2020 was a year for the books and as a result, there are several new laws that require employers of all sizes to update their employee handbook.  If your company has not updated its employee handbook to address these new laws, you will want an experienced business lawyer to review your handbook as soon as possible.

Expanded Leave Rights. As we touched on in this post, California employers with 5-49 employees must adopt and implement a new California Family Rights Act (CFRA) policy that provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to qualifying employees.  Leave may be taken due to the birth, adoption or foster care of a child; the need to care for an eligible family member with a serious health condition; the employee’s own serious health condition; or a qualifying exigency  related to the covered active duty or call to covered active duty of an employee’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or parent in the United States Armed Forces.

Harassment Prevention. All employers of 5 or more employees must have provided 1 hour of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training to nonsupervisory employees and 2 hours of this training to supervisors and managers by January 1, 2021. And moving forward, once every two years.

COVID-19 Specific Workplace Safety Plan. Employers are required by OSHA and the California Department of Public Health to draft and implement a COVID-19 specific workplace safety plan and provide employee training.   Your company’s plan must be specific to your workplace, identify all opportunities for potential exposure to COVID-19 and include control measures to eliminate or reduce such exposures, maintain healthy business operations and a healthy work environment, and encourage employees to provide input into the plan.

Work from Home Policies. For jobs that can be performed from home, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stated that allowing an employee to work from home could be a reasonable accommodation if an employee’s disability prevents him or her from successfully performing the job onsite, unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship for the business. Even employers that plan to or have resumed in-person operations may want to consider revising their policies on providing reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other anti-discrimination laws.

This list is not exhaustive and as always, we are here to help during this challenging time.

If you feel you need legal representation in California, Webb Law Group would be happy to provide consultation and support where necessary. For questions, or to schedule a consultation, contact Webb Law Group today at 559-431-4888 (Fresno) or 619-399-7700 (San Diego).