Los Angeles Business Law Blog

California employers: New laws to know in 2019

Operating a business requires a lot more than finding ways to make money, managing a workforce and coordinating the logistics of delivering a product or service. It also involves knowing and complying with numerous state and federal regulations.

When industry rules, guidelines and laws change, business owners must make the necessary adjustments. Failure to do so can result in costly setbacks and penalties, jeopardizing a business' future. With that said, California business owners should be mindful of the following new laws that go into effect in 2019:

Providing proper protections, benefits to employees

In today's economy, employers are likely to hire or partner with people who are not employees; they may be independent contractors or freelancers. Often, these workers are less expensive to hire and give employers more flexibility with regard to staffing levels.

That said, the majority of workers at many companies will be regular employees. As such, it is crucial for employers to be clear on the protections and offerings to which employees are entitled under California and federal laws.

Trucking Companies, Truckers Plagued by Parking Problems

Parking may not seem like a serious issue to most motorists. At most, it can be an infrequent, sometimes expensive, headache. However, for those in the trucking and transportation industry, parking is among the most stressful parts of a driver’s job. It is also creating considerable challenges with regard to complying with federal regulations and avoiding financial waste, according to a recent report.

Why is parking such a problem?

When you could be liable for your employees' driving habits

Transportation plays a critical role in today's workforce, whether people work in the transportation industry or travelling is just a part of their job. As an employer, you probably have in place specific policies related to traveling, from approving expenses to tracking work hours away from the office.

These policies can prevent disputes with employees and lawsuits, so it is critical to have them. And it is important that they address the full range of travel-related behaviors, including driving habits of your employees who drive either their own vehicle or a company vehicle as part of their job-duties in the course and scope of their employment.

Employers: How to Respond to Reports of Sexual Harassment

California employers are struggling to create and maintain a safe, healthy and productive workplace. It involves hiring the right people, establishing an appropriate culture and balancing legal compliance with the cost of instituting the necessary safeguards.

Indeed, despite all the work that employers might put into creating a positive workplace for employees, it can all be overshadowed by alleged sexual harassment or sexual abuse. In situations where an employee or employees are reporting harassment, there are some crucial steps employers should take to respond to a harassment claim.

Bad Faith Negotiation Tactics to Know and Avoid

Negotiating a partnership, commercial lease, settlement or other type of agreement in California can be a tedious process. However, as difficult as these negotiations are, they can become even more challenging when the parties attempt to memorialize the agreement in writing – particularly if one party attempts to employ bad faith tactics. A recent article from the New York Law Journal describes how such efforts can sabotage good faith negotiations, so it is helpful to understand what these tactics are. Below are some examples of what these might look like.

Negotiating without an interest in reaching an agreement

Report: Construction Disputes Taking Longer to Resolve

Construction disputes are not uncommon across California, whether parties clash over construction defects, enforcing the terms of a contract or liability issues. Often, there are several parties involved in a single project, which means there are plenty of opportunities for arguments, oversights and errors, which can and do lead to legal disputes.

Unfortunately, as a recent report from Arcadis shows, these disputes are not getting any easier to resolve.

Landlord-Tenant Disputes Can Adversely Affect Others

Leasing commercial space is vital for business owners across California. They want to find the right space for the right price in the right neighborhood. Once they find such a location, holding on to it can be a top priority.

New CA law requires female representation on board of directors

California business owners should be aware of a recent announcement by Gov. Jerry Brown. According to a law he signed last week, California will be the first state in the U.S. to require certain types of companies to have female representation on their boards of directors.

Currently, the measure applies only to publicly traded companies headquartered in California. However, it sends a message to every current and prospective entrepreneur that the business environment in this state is changing.

Do I Need An Independent Contractor Agreement?

The short answer to the question in the headline is: yes. If you hire or are an independent contractor, you should have this type of agreement in place.

An independent contractor agreement can be a critical tool in defining expectations and rules for a professional relationship. Below, we examine what you should include in these agreements as well as what you can do if a dispute arises.

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