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Posted on May 1, 2018 | Firm News
California employment laws change frequently. Since they are dynamic and continually evolving, staying up-to-date is the best way to understand your rights and responsibilities. Several new California laws might affect the way you work and obtain compensation for on-the-job injuries. We’ve outlined several you need to know about, as well as how they may impact your life:
AB (Assembly Bill) 168, which goes into effect in 2018, prevents California employers from asking employees what they made in the past and using the information to make a salary offer. This law covers all compensation information, including previous benefits. However, employees may choose to disclose this information voluntarily. California employers must also furnish a salary pay scale to any employee who asks for it. Ideally, this will help address the wage gap and ensure fair payment based on experience and qualifications.
San Francisco passed a version of this law locally in 2017. San Francisco is still required to adhere to the requirement, but also must follow the mandatory poster requirement set forth in the 2017 law.
Under AB 1008, the California Fair Chance Act, employers with five or more employees face additional restrictions on the use of criminal histories when vetting job applicants. The new legislation requires that only after the applicant has been deemed qualified for the position can inquiries be made into the applicant’s criminal history. In the event that an employer does choose to disqualify an applicant based on his or her criminal history, it must notify the applicant in writing and give that applicant the opportunity to respond. The applicant’s response must be considered in any hiring decision.
SB (Senate Bill) 63 amended the previous California Rights Act, which gives more employees the option to take protected parental leave. Previously, the coverage threshold resembled the terms of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). These terms applied to employers with at least 50 employees. The expanded law requires employers with a minimum of 20 employees to provide 12 weeks of leave within a year of the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child.
AB 450 served as a reaction to the Trump administration’s efforts to crack down on immigration. Called the Immigrant Worker Protection Act, employers cannot re-verify a current employee’s eligibility in ways not outlined on the Form I-9 process, unless otherwise required by federal statute. Additionally, employers cannot allow enforcement agents to enter nonpublic areas of a workplace without a warrant.
California law also passed new requirements regarding harassment prevention training. Specifically, the new laws address harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. Under the new law, training must provide realistic examples of harassment regarding these ideas and this training must involve trainers with relevant knowledge and expertise.
Locally, employers in San Francisco have new lactation accommodation requirements. Under the citywide law, employers must provide their employees with reasonable break time as well as appropriate facilities for expressing breast milk, and they must implement written policies regarding lactation. Lastly, they must respond to all employee requests regarding reasonable accommodation within five days and actively involve themselves in the process of providing accommodations to lactating mothers.
California employment laws continue to evolve to protect employees from unfair discrimination in the workplace. The current year brings additional protections to applicants with criminal histories, immigrants, families, and lactating women. As one of the most progressive states in the nation when it comes to employee rights, we can expect to see more laws evolve in the near future to protect employees.
If you believe your employer violated any of these laws and think you might have a lawsuit in your hands, don’t hesitate to call Los Angeles employment lawyers at the Law Office of Omid Nosrati.