As 2019 comes to an end, 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.  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?

2. Are new hires provided with required policies and notices?

3.  Are new hires provided and acknowledge recommended policies?

  • For example, many employers implement meal period waivers for shifts less than six hours.

4. Are hiring managers trained about the correct questions to ask during the interview?

5. Does the company provide new hires (and existing employees) with arbitration agreements?

  • California employers should review with an attorney if 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.
  • For employers that have an arbitration agreement in place, the agreement needs to be updated to comply with AB 51 by January 1, 2020.  AB 51 prohibits employers from requiring any applicant for employment or any employee to waive any right, forum, or procedure under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or the Labor Code as a condition of employment, continued employment, or the receipt of any employment-related benefit. AB 51 is California’s renewed attempt to outlaw the practice of employers requiring employees to submit to binding arbitration. Whether AB 51 is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act is something to be monitored closely.