Top 8 HR Challenges for California Employers in 2019

The HR landscape is continuously evolving with new employment laws and regulations, plus changes in technology and other trends in employee recruitment and management. Employers in California have an especially complicated set of laws to navigate, with this state being considered one of the most employee-friendly states in the U.S. The strict limits on work hours, hiring practices, discrimination, harassment and other provisions that make California generally more favorable to workers can create unique challenges for the business owners that employ them.

Human resources management can be daunting for even the most experienced employer to handle on their own, and trying to keep an organization compliant, while also focusing on recruiting, hiring and managing a workforce can take a lot of the focus away from growing the business, increasing profitability and furthering a company’s missions and goals. On top of that, more new laws went into effect on January 1st, 2019 to add a whole host of new challenges to employers’ plates. Here are some of the top HR challenges that California employers are facing in 2019:

Fair Labor Standards Act Compliance

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a complex set of labor laws that sets the policies for minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping and other employment standards that affect employees in the private sector as well as in Federal, State, and local governments. Non-compliance can results in costly penalties, back wages, back taxes and legal fees for the employer, which seem to get more expensive each year.

Workplace Harassment

As the #MeToo movement continues to be a hot topic in both the workplace and everyday life, workplace harassment issues have become more of a priority for legislators and of course for employers. New laws in 2019 are putting even more responsibility on employers to properly train employees and to address harassment claims thoroughly and consistently.

High Turnover

Retaining talented, quality employees can be extremely difficult in a time when when unemployment rates are at a record low. Highly skilled employees are at an advantage, and they know this. Today’s employees are looking career opportunities that include better benefits, flexible hours, better work/life balance and a more diverse workplace culture. In order to improve employee retention in 2019, employers will have to become more innovative in their recruiting and employee engagement strategies.


Laws and rules surrounding discrimination issues in the workplace are becoming more complex with more severe repercussions for businesses – whether it comes from the employer themselves or another employee. Business owners have to take care to avoid both overt and subtle discrimination against a number of protected classes, including women, members of the LGBTQ community, senior citizens, minority groups and others. Employers are tasked with creating a safe workplace and promoting equal access to job opportunities and advancement for all types of workers.

I-9 Compliance

California employers have a large pool of foreign-born workers to recruit from, which leaves them at risk of making errors in the Form I-9 filing process. Because of this, they are more likely to be targeted for I-9 audits, and any mistakes in the filing or recordkeeping of these forms can bring about costly penalties.

Benefits Offerings

Benefits remain a top consideration for workers when deciding whether to accept a job offer or stay in their current position, affecting both the recruiting and the retention efforts of today’s employers. A survey done by Glassdoor revealed that four out of five workers would rather be given new or increased benefits over a raise in their pay, which is great insight for employers who are trying to find creative ways to better engage their employees.


The onboarding process sets the tone for an employee’s entire working relationship. A strong onboarding process is an essential part of ensuring new employees feel supported and ready to begin their new job. Getting new hires get up to speed with their duties and job expectations as quickly and accurately as possible can help reduce stress caused by understaffing. One way employers can make the process easier and more efficient is through an electronic onboarding system, which helps keeps onboarding consistent for all new hires and eliminates potentially costly paperwork errors.

Performance Management

Employee performance is a major influencer on the success of a business. Today’s performance management more than just a yearly review. Effective performance management is ongoing and should include both positive and negative conversations, the latter of which should be documented and kept in the employee’s records. Addressing poor employee performance in writing is necessary in the event the employee has to be let go and decides to file a wrongful termination claim against the former employer.

The HR challenges that employers are facing in 2019 can be incredibly overwhelming to manage. HR outsourcing is a great tool for business owners to help handle complicated HR risks and compliance issues so they can get back to doing what they are best at: growing and running a successful business.

Emplicity understands that HR Outsourcing should be simple and meaningful. As a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), we strive to be a great partner in supporting your business. If you would like to request more information on how we can assist your needs, please reach out to us at 877-476-2339. We are located in California – Orange County, Los Angeles, and the greater Sacramento and San Francisco area.

NOTICE: Emplicity provides HR advice and recommendations. Information provided by Emplicity is not intended as a substitute for employment law counsel. At no time will Emplicity have the authority or right to make decisions on behalf of their clients.

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