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New California Labor Laws Effective January 1, 2016

Governor Brown signed several laws impacting California employees. Below is a summary of a few key new laws or changes that you should be aware of to remain compliant.

Amendment to California's Paid Sick Leave Law

(California AB 304)

  • Clarified that an employee must work for the same employer for 30 or more days to qualify for paid sick leave.
  • It also created an alternate accrual method, whereby, as long as the accrual is on a regular basis and the employee will have 24 hours of paid sick leave available by the 120th calendar day of employment, the alternate method is acceptable.
  • Provided a grandfather clause for employers already providing paid time off before January 1, 2015.

Expansion of Family School Partnership Act and Kin Care Law

(California SB 579)

  • Amends California's Kin Care law to tie its protections to the reason and definition of "family member" specified in the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (Paid Sick Leave law). This leave is now extended to any employee who is a stepparent, foster parent or any individual standing in loco parentis to a child.
  • Expands the coverage to day care facilities and to cover child care provider emergencies, and the finding, enrolling, or re-enrolling of a child in a school or day care.

Gender Wage Equality (Fair Pay Act)

(California SB 358)

  • Expands existing law which prohibits an employer from paying an employee wages less than the rates paid to the opposite sex within the same establishment for equal work. SB 358 eliminates the requirement that the wage differential be within the same "establishment" and changes the standard from "equal work" to "substantially similar work".
  • The bill contains anti-retaliation provisions and provides a private right of action to enforce its provisions.
  • Increases the record-keeping requirements for wage-related information from 2 years to 3 years.

E-Verify System: Unlawful Use

(California AB 622)

  • Prohibits employers from using the federal E-Verify system at a time or in a manner not required by the federal law to check the employment authorization status of an existing employee or of an applicant who has not received an offer of employment.

Private Attorneys General Act

(California AB 1506)

  • Amends the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) to allow employers a limited right to correct or "cure" two types of itemized wage statement violations before an employee may bring a civil action under PAGA.
  • An employer will now be allowed to correct violations involving: 1) a failure to provide employees with an itemized wage statement that contains the inclusive dates of the pay period; or 2) failure to provide employees with an itemized wage statement that contains the name and address of the legal entity.

National Guard Leave and Protections

(California AB 583)
  • Expands the list of employees eligible for California's military leave protections, such as return rights and other job protections.

Compliance is critical and can be complicated. Let us help your business stay on the compliant side of California Labor Law. Contact Lori Burzminski at (800) 797-2125, ext. 101 for customized human resources and recruiting solutions.

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