In the face of the current workforce shortage, many employers are revisiting current policies requiring employees to be at least 18 years of age and expanding job opportunities to young workers. Employers considering such policy changes should keep in mind state and federal child labor laws ensure minors receive access to safe occupations that do not jeopardize their health, well-being, or educational opportunities.

On July 21, 2021, Jennifer Abruzzo was confirmed by the U.S. Senate (51-50) to a four-year term as General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Previously serving as Deputy General Counsel and Acting General Counsel for the NLRB during the Obama administration, Ms. Abruzzo most recently served as Special Counsel for Strategic Initiatives to the Communication Workers of America (CWA), the country’s largest communications and media labor union. Ms. Abruzzo’s confirmation signals yet another strong pro-union shift under the Biden administration.

As wildfires continue to run rampant in California, numerous state agencies are on-hand to support employers in implementing enhanced workplace safety measures. It is important to remember that wildfire smoke and subsequent cleanup efforts present unique workplace hazards for agricultural workers.

The Employment Development Department recently developed this one-sheet to guide agricultural employers in wildfire preparation for their workers.

Many employers find it worthwhile to check the references, job history, personal character, criminal conviction history or credit history of an individual prior to making the decision to hire or promote.

This can be done through an in-house investigation using public records or by an outside third-party consumer reporting agency (CRA). Initiating background checks and calling an applicant’s referencesare typical screening methods. However, if not performed in accordance with state and federal lawsthey can expose an employer to legal and financial risk.

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