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Checklist for Becoming a California Employer


Becoming an employer in California requires important legal steps.

One of the key parts of my employment law practice is to help companies set up their business systems as they relate to hiring. Here is a great checklist to start working on when opening or expanding your business.

1) Consult with an employment lawyer before making large decisions like terminating, putting an employee on leave, etc.

2) Consider getting professional insurance in case of a lawsuit by an employee or client.

3) Make sure you are in compliance with wage and hour law in terms of how you are paying your employees, e.g. always pay overtime at an overtime rate unless you are certain your employees are exempt.

4) Consider a workplace handbook. California Chamber of Commerce has a good place to start.

5) Ensure that you are in compliance with OSHA laws.

6) Make sure any employment applications or hiring guidelines comply with state or federal law.

7) Consider having the workplace audited on a yearly basis for legal compliance. Have someone come in and look at how you’re handling employees and make sure there are no obvious errors in compliance with state and federal employment laws.

8) Have an employment at-will clause that each employee signs, and keep it for your records.