2023 will bring a variety of new California labor and employment laws that employers will need to stay abreast of as they review and update their policies and practices. This blog spotlights key pieces of legislation that will come into effect in the new year. Unless otherwise stated, the following new laws will take effect January 1, 2023.
SB-1162: Pay Data Reporting and Pay Scale Postings: Senate Bill (“SB”) 1162 will require employers with 100 or more employees to file annual pay data reports with the State of California, and to further disclose pay scales on job postings.
Pay Data Reporting: California employers with 100 or more employees will be required to provide the California Civil Rights Department (formerly the Department of Fair Employment and Housing) with pay data reports pertaining to the preceding year. Employers utilizing labor contractors must also provide a separate report including the pay data for labor contractors, and staffing agencies that provide such labor contractors must cooperate by providing the necessary pay data to the employers to whom the contractors are assigned. Failure to submit timely pay data reports could result in civil penalties of up to one hundred dollars ($100) for initial violations, and up to two hundred dollars ($200) for subsequent violations.
Initial pay data reports will be due on May 10, 2023; for subsequent years, reports will be due annually on the second Wednesday of May.
Pay Scale Transparency: Employers with 15 or more employees, including those who utilize third-party vendors for job postings, must include the pay scale in their job postings. Employers (regardless of the size of their employee base) must also provide pay scales, upon request, to employees for the positions in which the employees are currently employed. The new law will also require employers to maintain records of job title and wage rate history for each employee, for the duration of employment plus three years after the end of employment, open to inspection by the Labor Commissioner.
Please see our separate blog post addressing SB-1162 for additional information.
AB-1949: Bereavement Leave: Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1949 makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers with five or more employees to refuse to grant an employee’s request to take up to five days of bereavement leave upon the death of a family member, defined as a spouse or a child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law. The days of leave need not be consecutive but must be completed within three months of the date of death of the family member. Bereavement leave may be unpaid, although employees may use otherwise available vacation, personal leave, accrued and available sick leave, or compensatory time off to cover the period of bereavement leave.
Please see our separate blog post addressing AB-1949 for additional information.
AB-1041: Inclusion of “Designated Persons” in California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) and Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014: AB 1041 broadens the class of individuals for whom an employee may take leave under the CFRA and the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. Under the new law, employees may take leave for a “designated person” under both the CFRA and the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.
Under the CFRA, a “designated person” “means any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.” Under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, “designated person” is defined to mean a person identified by the employee at the time that the employee requests paid sick leave. Employers may limit employees to one designated person per 12-month period under the new law.
Please see our separate blog post addressing AB-1041 for additional information.
AB-257: FAST Recovery Act: The Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (“FAST” Recovery Act) establishes a Fast Food Sector Council (the “Council”) within the Department of Industrial Relations, comprised of 10 members to be appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the Senate Rules Committee. The council will be tasked with establishing minimum standards on wages, working hours, and working conditions related to the health, safety, and welfare of fast food restaurant workers.
SB-1044: Workers’ Rights in Emergency Conditions: SB-1044 prohibits employers from taking adverse action against employees for refusing to report to, or leaving, a workplace or worksite within the affected area of an emergency condition where the employee has a reasonable belief that the workplace or worksite is unsafe. The new law also prohibits employers from preventing employees from accessing their mobile devices or other communications devices for purposes of seeking emergency assistance, assessing the safety of the situation, or communicating with another person to verify their safety.
AB-2188: Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Off-Duty Cannabis Use: Though not effective until January 1, 2024, California employers should be aware that AB-2188 will make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize an employee, based on his or her use of cannabis off-the-job. AB 2188 does not affect an employer’s right to prohibit employees from possessing, being impaired by, or using cannabis while on the job. Additionally, AB-2188 contains exemptions for employers employing individuals working in the building and construction trades, as well as positions requiring a federal background investigation or security clearance in accordance with federal regulations.
Please see our separate blog post addressing AB-2188 for additional information.
AB-152: Extension of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave: On September 29, 2022, Governor Newsom signed AB 152 into law, extending the expiration of California’s existing law, providing for supplemental paid sick leave to covered employees who are unable to work due to certain, specified COVID-19 related reasons, from September 30, 2022, to December 31, 2022. AB 152 further clarifies that an employer need not provide additional COVID-10 supplemental paid sick leave if the employee seeking such leave refuses to provide documentation of the results of a positive COVID-19 test or submit to further diagnostic tests.
Under prior California law, which was set to expire on September 30, 2022, California provided for supplemental paid sick leave for covered employees who were unable to
Minimum Wage Increase: Following a July 27, 2022, determination from the California Department of Finance, California’s minimum wage will increase to $15.50 in the new year. Unlike prior years, in which the minimum wage varied depending on the size of an employer’s workforce, California’s new minimum wage will apply to all employers, regardless of the size of their workforce.
We regularly provide advice on these topics and are glad to discuss the effect of these new laws on employers and their policies/practices. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.