January 1, 2023 was the deadline for a spate of new employment laws in California. We’ve covered some of the key changes that are now in effect:
California Employment Law in 2023
Minimum Wage Increase in California 2023
California’s minimum wage is $15.50 per hour, effective January 1, 2023. Bear in mind that there are some regions where the local government has mandated a higher minimum wage. You can view a list here.
Pay Scale Disclosure
Employers of all sizes, including those with fewer than 15 employees, must now provide applicants and employees with pay scale information upon their request.
- Employers must provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant applying for employment upon their reasonable request.
- Employers must also provide employees with the pay scale for their current position, upon request.
- Employers must include pay scale information on all job postings.
Employers are also required to maintain records relating to the positions and the wage history for each employee. These records must be kept for the duration of the employee’s employment and for three years after the end of employment. The Labor Commissioner will be able to inspect these records.
You can read more here.
5 Days of Bereavement Leave
Assembly Bill 1949 requires employers to grant eligible employees up to five days of bereavement leave following the death of a family member. The five days of protected leave do not have to be taken consecutively but must be completed within three months of the death. Bereavement leave is unpaid, but an employee may use any accrued vacation, paid time off, and/or sick leave.
Under the law, ‘family member’ is defined as including the employee’s:
- Domestic Partner; or
Employers are also prohibited from engaging in discrimination, interference or retaliation if/when they exercise their rights under the bill.
Discrimination for Reproductive Health Decisions Banned
Amongst other things, Senate Bill 523 amended the Fair Employment and Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on reproductive health decision-making by employers, labor organizations, apprenticeships and training programs, and licensing boards.
California employers are not permitted to require the disclosure of information relating to an applicant’s or employee’s reproductive health decisions.
Reproductive health decision-making is defined as including, but not being limited to, decisions relating to the use or access of a particular drug, device, product, or medical service for reproductive health.
Protected Sick Leave Laws Extended to ‘Designated Persons’
Employers need to be aware of two updates that allow eligible employees to take leave for ‘designated persons’.
The first update extends the California Family Rights Act to allow eligible employees to take unpaid, protected leave to care for “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship”.
The California Healthy Workplace, Healthy Family Act of 2014 was also amended to allow employees to use paid sick leave to care for ‘a person identified by the employee at the time the employee requests paid sick days’. Employers may restrict the employee to one designated person per 12-month period.
If you need assistance updating your policies to reflect these (or any of a cluster of other employment law changes that just came into effect), reach out. Our employment attorneys are available to help.
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