Podcast: California Dreaming - New Employment Laws Send Shock Waves
This podcast examines the dizzying array of new employment laws that have been signed recently affecting California employers with Bruce Sarchet, a shareholder with Littler Mendelson's Sacramento office.
The highlights discussed included a:
- First-of-its-kind law requiring Golden State-based corporations to have at least one woman on their board of directors;
- Significant expansion of California's sexual harassment prevention law;
- Ban on most confidentiality clauses in sexual harassment settlement agreements;
- New law limiting an employer's ability to use non-disparagement clauses; and
- Breastfeeding breaks expansion of employee rights.
Many employers could be affected by the novel board of directors law, which includes steep penalty provisions and was opposed by several business groups. Sarchet wonders how minority groups that are left out of the law's diversity requirements will react to SB 826.
But the bulk of the conversation features an in-depth look at the new anti-sexual harassment requirements. Most notably, California lowered the threshold for its training requirement from 50 or more employees to five or more employees. Employers in the state also will be prohibited from denying employees the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace including, but not limited to, sexual harassment.