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February 1, 2024

Attention, California employers! Urgent legal updates require your immediate action. Noncompete clauses are now prohibited in employment contracts as of January 1, 2024; notify employees by February 14, 2024. Also, review and update your COVID-19 Prevention Programs promptly. Read on for details and act promptly to navigate these changes effectively.

California Employers Must Announce Unenforceable Noncompete Agreements

California Business & Professions Code §16600.1, which went into effect on January 1, 2024, makes it unlawful to include noncompete clauses and noncompete agreements in employment contracts. Under the new law, employers are also required to notify current employees, and former employees, who were employed after January 1, 2022, if noncompete clauses and noncompete agreements contained in their prior employment agreements are void. Covered employers should get ready to send out individualized notices to each affected employee no later than February 14, 2024.

California Lifts Isolation Requirement for Asymptomatic Individuals with COVID-19

The California Department of Public Health has revised the isolation protocol for positive COVID-19 cases. As of January 9, 2024, individuals with COVID-19 may end isolation as long as their symptoms are improving, and they are fever free for 24 hours without medication. Asymptomatic individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are not considered “infectious” and are not required to isolate at all. Employers should revisit their COVID-19 Prevention Programs and return to work protocols to ensure compliance. Check out the full scoop in the CDPH health order and stay tuned for more updates. Employers should also be mindful of the relevant interplay with other government agencies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For more information and guidance, please contact Pearlman, Brown & Wax’s Employment Law Department here.

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