New Legislation in California: What Employers Need To Know

San Jose business lawCalifornia businesses and Lawyers Should be Aware of New 2018 Laws

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has recently signed several new bills (as per the employment-related legislation passed by the California State Legislature in 2017) that can significantly impact all California employers.

Starting with inquiring about criminal conviction history and salary history to granting family medical leave and enacting mandatory sexual harassment training, the new legislation laws now address a wide range of topics.

Note, all of these new laws will be effective from January 1, 2018 (unless otherwise stated). In this context, here’s the brief description of six significant new 2018 laws which all California employers and employment law attorneys should be aware of.

I. The legislation now mandates that all small businesses with 20 employees or more should grant a 12-week of parental baby bonding leave to their employees (SB 63). And, if an employee decides to take this leave, the employers can’t refuse to maintain or pay for the healthcare coverage of that employee. In fact, employers can be sued for failing to return that employee to the same/comparable position after the leave, failing to keep up the benefits while the employee is out on leave, and taking any adverse employment action against that employee.

II. A new law now bans employers from seeking, querying, or considering an applicant’s prior salary details in order to determine whether to hire that applicant and decide his/her pay scale. The employer will be penalized if the organization can’t provide a pay scale for the position on demand (AB 168).

III. Sexual harassment prevention training is now mandatory for all California employers with 50 or more employees. Effective from 1st January, 2018, this training should include information on gender expression, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

IV. Ban-the-box legislation strictly prohibits employers with a minimum of five employees or more from querying/inquiring about a job applicant’s past criminal history. Also note, the job applicant’s conviction history information should not be inquired or considered before the conditional offer of employment has been provided.

V. The current California Labor Code restrains a person from being discriminated against, retaliated against, or discharged for engaging in some protected conducts. In such cases, both applicants and existing employees can raise a complaint with DLSE (Division of Labor Standards Enforcement of California). According to the new bill (98.7(a)(2) section of SB 306), DLSE is now authorized to start an investigation of an employer and obtain a preliminary injunction without any complaint having been raised.

VI. The legislation (for Immigrant Worker Protection Act) will prohibit employers from providing federal immigration enforcement agents access to the business without a prior warrant. The law requires employers to inform/notify employees about Form I-9 inspections that are typically performed by the federal immigration enforcement officials (AB 450).

Contact Our San Jose Employment Law Attorneys for Guidance

If you’re a business owner or an employee that’s based out of San Jose who’s eager to know more about these newly-enacted laws and understand its critical impact, contact the Law Office of Farling, Hecht & Davis, LLP. We are a renowned San Jose law firm that’s surrounded by experienced and qualified business law attorneys who know the nitty-gritty of California business laws. We provide free consultation on a wide variety of issues and would be happy to assist you with any legal information or disputes that require an expert. Contact us anytime through our website or by calling 408-295-6100.