Friday, January 2, 2015

New Employment Laws in California 2015

Here are some key changes that went into effect in 2014 and are slated for 2015.  This is not a comprehensive list but some highlights.
Changes To California Wage and Hour Law
Minimum Wage Increase to $9.00/Hour (AB 10)
Effective July 1, 2014, the California minimum wage is $9.00 per hour.  It will increase to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016.  
Liquidated Damages for Minimum Wage Violations (AB 442)

Employer Liability for Labor Contractors’ Wage and Hour Violations (AB 1897)
Protections for Domestic Workers (AB 241)

Penalties for Failure to Provide “Recovery Periods” (SB 435)

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave – Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (AB 1522)
Effective July 1, 2015, millions of California employees will be entitled to paid sick leave.  The law applies to employers of all size, and to employees who work 30 or more days in California within a year of the commencement of employment.  
Limitation On Criminal History Inquiries (SB 530)
SB 530 prohibits employer inquiries and reliance on criminal convictions that have been judicially dismissed or ordered sealed.  
Additional Leaves of Absence Requirements (SB 288, SB 400, and AB 11)

New Protected Categories Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act; Expanded Definition of Harassment (AB 556, AB 1443 and SB 292)

Expanded Definition of National Origin (AB 1660)

Additional Immigration-Related Protections (AB 262, AB 524, and SB 666).
AB 263 prohibits certain “unfair immigration-related practices” based on an employee’s assertion of rights under the Labor Code or applicable local ordinance.  
Whistleblower Protection for Employees Who Report Violations of Local Rules or Regulations (AB 496)
California common law protect employees who report alleged violations of federal or state law or regulations.  SB 496 expands protections in Labor Code section 1102.5.

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