The new year brings 870 new laws in CA signed by Governor Newsom of which 16 directly affect employers.  Are you ready to comply with the new laws?

Here is a list of the new laws that employers must comply with:

  • AB 5 Independent Contractors
    • Worker is independent contractor if they pass the A, B, C Test:
      • Free from control and direction of hirer, AND
      • Work is outside the usual course of the employer’s business, AND
      • Worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business, not the same nature as the work performed for the company
  • SB 778 Sexual Harassment Prevention Training
    • Employers with 5 or more employees
      • 2 hours of training for all supervisory employees
      • 1 hour of training for all other employees
      • Temporary & seasonal employees within 30 days
      • New hires within 6 months
      • Every two years
      • Deadline for 1st round of training January 1, 2021
  • SB 142 Lactation Accommodation
    • Close to employee’s work area, shielded from view, free from intrusion
    • Contain a surface to place items on
    • Contain seating
    • Have access to electricity sink, running water & refrigerator
    • Safe, clean, free of hazardous materials
    • Create & implement policy in handbook
    • Hardship exemption <50 employees
  • SB 188 CROWN Act
    • CROWN (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) Act
    • Protects employees who wear Afro-textured curly hair in an un-straightened (natural) style
    • FEHA makes it unlawful to engage in discriminatory practices based on certain protected classes
    • CROWN Act further provides guidance regarding hairstyles
    • Employers may implement policies that highlight acceptable grooming and appearance standards
    • Employers should be mindful when drafting, reviewing, editing and enforcing policies to make sure they are not discriminatory
    • Grooming & appearance policies should:
      • Be driven by legitimate business needs, not subjective personal preferences
      • State the reason for the standards
      • Be equally & fairly implemented and should not disproportionately impact employees in a protected class
      • Accommodate employees’ religious beliefs
  • SB 83 Paid Family Leave
    • PFL extended from six weeks to eight weeks as of July 1, 2020
    • PFL only provides partial wage replacement
    • Employee leave may be covered by certain California or Federal laws providing up to 12 weeks of bonding, or family care leave
    • PDL, CFRA, FMLA
  • AB Arbitration Agreements Limitations
    • Employers Prohibited from:
      • Requiring employees/job applicants to waive rights re: FEHA or Labor Code violations as a condition of employment/benefits
      • Retaliating, discriminating or termination because of refusal to waive rights
      • AB 51 may conflict with Federal law
          • AB 1223 Organ Donor Leave Expanded
            • Currently, employers with 15 or more employees required to provide up to 30 business days paid leave
            • Bill requires covered employers to provide additional 30 business days of unpaid leave
  • AB 51 Limits Arbitration Agreements
    • Employers prohibited from:
      • Requiring employees/job applicants to waive rights regarding FEHA or Labor Code violations as a condition of employment/benefits
      • Retaliating, discriminating or termination because of refusal to waive rights
  • AB 1804 Cal/OSHA Reporting
    • Requires employers to immediately report to Cal/OSHA serious workplace injuries, illnesses or death
    • What does “serious” mean?
    • Reporting by telephone or online, eliminates email option
    • Failure to report is subject to $5,000 penalty
    • This law is in addition to existing employer requirements to report to the Department of Industrial Relations
  • AB 203 Valley Fever
    • Requires construction employers in counties where Valley Fever is prevalent to provide training to employees
    • Training for new employees
    • Training for current employees annually
    • Can be part of Injury & Illness Prevention Program or standalone program
  • AB 1554 Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Notice to Employers
    • Employers must notify employees who participate in FSA any deadline to withdraw funds before end of plan year
    • Applies to medical reimbursement and dependent care accounts
    • Notice may include mail, email, telephone, text message or in person

In addition, there are new minimum wage requirements in CA, LA, Malibu, Santa Monica, San Diego and 19 cities in Northern CA.

Wait, there’s more!

In CA when you hire an employee there are 11 notices, brochures or pamphlets you must give them, and best practices are to provide them to all employees each year and have then sign off and acknowledge receipt.

Here are the updated notices for 2020.

  • DFEH Discrimination & Harassment Notice
  • Transgender Rights in the Workplace Notice
  • Pregnancy Disability Leave Notice
  • CFRA Notice: Family & Medical Leave & Pregnancy Disability Notice
  • Cal/OSHA Notice dated 8/19

Here are the updated brochures and pamphlets:

  • Paid Family Leave pamphlet
  • Unemployment Insurance pamphlet
  • Sexual Harassment pamphlet
  • State Disability Insurance pamphlet

There is also a new Federal W-4 form for all new employees and employees changing tax deductions.

Here are a few questions to think about:

  • How does a business owner keep up with all these changes?
  • What process do you have in place to review new laws, determine their applicability to your company and develop effective procedures to comply with them?
  • How are you sure you are compliant with all the requirements of the Affordable Care Act?
  • Is your company and all the employees compliant with HIPAA privacy laws?
  • Has your employee handbook been updated to include the new requirements and comply with federal, state, county and city laws?

If your answers to the last five questions are a bit uncertain perhaps it’s time to conduct in HR Assessment.