EEOC Offers New Online Resource Center for Small Business Employers


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a new online resource center for small businesses. The Small Business Resource Center is designed to help small business owners comply with federal employment anti-discrimination laws. In addition, the resource center provides guidance on making employment decision and information on a variety of potential workplace discrimination issues.

The resource center was designed to help small business owners better understand their legal responsibilities under federal anti-discrimination employment laws. The new resource center is part of the EEOC’s Small Business Task Force. The task force focuses on addressing the needs of small businesses by providing information on social media websites in addition to other online channels. The new resource center has also launched the first in a series of short videos for small business owners focusing on frequently asked anti-discrimination compliance questions.

Commissioner Constance Barker stated the following regarding the resource center:

“On behalf of EEOC’s Small Business Task Force, I am very pleased to announce the release of the SBRC. Startups and other small businesses continue to play an integral role in the strength of our nation’s economy. It is our responsibility as a federal government agency to help businesses understand their legal obligations under the complex and ever-changing laws and regulations we enforce. We want small businesses to be able to quickly and easily access the information they need to comply with the laws. It is our hope that the Small Business Resource Center will help them do just that, so that they can focus their time and efforts on growing their businesses and creating new jobs.”

Contact our law office for more information about state and federal anti-discrimination laws and resources.

Choice of Law & State Venue Provisions Now Restricted in California Employment Agreements


On September 25, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown approved a new law allowing California employees to unilaterally void forum selection or choice of law clauses (not the entire agreement) in employment contracts. S.B. 1241 regulates where and under what law California employees can sue and arbitrate. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2017.contract-1464917_1920

Impact of SB 1241

Most agreements allow contracting parties to select a forum to litigate or arbitrate a dispute. Under S.B. 1241, employers are prohibited from requiring, as a condition of employment, an employee who primarily resides and works in California to agree to any contractual provisions that will: 1) require the employee to litigate or arbitrate claims arising in California in a foreign forum (outside of California); and 2) deprive the employee of the protection of California employment laws. The new law also includes, but is not limited to, executive contracts, covenants, and non-compete agreements.

An employee must be represented by legal counsel when negotiating an out-of-state venue, forum, or choice of law term. If a forum selection or choice of law provision is included in an employment agreement, the reviewing court can enjoin reliance on the provision, declare it unlawful, and award reasonable attorney fees.

S.B. 1241 will be codified as Section 925 of California Labor Code. Employers should review any employment or arbitration agreements to make sure they are in compliance with the new law. Employee contracts may need to be revised. Contact our law office for more information about modifying your existing employment agreements.