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. As always, it is important to work with a qualified attorney to ensure compliance.
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. As of January 1, 2020, AB 51 prohibits employers from enforcing mandatory arbitration agreements in the workplace. AB 51 has already been legally challenged on federal preemption grounds, but employers should review agreements to ensure they comply with Federal and California law.