2016 will bring many changes in the law that California employers should take note of. We’ve collected several changes we anticipate that 2016 will bring for California employers, and our office is available to answer any questions you may have about ensuring that your company complies will all changes in labor and employment laws for the coming year.

  • Independent Contractors: classify them carefully! The federal Department of Labor and the State of California ended 2015 with a watchful eye on the classification of independent contractors by employers across the county. If you treat your contractor as an employee, simply calling them an “independent contractor” is not enough to protect your business from scrutiny from the IRS, Department of Labor and other regulatory authorities and employers can face steep penalties and fines for improper employee classification. If you are unsure whether to classify a worker as an independent contractor or an employee, the IRS offers some guidance on classification testing, but your safest bet is to contact an employment law specialist like the Law Office of Robert David Baker. Contacting a legal profession to properly classify your workers will give you not only peace of mind, but can offer some protections against future claims of improper worker classification.
  • California is leading the way with equal pay laws: California’s Fair Pay Act is one of the most far-reaching equal treatment and pay laws in the country and employers should be careful to ensure that they are paying male and female workers who perform the same or similar job functions the same. Updating compensation tables and your employee handbook to reference compliance with the Fair Pay Act can help employers to be proactive regarding this law.
  • Don’t forget your local laws and ordinances: many California municipalities are looking to implement their own minimum wage laws, sick pay laws and other employment law regulations. If you’re only looking to California State statutes and federal laws, you may miss something important. Berkeley, El Cerrito, Emeryville, Los Angeles (City and County), Mountain View, Oakland, Palo Alto, Richmond, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale have already passed minimum wage ordinances and other California cities look like to follow suit in 2016.

No matter your business size or industry, as an employer you have a responsibility to comply with all laws applicable to your place of business. If you have any questions or concerns about recently passed local legislation in your city or town, or are worried about your compliance with the Fair Pay Act, California labor law or federal labor law, call the Law Office of Robert David Baker today to speak to our experienced labor and employment attorneys.