It’s almost 2018, and with a new year comes new laws! As an employer or business owner, it is more than necessary to be knowledgeable about laws that are applicable to your establishment in order to be a law-abiding company. At this time, California employers need to be especially aware of new laws going into effect on January 1st, 2018. A summary of these laws follows.
This bill extends the current legislation requiring unpaid leave for new parents to companies with at least twenty employees. California New Parent Leave Act for Small Employers, also known as SB 63, requires California employers with 20-49 employees within a 75 mile radius to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave to new parents for the purpose of bonding with a newborn child, under virtually the same terms and conditions as apply for FMLA and CFRA.
This bill prohibits all employers, including state and local governments, from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment. The law also requires an employer to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant upon reasonable request.
This bill revises the formula for determining benefits available for eligible employees of paid family leave. This bill provides a weekly benefit amount of $50 minimally and increases the wage replacement rate to specified percentages. However, it will not exceed the maximum workers’ compensation temporary disability indemnity weekly benefit amount. In addition, this bill removes the existing seven day waiting period for paid family leave benefits to begin.
This bill prohibits private employers from asking about criminal history. A private employer is prohibited from inquiring or considering conviction history until after the employer has made a conditional offer of employment. Also, the employer must make an individualized assessment whether a particular conviction has a direct and adverse relationship to the specific duties of the job that justify denying the applicant the position. If the employer makes a preliminary decision that the applicant’s conviction history disqualifies the applicant from employment, the employer must notify the applicant of the decision in writing, and provide the applicant at least five business days to respond (for example, disputing the accuracy of the conviction information). Therefore, the employer must then consider the applicant’s response before making a final decision.
If you would like more information about the new laws that will be effective and operative on the first of the year, please contact our office today at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 217-3520.