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2018 California Employment Compliance

Several new California laws go into effect on January 1, 2018, which will affect some business practices with which we are all familiar. Due to shifting laws and their interpretations, please note the following:

Ban on Salary History Inquiries

Hiring managers may not ask applicants about their salary history at any point during the hiring process. Applications for employment at Pepperdine University will no longer include fields for information regarding an applicant's salary history. Applicants may volunteer salary history information at their own discretion.

PRACTICAL ACTIONS

  • Do not ask or inquire about an applicant's past or current salary at any point.
  • If an applicant requests a pay scale for an open position (to which they have a right), please contact Human Resources.
  • You may continue to ask applicants for their salary expectations for your open position to which they are applying.

"Ban the Box" - Prohibition on Criminal History Inquiries

Employers may not ask or otherwise inquire about an applicant's criminal conviction history until after a conditional offer of employment is made to an applicant. Applications for employment at Pepperdine University will no longer include fields for information regarding an applicant's criminal arrest or conviction. Final offers of employment at Pepperdine University remain contingent upon an applicant's successful completion of a criminal, educational, and employment background check.

PRACTICAL ACTIONS

  • Do not ask or inquire about an applicant's criminal conviction history before you make an offer of employment contingent upon the successful completion of a background check.
  • Should any criminal conviction history appear in the background check following a conditional offer of employment, you may ask the applicant for details as necessary.
  • If information from the background makes you want to rescind the offer, please contact Human Resources. There is a process that must be followed to provide the applicant opportunity to dispute information in the background check; Human Resources has specific language to use in this scenario.

Limits to Immigration Enforcement in California Workplaces

Employers are prohibited from permitting immigration enforcement agents from entering campus without a warrant. Additionally, immigration enforcement agents may not review or access an employee's file without a subpoena or court order.

PRACTICAL ACTIONS

  • If anyone inquires about a Pepperdine University employee (such as his/her role, tenure, personal data, etc.), please refer them to Human Resources. Do not provide information without receiving direction from Human Resources or General Counsel.

Non-Exempt Meal and Rest Breaks

  • Non-exempt (hourly) employees must be provided at least a ten (10) minute, duty-free rest break for every four hours of work (or major fraction thereof) they perform in a workday. (NOTE: while these regulations specify two ten-minute breaks per day, the University grants breaks of 15 minutes). Employees who are not permitted to take a rest break will be awarded a penalty equivalent to one (1) hour at their base hourly rate.
  • Non-exempt (hourly) employees are entitled to take an uninterrupted, duty-free meal period of no less than thirty (30) minutes before the end of their fifth hour of work. Non-exempt (hourly) employees working six (6) hours or less may waive their meal period in writing to their supervisors.
  • Non-exempt (hourly) employees working ten (10) hours in a single work day are entitled to a second meal period of no less than thirty (30) minutes by the end of the tenth hour of work. This second meal period may be waived in writing if the employee works less than twelve (12) hours.
  • Employees who miss their meal period or begin their meal periods late will be awarded a penalty equivalent to one (1) hour at their base hourly rate.

PRACTICAL ACTIONS

  • Ensure that your employees are provided an opportunity to take an uninterrupted and duty-free ten-minute rest break for every four hours of work. It is at employees' discretion whether or not they take the rest break, but they must be provided the opportunity to do so.
  • Understand the timeframes associated with meal penalties.
  • There can be confusion regarding the "fifth" and "tenth" hour of work. The first hour of work occurs when an employee has worked between zero minutes and sixty minutes. After the employee completes the first hour, the employee then begins his/her second hour of work. For example:

Time Worked

Hour

8.00am - 8:59am

End of 1st Hour

9:00am - 9:59am

End of 2nd Hour

10:00am - 10:59am

End of 3rd Hour

11:00am - 11:59am

End of 4th Hour

12:00pm - 12:59pm

End of 5th Hour

  • Employees must take their first meal period before the end of their fifth hour of work. For example: Employees who begin work at 8:00am must take their lunch by 12:59pm to avoid a meal penalty.
  • For your employees who work six hours or less and wish to waive their meal break, please ask them to provide you with their waiver in writing (such as an email). Please note that employees working six hours or less have the right to waive their meal break one day and choose to take their meal break another day.

Expansion on Mandatory Supervisor Training

Mandatory supervisor discrimination and harassment prevention training will expand to include components on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. Additionally, new posters on transgender rights must be posted and displayed in break rooms and other prominent workplace locations.

PRACTICAL ACTIONS

  • Ensure that you and your employees complete the mandatory discrimination and harassment training by the deadline every other year to remain in compliance with California law. Please contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer with any questions.

Please notify members of your team of these changes as appropriate.

 

Human Resources                                                                                       Payroll                                                                      General Counsel
 (310) 506-4397                                                                                      (310) 506-4636                                                                (310) 506-4607