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2019 brings legal changes to California businesses

The world of business is always changing -- especially as new laws take effect. In California, 2019 is bringing some important new changes that business owners need to note.

Here are some of the biggest things that could affect your business this year:

You may need to find a new member for your Board of Directors.

California is taking a hammer to the "glass ceiling" that many women experience in business. If your company is publicly traded, you have to have at least one woman on your board.

It's time to create a space for nursing mothers.

Nursing mothers no longer have to worry that they'll be forced to express their milk in the restroom. Employers are required to give them a private space for the task.

There are no more "free gropes" permitted.

In 2000, a California court interpreted state law to exclude a single incident from being declared sexual harassment. Critics called this the "free grope." Senate Bill 1300 eliminates this issue.

Nondisclosure agreements regarding sexual harassment are out.

Employees often find that when they accepted their jobs, they also accepted an agreement that prohibits them from publicly making claims about sexual harassment on the job. Those kinds of contractual agreements with employees are no longer acceptable under the law.

Employers have a responsibility to protect employees from non-employee harassers.

Whether you employ female computer technicians who work with outside companies or female bartenders, you can't overlook customers and clients who sexually harass your employees.

If you're unsure how the new laws affect your business, don't take chances. A mistake can end up costing your business significantly.

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