CFRA Leave for Parent-in-Laws

Effective January 1, 2022, employees may take family care and medical leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) for parents-in-law, who are defined as the parent(s) of an employee’s spouse or domestic partner.

(CA AB 1033 signed by governor on September 27, 2021)

California: Wage Theft by Employers

Effective January 1, 2022, intentional 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.

(CA AB 1003 signed by governor on September 27, 2021)

California: Subminimum Wage Eliminated for Persons with Disabilities

Effective January 1, 2022, California is eliminating the ability for employers to get a new special minimum wage license from the California Labor Commission. Through the commission, employers could essentially get permission to pay an employee with a mental or physical disability a subminimum wage for up to one year and then request to get it annually renewed. Under this law:

  • New licenses won’t be issued after January 1, 2022; and
  • Employees with a disability can’t be paid less than the state’s or a locality’s minimum wage, whichever is higher, as of January 1, 2025.

(CA SB 639 signed by governor on September 27, 2021)

California: 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.

(CA SB 807, amending the state’s Fair Employment Practices Law at Cal. Govt. Code § 12946, signed by governor on September 23, 2021)

California: Quotas and Employee Protections at Warehouse Distribution Centers

New protections for nonexempt employees working at warehouse distribution centers take effect January 1, 2022. The law specifically addresses quotas and how they must be explained by warehouse distribution center employers with 100 or more employees at a single location or 1,000 or more employees at one or more locations in California.

Quotas are work standards that employees must meet at a certain speed, or the set number of tasks they must do, or the set amount of material they have to handle or produce, within a set time. If they don’t achieve these goals, there could be adverse employment action such as reprimand, suspension, or termination.

By January 31, 2022—and after that date, upon hire—employers must give employees a written description of each quota with the number of tasks to perform, what they must handle or produce, how long they have to do their work, and what happens if they fail to meet their quota. However, employers can’t take adverse employment action against employees who don’t meet their quotas because they didn’t know about them, couldn’t take a break, couldn’t use the bathroom, or because other occupational safety and health (OSH) laws would be violated.

The law also addresses “time on task” and “productive time” for quotas. Time spent by employees that complies with OSH laws is considered time on task and productive time for any quota or monitoring system. However, meal and rest breaks are not considered productive time unless the employee is on call.

Employees who believe that meeting a quota violated their meal or rest period or made them violate any OSH law have the right to request (verbally or in writing)—and the employer must provide within 21 calendar days— a written description of each quota to they were subject to and a copy of the most recent 90 days of their own personal work speed data. This information must also be given to former employees who request it, it must cover the 90 days before their separation, but they can only ask for it once.

The law includes anti-retaliation provisions but it doesn’t preempt any city, county, or city and county ordinance that provides equal or greater employee protections.

(CA AB 701 signed by the governor on September 22, 2021)

Source – Mineral

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