The New Year is just around the corner and there are a myriad of new labor laws that affect employers. In fact, the count is up to sixteen. JorgensenHR will be having our annual labor law update webinar in early December. I thought I would give you a taste of some of the new laws to whet your appetite for our webinar.
Here are four of the new laws that all employers should pay attention to in order to mitigate lawsuits, criminal liability and governmental fines and penalties.
Look for our 2022 Labor Law Update in your email and register. Have a great holiday season and a prosperous new year!
AB 1003: CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR INTENTIONAL UNPAID WAGES
This bill makes intentional “wage theft” by employers a form of grand theft and thus a felony on the state of California.
Effective January 1, 2022, intention- al wage theft by an employer in any consecutive 12-month period—greater than either of the following amounts— is punishable as grand theft:
- $950 from any one employee; or
- $2,350 in total from two or more employees.
Wage theft is the intentional, illegal deprivation of wages, tips, benefits, or other compensation with the knowledge that they are legally due to the employee. Of note, the law also applies to wage theft from independent contractors.
The steps you should take to put yourself in the best position to stay out of legal hot water in this area include:
- Require nonexempt employees to review and affirm by signature that their time entries are correct before submitting them to payroll;
- Enact policies to immediately correct any payroll errors brought to the company’s attention, preferably with an option for same-day pay;
- Ensure that overtime hours are paid at the correct regular rate of pay, which can be complicated under California law;
- Correctly delineate what constitutes a non-discretionary bonus versus a discretionary bonus.
AB 1033: CALIFORNIA FAMILY RIGHTS ACT
This bill expands the definition of “family member” under CFRA to include parents-in law. The measure also modifies procedural aspects of a DFEH pilot program for mediating CFRA disputes that applies to small employers.
SB 657: ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS
This bill provides that in instances where an employer is required to physically post information, an employer may also distribute that information to employees by email with the document or documents attached. An employer is still required to physically display the required posting.
SB 807 EXPANDED RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENTS
Effective January 1, 2022, employers must maintain and preserve all of the following for four years (an increase from the previous two-year requirement):
- Applications, personnel, membership, or employment referral records and files (four years from when they were made or received); and
- Applicants or terminated employees’ personnel files (four years from when the employment action occurred).
The amended law also specifies the rules around record retention after a verified complaint is filed against an employer.