New Employment Laws for 2015

New Employment Laws for 2015

The governor has signed or vetoed many employment related bills from the 2014 legislative session. In a busy year, Governor Brown signed 930 of the 1,074 bills presented to him this year.

As anticipated, the 2014 session produced new laws that will affect California employers’ day-to-day operations and policies in 2015. Some of the new laws, such as mandatory paid sick leave, make significant changes to existing state law. Other new laws make small changes to different parts of existing law or may only affect employers in specific industries.

Unless specified, all new legislation goes into effect on January 1, 2015.

Leaves of Absence

Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Protections

    • AB 1443 expands harassment protections for unpaid interns and volunteers.
    • AB 1660 prohibits discrimination against those who hold a special driver’s licenses for undocumented persons.
    • AB 2751 expands immigration-related protections.
    • AB 1792 prohibits discrimination against public assistance recipients.
    • AB 2053 requires employers subject to mandatory sexual harassment training to include a component on the prevention of abusive conduct.
    • SB 1087 requires specific sexual harassment training requirements for farm labor contractors.

Wage and Hour

    • AB 1897 increases liability for employers that contract for labor; holds the employer liable for wage and hour violations of the labor contractor.
    • SB 1360 clarifies that recovery periods taken pursuant to heat illness regulations are paid.
    • AB 1723 and AB 2743 relate to waiting time penalties.
    • AB 2751 clarifies existing protections for complaints under the labor code.
    • AB 2074 expands the timeframe for recovery of liquidated damages for minimum wage violations.
    • AB 2288 increases remedies for child labor law violations.
    • SB 477 is noteworthy for employers that use foreign labor contractors to recruit foreign workers for California assignments.
    • A number of bills relate to prevailing wages.

Background Checks

    • AB 1650 limits when contractors who bid on certain types of state contracts can seek information from applicants concerning criminal history.
    • AB 1852 requires a business that provides services to minors to provide information to parents or guardians regarding the business’s criminal background check practices.

Workplace Safety

    • AB 1634 amends the Cal/OSHA provisions relating to penalties for failure to abate safety hazards.
    • AB 326 allows for email of certain workplace safety reports.
    • SB 1299 requires workplace violence prevention plans for specified hospitals.

Workers’ Compensation

    • Several bills make changes to workers’ compensation law.

Unemployment Insurance

    • AB 1556 revises certain UI eligibility standards for unemployed individuals enrolled in education and training programs.
    • SB 1083 will allow physician assistants to certify an employee’s disability for UI purposes beginning in 2017.
    • SB 1314 makes changes to specified timelines in the UI appeal process.

Health Care

    • SB 1034 changes California waiting period limitations to conform to the ACA.

Source: HR California Extra

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