Are you prepared for the new employment laws that will go into effect in 2018? If you’re an employer in the state of California, these laws may very well affect the daily operations of your business. Unless specified, all new legislation outlined below goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
- Parental Leave for Small Employers, SB 63
Legislation mandating that small businesses with as few as 20 employees provide 12 weeks of parental baby bonding leave to employees. If an employee takes this leave, the new law prohibits an employer from refusing to maintain and pay for health care coverage. Employers can be sued for failing to provide the leave, failing to return the employee to the same or comparable position after the leave, failing to maintain benefits while the employee is out on leave or taking adverse employment action against an employee who uses the leave.
- No More Salary History Questions, AB 168
This new law bans employers from asking about, or considering, a job applicant’s prior salary history in determining whether to hire the applicant or how much to pay the applicant. An employer can also be penalized for not providing a pay scale for the position upon demand.
- Hiring Practices and Enforcement, AB 1008
Ban-the-box legislation prohibits employers with five or more employees from asking about criminal history information on job applications and from inquiring about, or considering, conviction history information at any time before a conditional offer of employment has been made.
- Harassment Prevention Training: Gender Identity/Gender Expression, Sexual Orientation, SB 396
This bill puts forth new requirements for mandatory sexual harassment prevention training for employers with 50 or more employees. Beginning January 1, 2018, the training must include information on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. The legislation also requires employers to post a poster, developed by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, on transgender rights.
- Worksite Immigration Enforcement and Protections, AB 450
The Immigrant Worker Protection Act shields workers from immigration enforcement while on the job. The legislation prohibits employers from providing federal immigration enforcement agents access to a business without a warrant and requires employers to notify employees of Form I-9 inspections performed by federal immigration enforcement officials.
- Gender Identification: Female, Male or Nonbinary, SB 179
This new law, which goes into effect on September 1, 2018, allows California residents to choose from three equally recognized gender options — female, male or nonbinary — on state-issued identification cards, birth certificates and driver’s licenses.
- Employment Discrimination: Gender Neutral Language, AB 1556
This law is a revision to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act which deletes gender-specific personal pronouns in the state’s anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, pregnancy disability and family/ medical leave laws by changing “he” or “she,” for example, to “the person” or “the employee.”
- Fair Pay Act Expansion, AB 46
An extension of California’s Fair Pay Act that prohibits wage discrimination on the basis of gender, race and ethnicity will now cover public employers.
- Data Collection: Sexual Orientation, AB 677
Starting no later than July 1, 2019, state labor agencies can collect voluntary, self-identified information pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity in the course of gathering other types of demographic data.
- LGBT Rights for Long-Term Care Facility Residents, SB 219
Called the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Long-Term Care Facility Residents’ Bill of Rights. The new law will strengthen anti-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals living in long-term care facilities, making it unlawful to willfully and repeatedly fail to use a resident’s preferred name or pronoun or to deny admission to a long-term care facility because of gender identity or sexual orientation. You must post a notice about the protections and follow recordkeeping requirements.
- Human Trafficking, AB 260
This new law extends the list of businesses that must post human trafficking information notices to include hotels, motels and bed and breakfast inns. IN addition, SB 225 requires the human trafficking notice include a new number for those who wish to send text messages. Businesses are not required to post the updated notice until on or after January 1, 2019.
- Anti-Discrimination Protections for Veterans, AB 1710
This law will expand the current protections for members of the armed services. AB 1710 prohibits discrimination in all “terms, conditions, or privileges” of employment.
- Health Facilities: Whistleblower Protections, AB 1102
increases the maximum fine for a violation of whistleblower protections in healthcare facilities from $20,000 to $75,000.
- Harassment Prevention Training: Farm Labor Contractors, SB 295
This bill requires sexual harassment prevention training for each agricultural employee provided in the language understood by that employee in order to apply for or renew a license. The bill also requires an employer provide to the commissioner the total number of agricultural employees trained in sexual harassment prevention in the calendar year prior to the month the renewal application is submitted.
- Wage and Hour
On January 1, 2018, the state minimum wage increases to $10.50 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and to $11 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees.
- Labor Law Enforcement, Retaliation, SB 306
This allows the Labor Commissioner to investigate an employer with or without a complaint from an employee as long as the Labor Commissioner suspects retaliation or discrimination against a worker.
- Increased Liability for Construction Contractors, AB 1701
This law pertains to private construction contracts entered into after January 1, 2018. It imposes liability onto the general contractor for any unpaid wages, benefits or contributions that a subcontractor owes to a laborer who performed work under the contract.
- Barbering and Cosmetology, SB 490 and AB 326
These two new laws that affect barbering and cosmetology employers and licensees. SB 490 allows workers licensed under the Barbering and Cosmetology Act to be paid a commission in addition to a base hourly rate if certain conditions are met. AB 326 requires Board of Barbering and Cosmetology schools to include information on physical and sexual assault awareness in the required health and safety course for licensees beginning July 1, 2019.
Still have questions about the new California Employment Laws for 2018? Then call Coast General Insurance Brokers at 805-644-4740. We will be happy to answer your questions. Coast General Insurance Brokers offer a variety of coverage options catering to the needs of businesses across California. If you’d like to learn more about protecting your business from liability or offering employee health coverage, contact us! We’ve been helping businesses minimize risk for over 40 years!