As an employer and business owner it is essential to be knowledgeable about laws that are applicable to your establishment in order to be law-abiding. At this time, California employers need to be especially aware of new laws going into effect on January 1st, 2017. A summary of these new laws follows.
AB 1063 – Wage Differential, Fair Pay Act Expanded to Protect Race and Ethnicity
An existing law prohibits an employer from paying employees at wages less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for considerably similar work and skill level. The new law, effective on January 1st, will expand the prohibition of wage discrepancies to an employee’s race or ethnicity.
AB 1676 & SB 1063 – Wage Discrimination and Application to Race and Ethnicity
Foremost, AB 1676 will amend Labor Code Section 1198.5 of the Fair Pay Act to issue that an employee’s previous salary cannot, by itself, justify any disparity in compensation. The latter, SB 1063, extends the Fair Pay Act’s requirements to incorporate an employee’s’ race or ethnicity, in addition to gender.
AB 1843 – Juvenile Criminal History in Applications for Employment
This law will forbid employers from asking an applicant about a criminal history and further taking into consideration any juvenile convictions relative to his/ her hiring and employment. A prospective employee will not have to reveal or disclose information regarding an arrest, detention, processing, diversion, supervision, adjudication or court disposition that occurred when the he/ she fell under the jurisdiction of juvenile law.
AB 2337 – Notice: Domestic Violence Protection
An employer with greater than or equal to twenty-five employees is required to provide a written notice to employees about their rights under California’s domestic violence protections.
AB 2535 – Itemized Wage Statements
Under this law, Labor Code Section 226 does not mandate employers to provide the total number of hours worked by an exempt employee in an itemized wage statement. For clarification, an exempt employee is one who is excused from minimum wage and overtime payment.
AB 2899 – Minimum Wage Violations
Employers will be required to post a bond through the Labor Commissioner in an amount equivalent to unpaid wages (excluding penalties) found under the citation. The employer must take action and do this prior to appealing the citation from the Labor Commissioner for violation of wage and/ or hour laws. It is important to note that if the employer does not pay within ten days from the proceedings’ end, then the bond will be given to the employee. Therefore, the bond must be in favor of the employee.
SB 1001 – Immigration Documents
If an employer was to do any of the following actions, they will be found liable for breaking the law. Furthermore, an employee or applicant will be able to file a complaint through the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement and can recover penalties up to a maximum of $10,000.
Request more (or different) documents than what is required under the federal law
Refuse to honor documents tendered that on their face reasonably appear to be genuine
Refuse to honor documents or work authorization based upon the specific status or term of status that accompanies the authorization to work
Attempt to re-investigate or re-verify an incumbent employee’s authorization to work using an unfair immigration-related practice
SB 1241 – Choice of Law and Forum in Employment Contracts
This law limits employers from requiring California- based employees to adjudicate claims outside of California when the claim was filed in California. This law will also provide protection to employees in that they will not be deprived of California law regarding said claims.
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.
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