California Employer Notice Obligations — 2017 Update

Last month, I blogged about AB 2337 which requires all California employers to give yet another notice to all new employees — this time about the employee’s right to take leave related to domestic violence or stalking. You can find my blog post about AB 2337 here.

This got me thinking about all the various notices that California employers are required to give to new employees…

I’m often surprised in my practice when I talk to clients and their HR staff and learn that they aren’t giving new employees all these required notices.  Some employers simply don’t know that various federal, state, and local laws require notice to new employees.  Other employers have some idea but assume that the posters they buy and hang on the wall in their breakroom provide all of the required notices.  Unfortunately, for many California employers, that assumption is often wrong.  Either the employer does not purchase all of the required posters, or the posters that are purchased contain only federal law and not the numerous additional notices required by the State of California and the City and County of San Francisco.

So I thought it would be helpful to compile a list of all of the required notices that all California employers are required to give to all new employees.  In addition, I’ve also compiled an additional list of those notices that are also required for certain other employees.

Notices Required to All New California Employees

(1) Federal I-9 employment eligibility verification form (found here)
(2) Federal W-4 withholding allowance certificate (found here)
(3) Federal IRS Notice 797 earned income tax credit notification (found here and here)
(4) Federal OMB No. 1210-0149 employer’s notice re health insurance options (found here)
(5) California DE-4 optional withholding allowance certificate (found here)
(6) California DWC-7 workers’ compensation notice (found here)
(7) California DWC-9873.1 “time of hire pamphlet” re workers’ compensation benefits (found here)
(8) California notice re rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking (found here)
(9) California DE-2320 unemployment insurance pamphlet (found here)
(10) California DE-2515 disability insurance pamphlet (found here)
(11) California DE-2511 paid family leave benefits notice (found here)
(12) California DFEH-185 brochure re sexual harassment (found here)
(13) A copy of the employer’s written policy prohibiting harassment, discrimination and retaliation (created by the employer)

Note:  California DE-35 “Notice to Employees” is no longer required to be given to all new employees.  This notice informed employees that “excessive withholding” would be reported by the employer to the California Franchise Tax Board (“FTB”) and the Employment Development Department (“EDD”).  However, according to publication DE-44, also known as the 2o17 California Employer’s Guide, the DE-35 “has been made obsolete.”  You can download the 2017 California Employer’s Guide here.

Additional Notices Required for Certain California Employees

For all non-exempt California employees:

(14a) California DLSE-NTE “Wage Theft Prevention Act” notice (found here)
(14b) Or, alternatively, a custom offer letter that contains all of the information required by the notice

For all employees once the employer learns that the employee is pregnant and/or is requesting pregnancy leave:

(15) California DFEH-E09P rights and obligations of pregnant employee notice (found here)

For all employees if the employer has 5 or more employees:

(16) California DFEH-E02B pregnancy leave rights pamphlet (found here)

For all employees in San Francisco once the employee tells the employer of the fact that s/he is expecting a newborn, adopted, or foster child, or sooner if the employee inquires about paid parental leave:

(17) A copy of the San Francisco paid patently leave ordinance (“PPLO”) leave form (found here)

For all California employees if the employer has 50 or more employees:

(18) California DFEH-E03B California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) notice (found here)
(19) California DFEH-100-21 family leave, medical leave, and pregnancy disability leave notice (found here)
(20) Federal WH-1420 Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) notice (found here)

For all California employees when the employee becomes insured under an employer’s group health plan and where that employer has 20 or more employees:

(21) Federal notice re the employee’s right to healthcare continuation coverage under COBRA (found here).  Interestingly, there is no such advance notice requirement under Cal-COBRA for smaller employers with under 20 employee.

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