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5 Workplace Compliance Issues for Northern California, SHRM, ft. Elizabeth Stonhaus

Posted Jun 13, 2018

Elizabeth Stonhaus, attorney in the Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, LLP San Francisco office, was quoted in an article written by Lisa Nagele-Piazza published by SHRM on June 4, 2018.

California is known for its abundance of workplace laws and regulations—and compliance gets particularly complicated for businesses in the northern part of the state that must follow more stringent local rules.

“Employers in Northern California are still adapting to several new workplace laws unique to the area,” said Elizabeth Stonhaus, an attorney with Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck in San Francisco.

Predictable Scheduling and Opportunity to Work

Predictable scheduling is the next big issue, according to Ebbink. During the last several years, San Francisco and Emeryville have rolled out predictive scheduling ordinances. The ordinances apply to large retail businesses and require employers to provide workers with their schedules at least two weeks in advance, and may require employers to compensate workers for changes to their schedules, Stonhaus explained.

Paid Family Leave

San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Ordinance took effect Jan. 1 and applies to employers with 20 or more workers. Covered businesses must provide up to six weeks of supplemental compensation to employees who receive state paid-family-leave benefits for baby bonding.

The state wage replacement plus the supplemental compensation equals 100 percent of the employee’s gross weekly wage, Stonhaus explained. To receive the supplemental compensation, employees must satisfy a number of requirements provided by the ordinance, she noted.

Lactation-Accommodation Requirements

Though there are federal and state lactation-accommodation rules, San Francisco has a more expansive ordinance, which took effect Jan. 1. The ordinance requires all San Francisco employers to provide a private lactation location that:

  • Is not a bathroom.
  • Is free from intrusion by other employees or the public.
  • Is available as needed.
  • Is located close proximity to the employees’ work area.
  • Is safe, clean, and free of toxic or hazardous materials.
  • Has a place to sit.
  • Has a surface to place a breast pump and personal items.
  • Provides access to electricity.
  • Contains a sink with running water.

The employer must provide a refrigerator and a sink with running water that is close to the employee’s work area, Stonhaus noted.

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