By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Small Business Development Center to educate employers on new laws
Placeholder Image

With a new year come new laws, and for business owners, there are countless rules and regulations to remember. The Valley Sierra Small Business Development Center is hoping to help employers be in compliance with new laws by hosting an informative 2017 Employment Law Update event.

“You want to be in compliance, and if business owners aren’t aware of new laws, they are going to have a hard time,” said Katy Winders of Valley Sierra SBDC.

Compliance with new employment laws is key when it comes to avoiding lawsuits and running a successful business. A human resources expert will be on hand at the event to go over employment law updates including minimum wage, overtime exemptions, meal periods, payroll, retirement savings plans and paid sick leave. Though some of the laws seem easy to understand and implement in the workplace, Winders explained that some business owners may not know as much as they think they do.

“Paid sick leave went into effect in July 2015, and we still come across some employers that don’t know it’s mandatory in California,” said Winders.

The Adult Use of Marijuana Act will be another employment law discussed at the event. California recently became the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana, with residents voting in favor of Proposition 64 at the polls in November. Previously, marijuana was an outlawed substance in the state, meaning that upon employment drug testing, a potential employee would be turned down for a job if the drug was found in his or her system. Now, that decision is up to the employer.

“One of the questions employers have is if they can still drug test for marijuana and not hire based on a positive drug test even though it’s legal now,” she said. “Yes, you can. It’s the employer’s call, and it’s still illegal federally.”

The 2017 Employment Law Update event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. March 21 at the Ceres Chamber of Commerce, 2904 4th St., in Ceres, and is recommended for small and medium business owners or those who work in HR and payroll. Registration is free for Ceres Chamber members, and $10 for non-members. To register, visit