New Employment Laws for 2018

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California Employment Law continues to evolve.  This is a summary of new laws and amendments for 2018.

New California Laws and Amendments:
  • Minimum Wage Increase.  0-25 employees: increase from $10 to $10.50 per hour.  26+ employees: increase from $10.50 to $11 per hour.  SB 3.
  • Parental Leave (Small Employers).  California Family Rights Act (CFRA) now gives a right to new-child bonding leave for employees with: a) 12+ months of employment; and b) 1250 hours worked during the prior 12 months; and c) worksite has 50+ employees within 75 miles.  SB 63 expands that right by reducing the number of employees within 75 miles from 50 to 20 employees.  So, businesses with 20 or more employees will need to extend bonding leave to employees that meet the other requirements.  (Adds Gov. Code § 12945.6.)
  • “Ban the Box”.  Employers with 5 or more employees may not ask (on an application or verbally) about conviction history of an application until after a conditional offer has been extended.  Also makes it unlawful, during a criminal background check, to consider or disseminate applicant’s prior arrests, diversions, and convictions.  These are additions to FEHA’s “unlawful employment practice”.  Further, employers now have obligations to make an “individualized assessment” of the conviction history with specific criteria and subjects, then give notice of that decisionmaking.  AB 1008.  (Adds Gov. Code § 12952.)
  • Salary History.  In an effort towards equalizing wages, employers may not seek (nor rely on) salary history in determining whether to extend an offer, nor for how much to offer.  AB 168.  (Adds Labor Code § 432.3)
  • Public Entities are “Employers” covered by Equal Pay laws.  AB 46.  (Amends Labor Code § 1197.5)
  • Gender-Based Harassment Training Requirements Expanded.  Current law requires employers with 50+ employees to provide 2 hours of sex harassment training to supervisors every 24 months.  SB 396 expands the topics that must be covered to include a) gender identity, b) gender expression, and c) sexual orientation.  Also mandates a new DFEH poster on transgender rights.  (Amends Gov. Code § 12950 and 12950.1.)
  • Gender Recognition Act.  Current law allows persons that went through clinical treatment for gender transition to obtain a new birth certificate and petition a court for a judgment recognizing gender change.  SB 179 expands this to all persons, whether or not clinical treatment has been obtained.  Starting in 2019, drivers may select from “female”, “male”, and “nonbinary”.
  • Human Trafficking Notice Coverage Expanded.  AB 260 expands the list of businesses that must post human trafficking/slavery notices, adding a) hotels, b) motels, and c) bed and breakfast inns (but excluding personal residences).

Individuals and businesses may wish to review the summaries and full contents at the California Legislative Information site: