Navigating Employment Law in Los Angeles For Employers

California has rigorous anti-discrimination policies in place to protect employees from unfair treatment based on characteristics


As an employer in the bustling city of Los Angeles, navigating the ever-evolving complexities of employment law is paramount to avoiding costly disputes, and establishing yourself as a reputable business. While California’s labor laws are both extensive and stringent, this guide implements our meticulous attention to detail as Los Angeles employment law lawyers, to give you the practical tips you need to ensure compliance and mitigate liability.

7 Key Focus Areas of Los Angeles Employment Law Compliance

Let’s explore the seven critical aspects of Los Angeles employment law that you should address as an employer.

1. Implementing Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Policies.

California has rigorous anti-discrimination policies in place to protect employees from unfair treatment based on characteristics like race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Employers are required to adhere to these policies by providing equal opportunities, preventing discrimination/harassment in the workplace, and taking proactive measures to promote diversity and inclusion.

  • Clear Policies: Ensure policies clearly define how your company commits to maintaining a discrimination-free workplace, as well as the procedures for reporting and addressing complaints in your employee handbook.
  • Regular Training: Regularly provide anti-discrimination and harassment prevention training to all employees, including managers and supervisors. Cover recognizing and addressing discriminatory behavior, promoting inclusivity, and creating a respectful work environment.
  • Address Complaints: Ensure that complaints are acted on in a timely manner, maintaining confidentiality and non-retaliation. Promptly address any substantiated claims and take appropriate disciplinary action.

2. Staying Updated on Wage and Hour Laws.

The hour and wage laws in California are frequently updated to address evolving labor standards and to protect workers’ rights. Staying proactive and informed ensures a fair and compliant work environment for all parties.

  • Regularly Check Official Sources: As employment lawyers in Los Angeles, we recommend that you keep an eye on official websites like the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) and the City of Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards for any updates or changes in minimum wage and hour laws.
  • Maintain Accurate Records: This includes employee hours worked (start and end time), meal breaks, and rest breaks.
  • Overtime Calculation: Familiarize yourself with the rules for calculating overtime pay in California and remember that non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay for hours worked beyond 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week.
  • Independent Contractors: Understand the criteria for identifying independent contractors vs. employees, as misclassifying workers can lead to legal consequences.

3. Complying with Leave Laws.

We couldn’t call ourselves Los Angeles employment lawyers without covering how California governs employee leave, such as sick leave, family leave, and maternity leave.

  • Familiarize Yourself with Leave Laws: Understand the requirements of California’s leave laws, including the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), the California Paid Sick Leave Law, and the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law. Ensure that your leave policies align with these laws.
  • Communicate Clearly: Ensure your company’s policies regarding employee leave are clearly communicated. Provide your employees with the necessary forms and information on the process for requesting and documenting their leave.

4. Providing Safe Working Conditions.

Employers in Los Angeles must comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) regulations and take proactive measures to protect their employees.

  • Conduct Regular Safety Audits: Regularly assess workplace conditions, identify potential hazards, and take appropriate measures to mitigate risks. This includes addressing issues related to ergonomics, hazardous materials, and workplace violence.
  • Employee Safety Training: Provide comprehensive safety training to employees, focusing on emergency procedures, proper use of equipment, and hazard recognition. Regularly update training materials to reflect current best practices and outline clear safety policies.

5. Developing and Enforcing Clear Employment Contracts.

Establishing comprehensive employee contracts protects the rights of both you and your employees by properly setting expectations and preventing misunderstandings.

  • Define Employment Terms and Conditions: Ensure that such topics as job responsibilities, compensation, benefits, working hours, and termination procedures are covered in detail.
  • Include Appropriate Clauses: Additional contract clauses could include confidentiality, non-compete agreements, intellectual property rights, and dispute resolution mechanisms.

6. Adhere to Privacy Laws.

As employment lawyers in Los Angeles, we advise employers to become familiar with and comply with, California’s privacy laws when handling employee data and personal information.

  • Understand Privacy Laws: Familiarize yourself with California’s privacy laws, including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA).
  • Protect Employee Data: Take measures to safeguard sensitive information by implementing secure storage systems, encryption protocols, and access controls. Regularly consult with Los Angeles employment law lawyers to review and update your data protection policies to reflect best practices and legal requirements.

7. Stay Informed, Review, and Communicate Policy Updates.

With how often employment laws change, it’s important to find ways to remain informed, so that you can take the appropriate steps to review your policies with an employment lawyer in Los Angeles and communicate any changes to your employees.

  • In The Know: Consider subscribing to legal newsletters, attending seminars or webinars, or regularly consult with Los Angeles employment law lawyers about new developments.
  • Review, Revise, Communicate: Regularly review your employment policies, make any necessary revisions, and communicate changes through company emails, employee handbooks, or periodic training sessions. Be sure to allow opportunities for questions and clarification.

Have questions about California employment compliance? Get in touch with us here at Cohen Law Group for a free, initial consultation.

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