With the new year quickly approaching, it is important for employees to know about a number of new California employment laws that will go into effect in 2015. These laws go into effect at different times throughout the year, but it would not hurt if employers implemented policies prior to the effect dates.
The two biggest new California employment laws involve minimum wage increases and required paid sick leave. We have discussed both new laws on the blog before, but just as a reminder, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and San Diego all voted to increase their minimum wage. The new wages will go into effect in 2015. In Los Angeles, the minimum wage for certain hotel workers will also be raised. The minimum wage for exempt computer professionals was also increased. Finally, according to the new Paid Sick Leave law, starting July 1, 2015, many California employers will be required to provide a few days of Paid Sick Leave to their employees.
We have also discussed California Labor Code § 2810.3, a new law which creates shared liability between temporary staffing agencies and the employers who use them. If a staffing agency fails to pay its workers proper wages or does not provide them with workers’ compensation insurance, the employer using the temporary workers can also be liable.
AB 2503 requires that the mandatory sexual harassment training employers provide must also cover bullying.
Another new law expands the definition of “national origin” under the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include the circumstances under which someone got their driver’s license. For example, an individual is protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act if they are discriminated against because they present the type of license provided to undocumented workers for identification.
AB 1443 extends the Fair Employment and Housing Act’s protections to unpaid interns and those in apprenticeship training programs.
Employers will likely update their personnel policies, training materials, and employee handbooks.