A Guide to California Employee Policies

Picture this: You’re on your way to the office after a year of telecommuting. The sun is shining, birds are singing, and life seems almost normal again. You walk into the office and greet colleagues you haven’t seen in months, and finally meet all of those new hires that you only know from Zoom calls. Then you sit down at your trusty old work desk after wiping off a year’s worth of dust.  Finally, things seem ok.  Until you remember it’s your job to update the employee handbook. 

As a California business, last year did a number on your employment policies—and you find out there are over 20 policies you should either update or create from scratch. And California is just one of the 10 states you operate in. What can you do? Try to cobble something together from your old policies and templates you find online? Call an employment lawyer and pay hundreds of dollars per hour? 

The first step is understanding what’s required.  Depending on how many employees you have, and in which cities, you may be required by law to have as many as 29 separate California employee policies in place. Here’s a list of those policies, and what they mean. 

California Employee Policies

1) Equal employment and anti-discrimination policy (Federal)This policy indicates that your company does not discriminate or tolerate harassment.

2) Sexual harassment policy (Federal)This policy states that your company is committed to maintaining a workplace free from sexual harassment.

3) Family medical leave act (Federal)This policy explains the leave that is permitted under the FMLA and applicable state FMLA laws. Required if you have 50 or more employees. 

4) Military service leave (Federal)This policy allows employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave during active military duty.

5) Jury duty leave (Federal)This policy allows employees to take leave when serving on a jury or attending jury selection.

6) Family medical leave act state specific (State)This policy explains the leave that is permitted under the FMLA and applicable state FMLA laws. Required if you have 5 or more employees. 

7) Meal and rest breaks (State)This policy sets forth the meal and rest breaks that your company provides to non-exempt employees.

8) Health and safety policy (State)This policy describes health and safety protocols that employees must follow, including for COVID.

9) Lactation accommodation (State)This policy states that employees may request lactation and/or breastfeeding accommodations.

10) Outside employment policy (State) – This policy explains the requirements for taking second jobs and the conflicts of interest that may arise.

11) Paid time off (State)This policy outlines when and how much paid time off employees receive each year as part of their employment.

12-18) Paid sick leave (State, including separate policies for Berkeley, Emeryville, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, and Santa Monica) – This policy describes when and how much sick leave employees receive as part of their employment.

19) Pregnancy leave (State) – This provision allows employees to take leave for pregnancy, childbirth, adoption, and foster placement. Required if you have 5 or more employees. 

20) Organ, bone marrow and blood donor leave (State)This policy allows employees to take paid leave to serve as an organ or bone marrow donor. Required if you have 15 or more employees

21) Domestic violence leave (State) – This policy allows employees who are the victims of domestic violence or sexual assault to take unpaid leave. Required if you have 25 or more employees

22) Crime victim leave (State)This policy allows employees who are the victims of crimes to take unpaid leave to participate in the legal process.

23) Military service leave state specific (State) – This policy allows employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave during active military duty.

24) Jury duty leave state specific (State) – This policy allows employees to take leave when serving on a jury or attending jury selection.

25) Voting leave (State) – This policy allows employees to take paid time off to vote if they do not have sufficient time outside of working hours to vote.

26)Witness duty leave (State) – This policy allows employees to take leave to appear in court or any other investigative proceedings.

27) Civil service and air patrol leave (State) – This policy allows employees to take unpaid leave to perform volunteer emergency duties. Required if you have 15 or more employees, with a different policy required if you have 50 more more employees. 

28-29) School activity leave and School appearance leave (State) – This policy allows employees who are parents to take unpaid leave to participate in school activities.

On top of the policies which may be required by law,  there are at least 16 other policies you should consider adding to your handbook to adapt to the new normal. Examples include a social media policy, a telecommuting policy, or even a temporary relocation policy. 

Solution

Now that you know which California employee policies you need, you’re in a much better position then you were before — but you still have a lot of work to do. Luckily, there’s an easy and affordable solution to help you generate customized policies for your employees in all states you operate in. SixFifty has developed an easy to use employee handbook generator that will keep you compliant and up-to-date,  saving you a lot of time, money, and stress. 

Click here to schedule a free demo with us today.

 

 

***This presentation/publication contains legal information. It is not legal advice. Please consult an attorney for legal advice.***