Employer Compliance – New California Employment Laws for 2014
by Sue M. Bendavid
Most employers already heard: California’s hourly minimum wage will increase in July, from $8.00 to $9.00 per hour for most cities in the state.
What employers may not know though, is that this increase will affect more than just hourly non-exempt employees. For more details, please read, What the Minimum Wage Hike Means for Employers.
The wage increase also means employers should update the Minimum Wage Poster mandated for all employers, which should in turn, remind everyone to update all notices required by various state and federal governing agencies. By way of example, see a list of workplace postings as stated on the CA Department of Industrial Relations website.
California’s New Laws for Employers
The legal landscape in this area constantly evolves, and it rarely benefits the employer. Consider these new California Assembly and Senate Bills:
- The Labor Commissioner can create a lien on an employer’s property for amounts due under a Labor Commissioner order, decision or award: AB 1386.
- Employers may recover attorneys’ fees only if a court finds that an employee claimant filed a lawsuit in bad faith: SB 462.
- Penalties for failure to pay minimum wage have been expanded – an employer will now pay liquidated damages to the employee in addition to existing penalties: AB 442.
There are many more that involve protecting whistleblowers and military veterans. Other laws affecting specific industries like agriculture, garment workers, employees in the car wash industry and those who pay piece-rate wages also went into effect. Domestic workers now have a Bill of Rights to cover those who offer private child or elder care and other services.
Also consider the new bills that expand leaves of absence: Victims of certain crimes including stalking must be given time off. Certain employers will need to afford time off for workers to train for emergency duty, to care for elder or young family members and in-laws.
These will be discussed during our in-person Employment Law Update. But if you have questions, contact us for help in staying compliant: 818.907.3220.
Sue Bendavid represents employers in employment-related litigation and all claims made by employees or governing agencies. Contact her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.