Employment laws are constantly changing, and the associated risks and liabilities for employers are continually increasing. Working with both small and large employers, the Employment Law Department of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP takes a preventive approach. Our goal is to assist employers in establishing effective litigation avoidance techniques by advising on and creating comprehensive personnel policies and procedures. When disputes occur, our goal is to maximize results in the most efficient manner possible based on the facts and law applicable and the needs of our clients; when it comes to litigation, we are keenly aware that one size does not fit all.

Services for Employers

Employers turn to ECJ for counseling on employment policies and compliance issues, as well as to defend them against employment-related claims. We regularly produce informative publications to advise clients of the most up-to-date employment issues and preventative measures. (See our Publications page for issues of our Employment Law Reporter and our more cheeky blog, The Staff Report.)

The lawyers in our Employment Law Department routinely provide the following legal services:

  • Defending employers in state and federal courts in all types of employment lawsuits, including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, employment discrimination, wage and hour violations and class actions;
  • Representing employers before enforcement government agencies, including the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the Department of Labor, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Attorney General, the Employment Development Department, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration;
  • Counseling on wage and hour compliance, exempt status, hiring and firing issues, reductions in force, relocation problems and all other employee management issues;
  • Counseling clients on how to effectively and efficiently resolve personnel problems, including assisting with internal complaints, as well as incident-free terminations;
  • Providing complete and thorough investigation services, including conducting investigations on discrimination, harassment and retaliation allegations and working in conjunction with management personnel to make ultimate determinations and recommendations;
  • Assisting employers in complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and various states’ family and medical leave acts;
  • Drafting employee policy handbooks and additional employment-related policies, including enforceable arbitration policies;
  • Drafting various employment-related agreements, including employment, consulting and independent contractor agreements, separation and release agreements, and all forms of employee equity and compensation;
  • Drafting agreements, policies and strategic plans for the protection of confidential information, intellectual property and trade secrets; and
  • Training management in employment-related obligations, including sexual harassment, discrimination, sensitivity training, managing medical leaves and successful terminations.


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Employee Handbook

Employee Handbook

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.

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For questions and order form submissions email, Andy Baldenegro abaldenegro@ecjlaw.com.

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