Legal Advice

Legal Advice

We provide straightforward and practical legal advice to California employers across industries to help them develop and implement sound personnel policies and practices

We advise companies of all sizes throughout the State of California, from those with a team of human resources professionals, to those with none, helping each client to navigate through complex personnel situations.

We provide advice and counsel on all aspects of human resources and employment law, including:

  • Employee handbooks
  • Employment applications and interviews
  • Meal and rest breaks
  • Overtime and other wage & hour issues
  • Employee arbitration agreements
  • Paid sick leave
  • Disciplinary issues
  • Vacation and Paid Time Off (PTO) policies
  • Ban-the-box requirements / criminal background checks
  • Severance agreements and releases of claims
  • Reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities
  • Pregnancy disability leave
  • New Parent leave
  • FMLA/CFRA leave
  • Alternative workweek schedules
  • Prevention of sexual harassment and discrimination
  • Maintenance of personnel files
  • Employee terminations
  • Workplace investigations
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Drug testing

We are highly responsive, always happy to talk through an issue, and can provide step-by-step guidance when a personnel matter becomes complex, difficult or contentious.

Our clients include those in startups, high tech and life science industries, entertainment, production, media, construction, banking, hospitality and service industries, staffing agencies, insurance firms, and law firms.

Minimize the Risk of Employee Lawsuits

As you may already have learned as a business proprietor, employers are exposed to the risk of lawsuits every time they take action related to their employees. According to a 2017 study of employment litigation data by business insurance specialist Hiscox, businesses in the United States with at least 10 employees have a 10.5% chance of having an employment-based claim filed against them. This figure is even more staggering for California employers, who have a 46% higher chance of being sued by an employee over the national average.

This is likely because California law goes far beyond federal requirements in protecting employees, creating additional obligations and risks for employers. Trying to understand California’s minefield of employment laws can be overwhelming, particularly given how often they change. There are also more and more California cities every year that enact local ordinances to protect employees that go above and beyond what is required by state and federal law.

The cost of non-compliance with the law can be steep, leading to time-consuming lawsuits, and large penalties, settlements and jury verdicts. The Hiscox study found that 24% of employment-based claims resulted in defense and settlement costs averaging a total of $160,000. The study found the average employer’s self-insured retention deductible for these charges was $50,000. Without employment practices liability insurance, each of these companies would have been out of pocket by an extra $110,000 on average. Further, 76% of cases resulted in no payment by the insurance company at all.

The fact is that many businesses often break employment laws unknowingly due to the sheer complexity of California’s legal requirements, which can be difficult to navigate even for seasoned business owners, managers and human resources professionals. Having access to counsel well versed in employment law is one of the strongest steps an employer can take to ensure compliance with the law and avoid employee lawsuits. Indeed, every dollar spent on legal compliance will save you thousands of dollars in defending an employee lawsuit, paying settlements or going to trial.

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