Dan Chammas is a lawyer based in Southern California who focuses on employment and consumer class action suits. Over the course of his career, he has defended several major companies in important cases throughout California, and is regarded as an expert in employment law. There are many legal regulations that affect California employers that many companies (especially small businesses and entrepreneurs), may not be aware of. There have also been many major changes to employment law in the past several years. Here are some of the most important laws for California employers to be aware of.
The first factor to be aware of is the classification of independent contractors. Many people are unaware of the exact regulations surrounding independent contractors, and what defines an independent contractor. If an employer knowingly or voluntarily classifies an employee as an independent contractor when they should not be, they may be charged penalties ranging anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000, depending on the frequency and severity of the violations. Employers who repeatedly misclassify their employers as independent contractors will be subject to higher penalties. Additionally, they cannot charge their employees any fees or deduct their pay to cover their misclassification.
There are also many laws covering discrimination when it comes to hiring decisions, wages, and employee benefits, many of which have been enacted fairly recently. During the hiring process, employers are not allowed to use consumer credit reports to make their decisions (although there are several notable exceptions to this rule). Job applications requiring credit check information must be altered to comply with this rule.
Employers also cannot discriminate on the basis of ‘gender expression’ or ‘gender identity’. Employers also must allow all employees to dress and act consistently with their own gender identity, and cannot use language in employee handbooks that restricts gender expression. Additionally, employers also may not discriminate based on genetic information, specifically any genetic tests, or a history of disease in the employee’s family history.
There are also many regulations regarding health care coverage for California employers. Specifically, employers must continue to provide regular group health care coverage during an employee’s pregnancy disability leave. The terms and conditions regarding the employee’s health care coverage must remain the same during this leave period. Employers must also provide the same health benefits for same-sex domestic partners as they would for heterosexual domestic partners, and cannot discriminate the coverage they provide on the basis of sexual orientation.
These are just a few of the many important laws that apply to employers in California. It is essential for employers to frequently review changes to employment law to ensure that they are compliant and that there is no unlawful treatment of employees. Dan Chammas is considered one of California’s most experience employment defense lawyers, and frequently advises organizations on employment law.