As an employer in California, you’re bound to abide by certain laws. Employment laws typically have a direct effect on the way you operate your business and engage with your staff. Therefore, it’s important that all you and your management staff have a thorough understanding of these laws. Below, we take a look at some of the new employment laws that all business owners need to be aware of in 2019
SB 826: This law dictates that any publicly-held corporation with executive offices in California must have at least one single female member of their board of directors. If your company falls under the criteria of this law and you don’t currently have a female director on your board, you have until the end of the year to comply. If you don’t currently have any empty seats on your board, you will need to increase your number of directors in order to comply with this law by December 31, 2019.
If your company employs more than fifty people, you are likely already conducting periodic sexual harassment training at your business. Laws mandating that employers provide employees in a supervisory position with sexual harassment training within six months of being hired or promoted. However, SB1343 will now make it mandatory that both supervisors and all other employees receiving sexual harassment training every two years for companies with five or more employees. Even if you have seasonal employees, you may be required to provide them with training after they have worked a certain number of days or hours at your company.
As of January 1st, the minimum wage in California is set to increase. Now, companies with 25 or fewer employees are required to pay a minimum of $11 per hour, which employers with 26 or more employees will have to pay a minimum of $12 per hour. Your HR department should be well-aware of this minimum wage increased as it was signed into law back in 2016.
AB1976 – California employers are required to create a private space near their employees’ main working area specifically for employees who need to express breast milk. It’s important to note that an employee restroom does not satisfy the requirements of this law. Lactation accommodations should be specifically for that purpose only. It is possible for you, as an employer, to be exempt from this law if you can show that lactation accommodation will impose an undue hardship on your business because of your company size or the nature of your work. However, you must be able to prove that you’ve made reasonable efforts to comply.
In the past, it was not uncommon for employers to ask job candidates for their pay history as part of their application processes. However, AB 2282 makes it so that employers are no longer allowed to do this. It is still permissible to ask an employee about their salary expectations if you would like to use that information to determine what to offer them upon being hired.