The following are the top 10 tips from our practice in 2014 that serve as reminders for what employers should do for 2015:

  1. Plan ahead for the implementation of California Paid Sick Leave in July 2015 by updating time off policies in your employee handbook, posting the new notice, and using the new Pay Notice template for all incoming nonexempt employees.
    What a Headache! California Enacts Paid Sick Leave (AB 1522)
    What a Headache (Part Two) – Challenges of AB 1522 
    California Issues Paid Sick Leave Poster
    DLSE Issues New Mandatory “Wage Theft” Notice
  2. Coordinate with your payroll company to make sure that accrued Paid Sick Leave will be added to employee paystubs no later than July 1, 2015.
  3. Given the new law (AB 1897), which presumes joint employment with a staffing company in many situations, review your staffing services agreements and ensure they actually provide the protections you think you have.
    Do You Know What Your Vendor Contracts Say?
    Thinking About Outsourcing? Think Again. (AB 1897)
    Six Steps Employers in California Can Take Now To Prepare for AB 1897
  4. Update your expense reimbursement policies to ensure that smartphone charges and data plans are adequately covered.
    Revisit Your BYOD Policy To Make Sure Employees Are Properly Reimbursed for Cell Phone and Data Use
  5. Ensure your sexual harassment prevention training program for managers and supervisors also covers bullying (AB 2053), and while you are at it, make sure you maintain records of when each manager was trained.
    New California Laws Address Bullying and Interns’ Rights
  6. If you provide free meals to your employees, make sure you are taxing them in a manner to best protect you from claims that the meals are compensation that should be included in the regular rate for overtime purposes. Consider updating your “employee meal” policy in your handbook as well.
    Taxes on Meals for Employees: The Taxman Cometh for Your Lunch
  7. Given the rash of litigation nationwide on background checks, review your background check forms, authorizations and protocols.
  8. Follow the nationwide trend and stop using unpaid interns.
  9. New categories are added to the requirements for Civil Service leaves each year (AB 2536 covers emergency duty leave for disaster medical response), so ensure your handbook policy is broad enough to cover them all.
  10. Given the very active stance of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), dust off your labor relations and other management training programs and roll them out in the first quarter of 2015, before you become the target of union activity.
    NLRB Finalizes “Quickie Election” Rules
    NLRB Alters Post-Arbitral Deferral Standards

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