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In mid-December, we hosted our Annual California Update in Millbrae, CA. We were so pleased to see many of you in attendance.

Our End-of-Year Newsletter will hit inboxes shortly, but until then – here’s our top 10 New Year’s resolutions for multinationals in 2018:

  1. #TimesUp – Renew, refresh and refocus on anti-sexual harassment training and policies.

    • Because there are new training requirements and guidelines in California, a new DFEH online portal making it easier for claimants to receive automatic Right-to-Sue notices, and because you’d rather hear about it first and have the opportunity for remedial action than read about it in a #metoo post.
    • The phenomenon is taking an international spin and so you will also want to understand and review workplace anti-sexual harassment requirements outside the US.
  2. Invest in legal review of company pay stubs.

    • Pay stubs failing to comply precisely with Labor Code 226 are low hanging fruit for plaintiff’s counsel and the subject of many class actions.
    • A handful of significant decisions in 2017 emphasized this point in ways that may not have been intuitive.
  3. Immediately update employment applications and hiring practices to comply with California’s new salary ban; train all personnel involved in recruiting and hiring accordingly.

    • Remove all salary questions from hiring forms, including job applications, candidate questionnaires and background check forms.
    • Develop a consistent internal protocol for responding to requests for salary band information, starting with formulating salary ranges for open positions, and train accordingly.
  4. Consider putting your Immigration & Mobility lawyer on speed dial.

    • To navigate Travel Ban 3.0.
    • To understand what to do and not to do with DACA beneficiaries as the program is phased out.
    • To meet your talent needs while surviving H-1B reform.
    •  To comply with AB 450, which imposes new requirements on California employers regarding immigration enforcement actions by ICE.
  5. Review family leave policies in the US and globally to ensure compliance with local laws.

    • Recently, a number of jurisdictions both inside and outside the US have increased parental leave entitlements.
    • New laws offer varying entitlements based on differing circumstances – now is a great time to get a handle on this and get ahead of the curve.
  6. Audit non-compete provisions used in US and OUS agreements.

    • A 2017 decision from the UK invalidating a post-termination non-compete for overbroad language highlights the importance of legally-enforceable restrictive covenants.
    • Competition for key talent is fierce. A strong economy and a shortage of skilled workers have created an environment ripe for employee defections. The effective use of non-competes is one way multinationals can retain the best talent around the world and limit competitors from poaching valuable intellectual capital.
  7. Note that the federal government is showing signs of being more employer-friendly.

    • In August, the federal government halted implementation of the EEO-1 requirement to collect gender pay data.
    • As of October, the Obama-era overtime regulations are on permanent hold as DOL adopts new rules.
    • In December, the NLRB scrapped the Browning-Ferris ‘Joint Employer’ standard, eliminated the “micro-unit” bargaining standard, and adopted a more pro-employer stance on workplace policies and rules.
  8. But not surprisingly, some states are stepping in where the federal government isn’t.

    • Where there is an absence of federal law (e.g. employment protections for medical marijuana users), states are adopting their own individual approaches creating complications for HR people everywhere.
    • Beware of this trend with regard to: protections for trans and transitioning employees (e.g. California); paid family leave laws (e.g. New York, Washington D.C. and California); paid sick leave laws (e.g. Colorado, Oregon, Arizona and more); ban-the-box laws (e.g. California, Connecticut and Vermont); and “no-ask” salary laws (e.g. California, Delaware, Oregon, Massachusetts and more).
  9. Count down to May 25, 2018. 

    • That’s the day GDRP comes into force. The implications for HR data are huge and changes to employment documents and HR processes are a must if you have employees or candidates in Europe – if you haven’t yet, start preparing asap.
  10. Make a practice of checking in with your corp dev and deal teams to stay ahead of any corporate transactions in the pipeline.

    • Employment issues are often the forgotten keystone in cross-border M&A. You can avoid many HR nightmares by planning (far!) ahead.