation, as the burden of proof is on the employer.
Thank you to Monica for these insights. We’d love to have you join us for our next webinar. Have you checked out the event calendar recently?
Legal Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal information or advice. This information and all Coastal Payroll materials are provided in consultation with federal and state statutes and do not encompass other regulations that may exist, such as local ordinances. Transmission of documents or information through the Coastal Payroll does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.