Every year, California tops the list of states that enact new laws, and the majority of California’s new laws tend to involve labor and employment regulations. Some new laws, such as mandatory paid sick leave, make major changes to employer obligations. Here is a guide highlighting the new laws in 2015 affecting California’s small businesses and startups:
- Mandatory Paid Sick Leave. Starting July 1, 2015, all California employers are required to provide paid sick leave to any employee who works in California for 30 days, at an accrual rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Small business owners are allowed to limit employees’ use of paid sick leave to 24 hours or three days in each year of employment and may put a maximum on total accrual of 48 hours or 6 days. There are penalties for noncompliance.
- Harassment Training. Starting January 1, 2015, employers who employ 50 employees or more anywhere are subject to mandatory sexual harassment prevention training to all California-based supervisors to include the prevention of “abusive conduct.” Two hours of training are required every two years, and the training must take place within 6 months.
- Unpaid Interns & Volunteers. Starting January 1, 2015, unpaid interns and volunteers are entitled to protection from harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.
- Documentation from Undocumented Immigrants. Starting January 1, 2015, it will be a violation of California law for small businesses to discriminate against an undocumented immigrants that possesses an “AB 60 Driver’s License,” which will be a new type of driver’s license that will be issued to undocumented immigrants starting January 1, 2015. it will be considered national origin discrimination for employers to demand that an individual present a standard drivers license instead of this new type of license.
- Immigrant-Related Protections. Starting January 1, 2015, it will be considered a violation of California law for employers to discriminate against undocumented immigrants updating their name Social Security numbers or federal authorization documents, or threatening to file or filing a false report a complaint with any state or federal agency.
- Heat Illnesses. Starting January 1, 2015, rest periods taken due to heat illness constitute paid breaks and as hours worked.
- Child Labor. Penalties for child / minor labor law violations are much stiffer.
- Foreign Labor. Starting July 1, 206, companies must make sure that any foreign labor contractors used to recruit foreign workers are licensed, bonded, and registered, and the use of non-registered/non-licensed/non-bonded foreign labor contractors will no longer be permitted. There are penalties for noncompliance.
These are just a few of the new California laws affecting employers. If your business needs assistance with the myriad of California’s labor and wage/hour laws, AXIS Legal Counsel can help. AXIS Legal Counsel’s Business and Corporations Practice provides legal advice to numerous businesses with a variety of legal matters involving employees and labor law. We can assist in establishing compliance with California’s Employment and Wage & Hour laws, employee handbooks, leave policies, promotions, demotions, terminations, payroll matters, and other employment requirements. AXIS offers full-service legal support to businesses and companies, and can also assist your company with business formations and governance, contracts, deals, and transactions, administration & operations, risk management / insurance, labor/employment matters, intellectual property, healthcare, crisis management, directors/officers, private/data security, technology, statutory/legal compliance, and business litigation.
For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel to represent your business in connection with any legal matter, contact email@example.com or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation.