With the start of 2019, it is a great time to audit employment policies and practices. The next series of posts will be a review of a few practices California employers should review on a periodic basis. The posts will cover the following topics: the hiring process, employment records (what should be kept and for how long), wage and hour issues, end of employment issues, and will conclude with training requirements for supervisors and employees. Obviously, it is important to work with a qualified attorney to ensure compliance, but I wanted to highlight a few issues on these topics that employers can use to start a self-audit that then can be used to save time and money when reviewing with an attorney.
Five areas to audit regarding the hiring process in California:
1. Are applications seeking appropriate information?
- Starting on January 1, 2018, California prohibits employers from asking a job applicant to disclose information about criminal convictions.
- In addition, be careful about local city ordinances as well, such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.
2. Are new hires provided with required policies and notices?
- Items include Notice to Employee (Wage Theft Prevention Act notice for non-exempt employees); I-9; and Federal and State pamphlets. See my prior article for a few of the notices and pamphlets that apply to California employers.
3. Are new hires provided and acknowledge recommended policies?
- For example: meal period waivers for shifts less than six hours
4. Are hiring managers trained about the correct questions to ask during the interview?
- Are managers trained to not ask applicants about criminal convictions? See above.
- Are they trained to no ask applicants about prior compensation and benefits? See my prior article on California’s prohibition on seeking to taking into consideration an applicant’s prior compensation and benefits.
5. Does the company provide new hires (and existing employees) with arbitration agreements?
- California employers should review with counsel implementing arbitration agreements in their workforce given the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in May of 2018 upholding the use of arbitration agreements in the employment context. My prior article on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis is here.
Wishing you and your company the best in 2019!