2020 Updates for California Employee Handbooks
Happy new year – it’s time to update your employee handbook! As California employers gear up for new workplace laws that go into effect in 2020, now is the time to make sure that your employee handbooks reflect the newest laws governing dress codes, lactation accommodation, and organ donation leave. Make plans to join presenters Jeffrey Bils & Kimberly Jansen at a PIHRA 2020 Legal Update (SOLD OUT) near you for their session. They will also provide a general primer on key policies to include in any employee handbook and leave room for questions about how to apply these policies to your workplace.
Kimberly and Jeffrey will provide takeaways such as:
- The CROWN Act (dress code/natural hair)
- SB 142 (lactation accommodation)
- AB 1223 (living organ donation)
Their PIHRA 2020 Legal Update (SOLD OUT) session “2020 Updates for California Employee Handbooks” will be informative and entertaining. It’s a must-attend for California employers who need to know about these complex legislative topics. Above all, business owners and HR pros will gain the insight needed to navigate the trickiest new 2020 employment laws in California.
PIHRA Programs Chair Baskaran Ambalavanan had the chance interview the speakers Kimberly and Jeffrey about their session. Read on to learn more about this tricky topic and what you can expect at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update.
Speaker Spotlight: Kimberly Jansen and Jeffrey Bils, Carothers, DiSante
Special thanks to contributing writer and PIHRA Programs Chair, Baskaran Ambalavanan. Baskaran conducted this interview with PIHRA 2020 Legal Update presenters Kimberly Jansen and Jeffrey Bils.
PIHRA: California, as always, leads the nation with CROWN Act. NY has adopted, and 13 states introduced the proposal. What training/coaching should CA employers do with their managers/supervisors?
Kimberly Jansen and Jeffrey Bils: The world is changing at a rapid pace and what may have been common place and acceptable before (grooming and dress policies) needs to be carefully scrutinized to ensure that we are being respectful of employees who adopt certain natural hairstyles that reflect on their culture. To this end, have a candid discussion about your company’s existing policies that may be impacted by the CROWN act and prepare a series of hypotheticals to respond to managers/employees about that cross-section. Once those responses have been vetted by an attorney or a trusted Human Resources professional who is knowledgeable of the law, coach the supervisor through real life hypotheticals. For example, a cook walks into the kitchen with his hair loose in dreadlocks. Is it ok for you to ask him to secure his hair in a safety net? Absolutely. Is it ok for you to ask him to cut his hair? No. Another example, a woman walks into her job wearing a burka. The dress code policy provides that no hats are to be worn on the sales floor. Is she allowed to keep on her burka? Absolutely.
Almost all of the CA employers have a Dress and Grooming policy. What is the best practice to integrate the CROWN Act?
Kimberly Jansen and Jeffrey Bils: Review the plain language of your policy. See if it can be improved to encourage the purpose of the CROWN Act, to allow for individuals of different cultural backgrounds to be allowed to wear their natural hair in the workplace. If a grooming standard may be used to curb that right, reflect on why the standard is necessary to business operations and take a candid look at the answer. If it’s not necessary and it infringes on an employee’s right to wear their natural hair style, the policy needs to be abandoned.
What change is significant with SB142 Lactation Accommodation over the existing federal and state lactation accommodation laws?
Kimberly Jansen and Jeffrey Bils: SB142 provides that employees shall have the right to take an unpaid break each time they need to express milk, independent of customary break schedules (may be the difference between every two and four hours). The new law also provides additional protections about where employees may express milk. Such employees have the right to express milk in a room other than the bathroom, in close proximity to the employee’s work area, shielded from view and with a seat, with a surface to place the breast pump and related items, and with electricity or other means by which to operate the break pump.
California has 22,000 patients, and nearly 20% of those across the nation await a lifesaving organ transplant. How AB 1223 will change their lives?
Kimberly Jansen and Jeffrey Bils: We hope there will be a significant increase in organ donations now that employees are provided with up to 30 business days of unpaid leave following an organ donation.
Why are you excited to present at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update?
Kimberly Jansen and Jeffrey Bils: PIHRA presents an exciting opportunity to connect with Human Resources professionals about important developments in California law.