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Statewide 'Ban the box' legislation goes into effect January 1

Do your company's job applications ask applicants to check a box if they have previous criminal convictions? You may want to double-check before January 1, when California's new "ban the box" law goes into effect statewide.

Under the new law, most California employers will be prohibited from asking job applicants about past criminal convictions. Many California cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, already have similar restrictions, and a 2013 law prevents most public employers in the state from asking about criminal history in the hiring process.

Under new law, employers can’t ask applicants about past salaries

How do you determine what to pay new hires? While some employers have set wages for certain positions, starting salaries are often negotiable. To gauge what salary applicants may be expecting, some employers include questions about past salaries on job applications. Starting January 1, this practice will be illegal in California.

Under AB 168, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in October, employers will no longer be permitted to:

What questions are off-limits on job applications in California?

At a time when it is easy to find personal information about most people online, it might seem like any question is fair game for a job application. However, while many aspects of job applications are left to the discretion of employers, there are also things California law prevents employers from asking applicants about.

To comply with the California Fair Employment and Housing Act - and avoid any claims of discrimination during the hiring process - employers should be cautious when asking any question of job applicants that relates to their membership in a protected class such as race, age, sex, gender, disability and many others.

Duggan Law Corporation Attorneys Named To Super Lawyers Lists

We are proud to announce that four of the attorneys at Duggan Law Corporation were recently recognized for their achievements by Super Lawyers, a rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Jennifer Duggan and Ilene Goldstein Block have been selected to the 2017 Northern California Super Lawyers list. No more than five percent of the lawyers in California are selected by Super Lawyers. Ms. Duggan, the firm's founder, has been selected for inclusion in the Northern California Super Lawyers list each year since 2012.

Are your workplace postings up-to-date?

From minimum wage notices to no smoking signs, California employers must display a wide variety of information in a place where all employees can see it. The California Department of Industrial Relations regulates the type of information employers are required to post – including laws and regulations covering workplace health and safety, whistleblower protection, sick leave and much more – as well as the manner in which postings are displayed.

Most workplaces are required to display physical posters of a certain size, though exemptions may be made for workplaces with limited employee common areas, such as on construction sites where there is only a single trailer for employees. In California, most postings must also be displayed in Spanish.

What California's New Parental Leave Law Means For Employers

Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the New Parent Leave Act into law, which expands California's parental leave law to include bonding time after the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child for adoption for new parents. As many as 2.8 million employees may be affected by the new law, according to The Sacramento Bee. What does this mean for their employers?

The new law expands protections under the state's existing parental leave law to cover workers at many additional small businesses and provide for post-birth bonding leave, as opposed to only pregnancy disability leave. Here are four important things employers need to know:

How a well-written job description protects employers

Whether you're replacing a former employee, creating a new position or welcoming an employee back from a medical leave, writing a job description is an important part of the hiring process. Even if you are in a rush to fill a position, it is worth taking the time to make sure the job description is clear, accurate and comprehensive.

A well-crafted job description does more than help an employer attract good applicants. It can also help you:

Making rest breaks work in California

The year 2017 has been one in which employers have had to come to terms with new state requirements for rest breaks for certain on-call workers.

At the end of last year, the California Supreme Court decided in ABM Security Services, Inc. that employers need to take steps to ensure that rest breaks really are rest breaks. There could be no work performed during breaks, no matter how passive or minimal the work was.

Dealing with 'incomplete transfers' in probate

Northern California has enjoyed a major economic boom in recent decades. The development of the technology industry has significantly increased wealth for many individuals in the 48 counties that make up the region. Along with it has come some increase in awareness about strategies for smoothly transferring that wealth for the benefit of others.

Solid estate planning is important, not just for bequeathing funds but also for sustaining business viability. Legal methods for achieving those ends and minimizing tax liability do exist. Proper use of the available tools can be complicated, however, and mistakes can lead to unexpected difficulties, such having an attempted transfer or gift declared "incomplete."

At-will employment and the implied-in-fact contract exception

 

Previously, we began looking at the topic of at-will employment and some of the exceptions to the rule. As we noted, one important exception to the rule is when employers provide special protections to employees by contract.

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