United States: Mid-Year Changes Required For California Employers

New legal requirements are not limited to changes in law that take effect on the first of the year. Companies in California must take note of new employment rules that impose additional requirements as of July 1, 2017 and require immediate action to ensure compliance. Additionally, San Francisco employers should be aware of the restrictions imposed by the Parity in Pay Ordinance, which will become operative on July 1, 2018.

Written Notice of Right to Protected Leave for Crime Victims

California law affords employees of companies with 25 or more employees the right to take leave if they become a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. As of July 1, 2017, these employers must provide all new employees (or other employees upon request) with a written notice explaining their rights under Labor Code sections 230 and 230.1. The California Labor Commissioner's Office provides a sample form that satisfies the three key requirements:

  • Right to Take Time Off. California employers must ensure employees are aware of their right to take time off as a victim (or parent of a victim) of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking as needed to ensure their health, safety or welfare. This includes time off to seek a restraining order or obtain medical attention or services.
  • Right to Reasonable Accommodation. California employers must also provide reasonable accommodations for a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, as long as the employee provides the company with notice or the company has reason to know about the circumstances. Reasonable accommodations may include reassignment; changes to schedule, work telephone numbers and/or work stations; or the installation of locks.
  • Right to Be Free from Retaliation and Discrimination. Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking must not be fired or treated adversely due to their circumstances or because the employee asked for protected leave or reasonable accommodations.

Requests for leave or accommodation under Labor Code sections 230 and 230.1 may be unexpected or unusual for companies and their managers or supervisors. Employers should provide supervisors and human resource professionals with training about these employee rights to ensure compliance.

California Regulations on Transgender Expression and Identity

California's Fair Employment and Housing Council's new regulations, which took effect on July 1, 2017, may require companies to update their employment applications and policies in a number of ways. The regulations, entitled "Regulations Regarding Transgender Identity and Expression," provide guidance and additional requirements when dealing with gender-related issues in the workplace.

  • Prohibited Gender Inquiries. Most significantly, the regulations prohibit employers from asking about or requiring proof of an employee's sex, gender, or gender identity or expression as a condition of employment, unless there is a bona fide occupational qualification for doing so or the employee initiates communication. This issue most frequently arises with employment applications, which commonly include a box that asks an applicant to check whether he or she is a male or female. The rationale of the regulation is that gender is a protected characteristic, like race or religion, under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), so without a legitimate reason, employers should avoid inquiring about gender during the hiring process. Companies subject to the FEHA are advised to revise their employment applications accordingly to remove questions about gender.
  • Bona Fide Occupational Qualification. Employers that believe a certain position requires an employee of a particular sex or gender identity should work with counsel to assess the legality of the requirement. Notably, the following reasons would not be lawful under the new regulations: hiring only males for labor because they are physically stronger or taller in the aggregate; a customer preference for women; the cost and burden of having to provide separate facilities for both men and women; an aversion to transgender individuals; or hiring for positions based on whether men or women have traditionally been hired to perform the particular type of job.
  • Restroom Facilities. The regulations also provide that employers must ensure that employees are permitted to use a restroom facility that corresponds to the employee's gender identity or expression. Companies cannot require employees to use a unisex or single-user bathroom or to use the bathroom that corresponds with their sex at birth. Employers should ensure that employees and supervisors are aware of the new protections.
  • Preferred Name and Identity. Employers must honor an employee's request to be referred to by their chosen name and preferred set of gender pronouns. Human resource professionals may still use the legal name of the employee as needed to meet legally mandated obligations, such as for tax reporting.
  • Dress Standards and Transitioning. The regulations provide that an individual may not be discriminated against because he or she is transitioning from one gender to another. Employers must also permit employees to dress consistent with their gender expression or identity, unless the employer can establish business necessity.
  • Definitions. Finally, the amended regulations include updated definitions for "gender identity," "gender expression," "transitioning" and "transgender." Employers should update their handbooks and policies to maintain policies that reflect these changes.

Going forward, employers will need to ensure that their applications, policies and practices are in accordance with the new regulations.

San Francisco's Salary History Ban

As previously reported, San Francisco's Pay in Parity Ordinance will become operative on July 1, 2018, prohibiting employers within the City and County of San Francisco from asking certain compensation-related questions during hiring.

The new law prohibits employers, including city contractors and subcontractors, from asking applicants about their salary history, from disclosing an employee's salary without permission, and from considering salary history in determining whether to offer employment to an applicant or what salary to offer. Monetary penalties for failing to comply with the law will start on July 1, 2019.

As another mid-year change, San Francisco companies will need to consider how they compensate employees, negotiate compensation during hiring and set annual increases before the law takes effect next year.

Compliance Recommendations

To avoid potential liability under the new laws and regulations, California employers are advised to take the necessary steps to ensure compliance: updating employee handbooks and policies, providing the necessary training to managers and employees, and revising new hire paperwork and interview procedures, including employment applications.

For Further Information

If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact any of the attorneys in our Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group or the attorney in the firm with whom you are in regular contact.

Disclaimer: This Alert has been prepared and published for informational purposes only and is not offered, nor should be construed, as legal advice. For more information, please see the firm's full disclaimer.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions