How Do Employment Law Changes Affect My Business?


Employment law is a constantly changing landscape of regulations promulgated on a national state, and even local level. Wages, gender discrimination, hours, working conditions, safety precautions, and many other aspects of the employee-employer relationship are regulated by federal, state and local employment laws. A San Jose employment law attorney can help protect employers’ rights while also helping to ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations.  Following are California laws which have been recently updated to provide employees with more legal protections.

Situations in Which Employees Have the Legal Right to Take Time off Work

Sections 230 and 230.1 of the California Labor Code provide specific rights to workers who have been the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. In general, these laws protect an employee’s right to take time off work to attend to matters related to the crime they have suffered. These matters include: obtaining a restraining order or other legal protection, seeking medical attention, obtaining services from domestic violence shelters or rape crisis centers, participating in psychological counseling, and creating a safety plan to prevent the recurrence of the crime. Employers are prohibited from terminating, discriminating, or retaliating against an employee who exercises these rights.

These are just some of the changes which have occurred recently within California employment statutes. Employment law is constantly changing, and developing case law continues to define and detail employers’ obligations with respect to employment statutes. It is therefore important for employers to consult with an experienced employment law attorney who can help them avoid liability for violations of employment law.

New Protections for Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Employees

On July 1, 2017, new employment protections for transgender and gender-nonconforming employees took effect in California. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing now enforces regulations which expand protections for gender identity and gender expression in the workplace. According to the National Law Review, gender identity has been expanded to include those employees who are transitioning. Activities during the transition phase are protected, such as changes in name or pronoun usage, use of bathroom facilities, and medical procedures associated with a transition (such as hormone therapy or surgeries). Employers may also not inquire about, or request documentation about, an employee’s gender, gender expression, or gender identity. Single-occupancy bathroom facilities under an employer’s control must be labeled with gender neutral terms (such as “unisex”, “gender neutral”, or “all gender restroom”). Employees must be allowed to use the facilities which correspond to their gender identity, not the gender assigned to them at birth. Employees must also be allowed to carry out job duties which correspond with their gender expression or gender identity. Employers cannot impose any standards of grooming, dress, or appearance which are inconsistent with an employee’s gender identity.

Skilled Attorneys to Help Ensure Your Company’s Compliance With Employment Law

The skilled employment attorneys at Structure Law Group have decades of experience in helping employers ensure their compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws. Call (408) 441-7500 today, or email to schedule your consultation with an experienced San Jose employment attorney. We will help your business find the most efficient and cost-effective methods of meeting all legal and regulatory requirements.