The California minimum wage increased again on January 1, 2020. The new rate is $13.00 per hour for workers at businesses with 26 or more employees and $12.00 per hour for workers at small businesses (25 or fewer employees).
There are many different minimum wage ordinances throughout California that will trigger new minimum wage rates on July 1. The payment of accurate wages is important for employers given the aggressive wage enforcement by both the Labor Commissioner and local jurisdictions. The following chart shows minimum wages effective July 1 for these local jurisdictions. Many cities also raised their minimum wage on January 1, as did the State of California. Most jurisdictions are transitioning their minimum wage requirements and will ultimately have a single rate regardless of the size of the business.
For more information see: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_minimumwage.htm
For more information on local minimum wage ordinances see:
GOVERNANCE, RISK AND COMPLIANCE NEWS
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California Attorney General sends privacy regulations to OAL.
On June 1, 2020, the Office of the California Attorney General (OAG) submitted the final proposed regulations package for the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) to the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL). OAL has 30 working days, plus an additional 60 calendar days under Executive Order N-40-20 related to the COVID-19 pandemic, to review the package for procedural compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act. Once approved by the OAL, the final regulation text will be filed with the Secretary of State and become enforceable by law.
For more on the OAG rules see: https://oag.ca.gov/privacy/ccpa
Important Labor Legislation Continues to Move in Sacramento. While the California Legislature is operating in a unique environment looking to take action only on essential bills, there are a number of measures still moving in the process relating to employment issues in general and particularly Dynamex and COVID-19 matters, that have passed policy committees and are still alive. These include:
SB 973 (Jackson) – requires, on or before March 31, 2021, and on or before March 31 each year thereafter, a private employer who has 100 or more employees and who is required to file an annual Employer Information Report under federal law, to submit a pay data report to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) that contains specified wage information. The bill would require the DFEH to make the reports available to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) upon request. The bill would authorize the DFEH, if it does not receive the required report from an employer, to seek an order requiring the employer to comply, as specified. The bill would require the DFEH to maintain the pay data reports for a minimum of 10 years and would make it unlawful for any officer or employee of the DFEH or the division to make public in any manner whatever any individually identifiable information obtained from the report prior to the institution of certain investigation or enforcement proceedings, as specified.
This bill would also authorize the DFEH to receive, investigate, conciliate, mediate, and prosecute complaints alleging practices unlawful under discriminatory wage rate provisions currently being enforced by the DLSE. The bill would require the DFEH, in coordination with the DLSE, to adopt procedures to ensure that only one of the departments investigates or takes enforcement action in response to the same operative set of facts. Status: On Senate Second Reading as amended.
SB 1102 (Monning) – as amended May 5, requires an employer to include in their written notice to all employees, specified information required in the event of a federal or state declared disaster or emergency. The bill would prohibit an employer from retaliating against an employee for raising questions about the declarations’ requirements or recommendations. This bill would additionally require an employer to provide an H-2A employee, as described, on the day the employee begins work in the state, or begins work for another employer after being transferred, a written notice in Spanish and, if requested by the employee, in English, containing specified information relative to an H-2A employee’s rights pursuant to federal and state law. The bill would also require the commissioner to create a template, as specified, by either creating a new template or combining these requirements with an existing notification template for purposes of carrying out this requirement, including a separate section of the template listing key legal rights of H-2A workers under California Law, and to make the template available to employers in the manner as determined by the commissioner by January 2, 2021. Status: Senate Third Reading (Floor vote).
AB 1850 (Gonzalez)– as amended May 12, creates another series of exemptions from the “ABC Test” for employment classification purposes. These new amendments include professional services of a person who provides underwriting inspections, premium audits, risk management or loss control work for the insurance industry. In addition, the bill amends the so-called “business-to-business” exemption in Labor Code § 2750.3(e), as recodified as subdivision (b)(1) in AB 1850. The bill now states, “When two bona fide businesses are contracting with one another under the condition in paragraph (1), the determination of whether an individual working for a business service provider is an employee or independent contractor of the business service provider is governed by paragraph (1) of subdivision (a).” Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 1947 (Kalra) - extends the period of time within which people may file complaints with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) to within one year after the occurrence of the violations. The bill also amends Labor Code § 1102.5 to allow for the award of attorney’s fees to a successful plaintiff alleging violation of California’s whistleblower law. This latter amendment appears to be codifying the holding in Hawkins v. City of Los Angeles (2019), 40 Cal.App.5th 384. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 2043 (Rivas) – requires the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, by February 1, 2021, to adopt occupational safety and health standards for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection prevention for agricultural employers and employees. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 2092 (Rodriguez)– requires emergency ambulance providers to inform each emergency ambulance employee, upon initial employment and subsequently on an annual basis, of the employee’s right to request safety devices and safeguards, as defined, at the beginning of the employee’s shift. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 2231 (Kalra)– amends the law regarding calculation of prevailing wages for public works projects. Status: Passed Assembly. Ordered to Senate.
AB 2257 (Gonzalez) – addresses specific AB 5/Dynamex issues regarding exceptions for various freelancer/artist/musician independent contractors. This language is also in AB 1850. The bill is now an urgency measure, which will make its provisions applicable upon signature by Governor Newsom. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 2479 (Gipson)– extends the exemption from rest period requirements for specified safety sensitive positions at petroleum facilities to January 1, 2026. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 2537 (Rodriguez)– requires hospital employers to furnish and ensure that employees use the personal protective equipment (PPE) supplied to them. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 2658 (Burke) – makes it a crime for a person, after receiving notice to evacuate or leave, to willfully and knowingly direct an employee to remain in, or enter, an area closed under prescribed provisions of law due to a menace to the public health or safety. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 2992 (Weber)– prohibits an employer from discharging, or discriminating or retaliating against, an employee who is a victim of crime or abuse for taking time off from work to obtain or attempt to obtain relief. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 2999 (Low)– enacts the Bereavement Leave Act of 2020. The bill would require an employer to grant an employee up to 10 business days of unpaid bereavement leave upon the death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or domestic partner, in accordance with certain procedures, and subject to certain exclusions. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 3053 (Daly) – requires the Labor Commissioner to post the report to the Legislature regarding unpaid wages on the Labor Commissioner’s internet website. The bill would also require the Labor Commissioner to create an online portal on their internet website that would allow wage claimants to file unpaid wage claims, track those claims, and submit requested documents regarding those claims. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 3056 (Gonzalez)– establishes various wage and hour related protections for warehouse and distribution center employees. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 3075 (Gonzalez)– requires that articles of incorporation include an attestation that the filer is not affiliated, as specified, with an employer that has an outstanding judgment issued by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or a court of law for violation of any wage order or provision of the Labor Code. The bill also provides that nothing in the Labor Code regarding the Labor Commissioner’s enforcement powers precludes a local jurisdiction from enforcing local labor standards that are at least as stringent as the state standards. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
AB 3216 (Kalra) - makes a number of substantial changes to various laws relating to family leave. The amendments include providing for paid emergency leave, as defined, if a state of emergency is declared by the Governor pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act. Status: Passed Assembly. Now in Senate Rules Committee for assignment to Committee.
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