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Three New Laws From California That May Impact Employers

California employees can no longer be required to arbitrate or litigate their claims outside of their state.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, the California Labor Code will prohibit employers from requiring an employee “who primarily resides and works in California” to “adjudicate” outside of California a claim that arose in the state. This law also prevents employers from requiring that the law of another state be used in California to adjudicate the claim. Employees that are individually represented by counsel and are able to negotiate their agreements may be exempt from this code section. 

In addition, employers in California may no longer inquire about possible employee convictions in juvenile court. Employers may not ask any information about the juvenile court’s adjudication. Prior to the passage of this law, criminal convictions were valid inquiries by employers.

Lastly, all single occupancy restrooms in any business establishment must be labeled as “all gender” and be universally accessible. This law will go into effect in March 2017. No bathroom with one toilet and/or one urinal with a user-operated locking mechanism may be designated as male or female-only.