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"Jingle Bell Rock Your Socks Off: A Guide to Festive Fun and a short Year-End Checklist

Season's Greetings to All Our Valued Clients!

As we approach the end of another successful year, we'd like to take this opportunity to extend our warmest holiday wishes to you and your families. This season is a perfect time for reflection, celebration, and looking forward to the new year ahead.

Best Practices for Holiday Christmas Parties

1. Inclusivity is Key: California’s diverse workforce means being mindful of different cultures and beliefs. Consider a holiday party that is inclusive, respecting all cultural traditions and preferences. Avoid emphasizing any particular religious theme to ensure everyone feels comfortable.

2. Alcohol Consumption: If you plan to serve alcohol, it’s crucial to do so responsibly. Consider implementing a drink limit, offering plenty of non-alcoholic options, and arranging transportation for those who might need it. This approach helps mitigate potential liabilities and ensures everyone’s safety.

3. Harassment and Professional Conduct: Remind your staff about the company’s policies on harassment and professional conduct. It's important to reinforce that while holiday parties are social events, workplace policies still apply.

4. Wage and Hour Considerations: If attendance at the party is mandatory, remember that this time may be considered compensable working time under California law. Clearly communicate the voluntary nature of the event if it is not intended to be compensable.

5. Accessibility and Accommodation: Ensure that the venue is accessible to all employees, including those with disabilities. This consideration is not just a matter of compliance but also inclusivity.

Liability and Risk Management

1. Venue Safety: Choose a venue that adheres to all safety protocols, including fire safety.

2. Liability Insurance: If you’re hosting the party off-site, check whether your liability insurance covers events outside the workplace.

Creating a Memorable Experience

While focusing on compliance and safety, don’t forget the fun! Plan activities that engage your team, boost morale, and celebrate the year's achievements. Whether it’s a dinner, games, awards, or a simple gathering, the goal is to end the year on a high note.

End-of-Year Compliance Checklist

1. Minimum Wage Update: Be aware that California's minimum wage will increase to $16 per hour for all employers on January 1, 2024. Some cities and counties in California have their local minimum wage that is higher than the state rate. Ensure your payroll systems are updated accordingly to remain compliant.

2. Review and Update Policies: With the ongoing legislative changes in California, it's crucial to review and update your employee handbook and policies, especially regarding harassment training, family leave, and wage and hour laws.

3. Expanded Paid Sick Leave (SB 616): Employees are now entitled to 40 hours or five day of paid sick leave annually effective January 1, 2024.

Accrual Adjustments: For employers using accrual models, employees must accrue 40 hours by their 200th day of employment, in addition to accruing at least 24 hours by their 120th day of employment.

Extended Usage: The number of days of carried over paid sick leave an employee can use each year has been increased to 40 hours or five days.

Accelerated Eligibility: Employers offering paid leave must now make 40 hours or five days available within six months of employment.

Accrual Cap Increase: The cap on an employee's accrual of paid sick leave has been raised to 80 hours or 10 days.

Frontload Option: Employers may continue to frontload if preferred.

Looking Ahead: Preparing for 2024

New Employment Laws: Stay ahead of the curve by familiarizing yourself with new employment laws taking effect in 2024. We will provide detailed updates and guidance in our upcoming newsletters.

We're Here to Support You

Our team is dedicated to supporting your HR needs. Whether it's compliance, employee relations, or strategic planning, we're here to help you navigate the complexities of California's employment landscape.

Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

Your feedback and topic suggestions are invaluable to us. Share your thoughts or future topic preferences at

Disclaimer: This newsletter offers general information and is not intended as legal advice. Please consult your HR legal advisor for specific recommendations tailored to your organization.

Thank You for Being Part of the Firm Foundation HR Community!


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