2024 Employee Handbook Program
Hundreds of new laws passed by the California Legislature will take effect in the new year, from new requirements regarding paid sick leave to off-site cannabis use and emergency declaration notification requirements. In addition, the federal government has had a busy year enacting new pregnancy accommodation requirements and new work rules standards, among other changes. The workplace, and the laws that regulate it, continue to change at an unparalleled pace. The start of 2024 marks yet more dramatic changes in California and federal employment law, including, among many others:
- New federal pregnancy accommodation requirements;
- New reproductive loss leave rights;
- New NLRB standard for evaluating work rules and policies;
- Increased state paid sick leave entitlements;
- Expanded protections against retaliation for various protected activities;
- New employer expense reimbursement requirements;
- New employee and applicant protections for off-duty, off-site cannabis use;
- New employer requirement for food handler card costs;
- New emergency declaration notification requirements;
- New sexual harassment claim defamation privilege;
- End of COVID-19-related Workers’ Compensation rebuttable presumption;
- New OSHA standard regarding off-site workplace violence injuries;
- New local minimum wage and compensatory time off requirements; and
- Additional changes based on caselaw, administrative decisions and guidelines, and other developments that took place throughout the year.
Soundly drafted and appropriately implemented employment handbooks and forms are the company’s first line of defense against claims. Unfortunately, as too many employers have come to realize the hard way, “off the shelf,” pro forma employee handbooks and related forms are no substitute for thorough and customized policies carefully crafted by licensed attorneys specializing in California employment law. Luckily, reaching legal compliance does not need to break the bank.
At ECJ, we recognize that one size does not fit all and stress the importance of an interactive drafting process between our clients and our attorneys. Whether to address changes in the law, developments in technology or employment policies that no longer complement your business needs, ECJ’s attorneys will speak with you directly to ensure that you maximize the benefit of our employee handbook for your workplace. In addition, in the process of updating or creating your handbook, you will be given the opportunity to consider updating or creating other important employment documents based on recent developments, such as the confidentiality agreement, the arbitration agreement, newly required privacy employee/applicant notices and consents, and the new requirement for a workplace violence prevention plan.