2020 Updates for California Employee Handbooks


2020 Updates for California Employee Handbooks

Speaker Spotlight with Kimberly Jansen and Jeffrey Bils 

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.

Get fully prepared for 2020

Register for the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update to learn from Kimberly Jansen and Jeffrey Bils. You’ll enjoy full meals, network with HR pros, and learn comprehensive law updates from 14 law firms.

Legal Update is SOLD OUT. Pre-order our session recordings and learn at your own pace!

About Kimberly Jansen, Presenter at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update

2020 California employment law handbook updates with Kimberly Jansen at PIHRA 2020 Legal Update
In her counsel to California employers, Kimberly M. Jansen advises in a variety of disputes involving unpaid wage claims, claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination.

Jansen’s background includes working with employers in such industries as restaurants, food and beverages, consumer goods and retail, and media. She enjoys advocating on behalf of corporate clients facing single plaintiff and class action litigation. Jansen builds upon her role as a trusted counselor and troubleshooter for clients when specific instances arise in the area of employee discipline, payment of wages, accommodation of disability, executive compensation and agreements, and protected leave issues. Jansen uses these aggregate experiences to inform her drafting and revising of employee handbooks for her clients.

About Jeff Bils, Presenter at the PIHRA 2020 Legal Update

2020 California Employment Handbook Updates with Jeff Bils at PIHRA 2020 Legal UpdateJeff Bils has extensive knowledge of the issues employers and managers face, based on his professional background before he became an attorney. Bils was an editor in the local news departments of the Chicago Tribune and the Fresno Bee, and a reporter at various newspapers, including one summer at the Frankfurter Rundschau in Germany. During these years, Bils developed well-honed research, writing and interviewing skills that continue to be useful to his practice. He has management experience and also is a former business owner, having co-founded a non-emergency medical transportation company that was a Medi-Cal provider.

Bils’ experience includes counseling business owners and executives on a range of federal, state and local employment law issues, reviewing handbooks and policies, and representing employers in litigation and other disputes. He has drafted pleadings, motions, mediation briefs, position statements, discovery responses, and settlement agreements. He has appeared in court and in agency proceedings on behalf of employers.

In particular, Bils was part of a team defending employers against wage and hour class actions and California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) collective actions. He also investigated complaints and defended employers in actions filed with the U.S. Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the California Department of Fair Employment & Housing (DFEH), the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

While in law school, Bils was selected to participate in the First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic taught by Professor Eugene Volokh and served as senior editor for the UCLA Law Review, as well as articles editor for the UCLA Entertainment Law Review. Bils served as a judicial extern both in United States District Court and United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

Is it time to renew your PIHRA membership?

This special offer (for active PIHRA members only) ends January 23, 2020:

Check out our Legal Update Renewal Bundles for Active PIHRA Members!

Interview Conducted by Baskaran Ambalavanan, MBA, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, PIHRA Programs Chair

Baskaran Ambalavanan, PIHRA Programs ChairBaskaran Ambalavanan, MBA, has more than two decades of HR experience in India, Oman, and the U.S. in both the functional HR and in the HRIS/HR Technology.

He is the Principal of Hila Solutions, LLC, a full-service HR Technology Advisory firm for SMEs. Baskaran earned his MBA from Alliance Manchester Business School, U.K. and also certified in SPHR, SHRM-SCP, GPHR, and PHRca.

He is based in Irvine, California and serving as the Programs Chair for PIHRA and an active volunteer leader in SHRM, IHRIM. In his role as PIHRA Programs Chair, Baskaran is instrumental in curating HR sessions for the PIHRA Legal Update and the California HR Conference. He is responsible for assembling the Task Force that selects California HR Conference speakers.

You can follow Baskaran’s insights on all things technology, HR, leadership, and strategy on Twitter at @baski_LA and LinkedIn. Register today to join us at a PIHRA 2020 Legal Update near you and learn from the top legal experts in California!


Space is running out!

Jan 15 – Rancho Mirage (½-Day) | Jan 22 – Riverside | Jan 23 – La Jolla | Jan 28 – Anaheim (SOLD OUT) | Jan 30 – Burbank (SOLD OUT)

Experience a comprehensive California legal update with Professionals In Human Resources Association. In the world of human resources, staying ahead of constantly evolving employment laws and workplace legislation is essential. Thankfully, PIHRA’s most famous flagship program will provide timely information, tips and crucial resources you need. Our expert speakers will help you cut through the complexity, so that you can protect your organization and effectively manage risk. 

→ Pre-Order our Session Recordings Today! 


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