UPDATES FOR CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS – MARCH 2016

NEW EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYER HARASSMENT, DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION PREVENTION POLICIES

Effective April 1, 2016, employers must comply with a new California law relating to employer harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention policies.  The new regulation mandates specific procedures for compliance with an employer's statutory duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and promptly correct discriminatory and harassing conduct.  As a result of the new law, many employers will need to update and modify their employee handbooks. 

California Code of Regulations, title 2, section 11023 requires that employers of five or more employees distribute the Department of Fair Employment and Housing's ("DFEH") DFEH-185 brochure on sexual harassment or an alternative writing that complies with Government Code section 12950.  Employers must also develop and distribute a written harassment, discrimination and retaliation prevention policy containing specific information. 

Employers should take this opportunity to review and update their employee handbooks and applicable policies.  Employers concerned about compliance with the new regulation or needing assistance with a review of their policies and procedures should contact Erica Sorosky, Partner at Palmieri Tyler LLP, esorosky@ptwww.com, (949) 851-7271.

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