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New Policy Requirements for Employers Effective April 1, 2016

Beginning April 1, 2016, California employers with five or more total employees (whether or not all of those employees live in California) must update their anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, and complaint-investigation policies, and distribute them to employees for signature. These policies must be in compliance with recent amendments to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and must be distributed to all employees.

The new regulations include the following:

  1. Provides for additional protected classes under the FEHA;

  2. Clarifies harassment liability;

  3. Updates legal standards and legal remedies of discrimination;

  4. Revises complaint procedures;

  5. Clarifies the investigation process;

  6. Expands record-keeping requirements; and

  7. Expands the rights of pregnant employees and employees with service animals.

Previously, only sexual harassment policies had to be provided to California employees in writing. As of April 1, 2016, however, all anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies must be in writing and disseminated to employees. If 10% (or more) of your workforce speaks a language other than English, the policies must also be translated into that language.

Employers may provide their employees with the updated policies by distributing printed copies, sending them to employees by email, or posting them on a company intranet site or break  room. In each case, employers must ensure that employees sign or return a form acknowledging receipt of these new policies.

How Can You Comply With this New Law?

Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination polices can be drafted by a licensed attorney to comply with California law and your company’s policies.

The Grady Firm, PC attorneys can draft custom policies, Employee Handbooks, and provide sexual harassment training, in English and Spanish.  To learn more about ensuring your business is compliant with California law, schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with The Grady Firm’s attorneys; call +1 (949) 798-6298; or fill out a Contact Request Form.

*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular case, as each case has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by licensed attorney.


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