New 2016 Employment Laws
Phillip Griego & AssociatesEMPLOYMENT ADVISORY: NEW LAWS FOR 2015
Once again the California legislature and courts have been extremely busy
trying to provide additional protections for employees. This year, we've
also seen a number of citywide ordinances that will impact the wages and
benefits companies provide their employees. Employers need to be aware
of the changes, so they can modify their policies to comply with state,
federal and local laws.
The following is a quick summary of the most significant changes in the
law impacting California businesses.
Professional sports teams have an obligation to make sure
cheerleaders are classified as employees.
AB 215 places a limit on how much a Local agency can pay contract employees to
buy them out of their contracts.
Public works require payment of the prevailing wage.
Public works now defined to include concrete delivery.
State employees may now
receive travel reimbursements for short-term rentals and on line
private driver services.
Grocery Employees. Upon a change in ownership of a grocery establishment
AB 359 requires the incumbent grocery employer to prepare a list of eligible
grocery workers for a successor grocery employer, and would require the
successor grocery employer to hire from this list during a 90-day transition
period. The bill requires the successor grocery employer to retain those
employees 90 days. The new employer cannot fire those workers without
cause for 90 days. At the end of 90 days the new employer require the
successor grocery employer to consider offering continued employment to
those workers. The legislature has committed to amend this bill to exempt
grocery business who have ceased operations for at least six months. This
was accomplished in
This bill would provide
school employees taking pregnancy leave an additional 12 weeks of differential pay between their full pay
and the amount paid for substitute teachers over and above the same benefit
for ordinary sick leave.
This bill would establish
the Motor Carrier Employer Amnesty Program pursuant to which, notwithstanding any law, a motor carrier performing
drayage services may be relieved of liability for statutory or civil penalties
misclassification of commercial drivers as independent contractors if the motor carrier enters into a
settlement agreement with the Labor Commissioner, with the cooperation and consent of the Employment Development Department,
prior to January 1, 2017, whereby the motor carrier agrees to convert
all of its commercial drivers to employees.
This bill prohibits an employer or any other person from using the
E-Verify system to check the employment authorization status of an existing employee or
an applicant unless they have been offered employment except as required
by federal law or as a condition of receiving federal funds. The employer
must provide employee any notification issued by the Social Security Administration
or the United States Department of Homeland Security containing information
specific to the employee’s E-Verify case or any tentative nonconfirmation
notice. Each violation carries a civil penalty of $10,000.
This bill provides that a person shall not be excluded from receiving benefits under the
Uninsured Employers Fund or the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund based on his or her
citizenship or immigration status.
For the purposes of an action for gender violation this bill incorporates
the definition of “gender” contained in the Unruh Rights Act:
gender, includes a person’s gender identity and gender expression.
This bill expand the definition of
“public works,” for the purposes of provisions relating to the prevailing rate of per
diem wages, to include any construction, alteration, demolition, installation,
or repair work done under
private contract on a project for a general
acute care hospital.
This bill authorizes the
Labor Commissioner to investigate and, upon a request from the local entity, to
enforce local laws regarding overtime hours or minimum wage provisions and to issue citations and penalties for violations, except when the local
entity has already issued a citation for the same violation.
This bill prohibits an employer from retaliating or otherwise discriminating
against a person for requesting
accommodation of his or her
disability or religious beliefs, regardless of whether the accommodation request was granted.
This bill would provide that a
transportation network company is eligible and required to participate in the Department of Motor Vehicles’
pull-notice system to regularly check the
driving records of a participating driver regardless of whether the participating driver
is an employee or an independent contractor of the transportation network company.
Public Attorney Generals Act (PAGA) This bill would provide an employer with
the right to cure a violation of the requirement that an employer provide its employees
with the inclusive dates of the pay period and the name and address of
the legal entity that is the employer
before an employee may bring a civil action under the act. The bill would provide that a violation of that requirement shall only
be considered cured upon a showing that the employer has provided a fully
compliant, itemized wage statement to each aggrieved employee, as specified.
The bill would limit the employer’s right to cure with respect to
alleged violations of these provisions to once in a 12-month period.
AB 1509 This bill would extend the
protections against retaliation for making bone fide complaints of discrimination and other prohibited conduct
to an employee who is a family member of a person who engaged in, or was perceived to engage in, the protected conduct.
AB 1513 This bill repeals obsolete provisions of
workers’ compensation law provides piece-rate compensation calculations.
This bill would enact the
California Wounded Warriors Transitional Leave Act. The bill would grant a state officer or employee who is a military veteran
hired on or after January 1, 2016, with a military service-connected disability
rated at 30% or more by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
an additional credit for sick leave with pay of up to 96 hours for the
purpose of undergoing medical treatment for his or her military service-related
disability. The bill would require that the sick leave be credited to
a qualifying officer or employee on the first day of employment and remain
available for use for the following 12 months of employment. The bill
would prohibit this sick leave from being carried over after the 12-month period.
SB 358 The bill would prohibit an employer from prohibiting an employee from
disclosing the employee’s own wages, discussing the wages of others, inquiring about another employee’s wages, or aiding or encouraging
any other employee to exercise his or her rights under these provisions.
Garnishment Orders This bill reduces the amount of an individual judgment debtor’s weekly
disposable earnings subject to levy under an earnings withholding order
from exceeding the lesser of 25% of the individual’s weekly disposable
earnings or 50% of the amount by which the individual’s disposable
earnings for the week exceed 40 times the state minimum hourly wage, or
applicable local minimum hourly wage, if higher, in effect at the time
the earnings are payable.
This bill grants the
Labor Commissioner to enforce judgments for unpaid wages,
levy on property belonging to the judgment debtor, and makes agents acting on behalf of
the employer liable as an employer for violations of the wage and hour laws.
Disability Waiting Period This bill, beginning July 1, 2016, waives the current 7-day waiting period
for an individual who has already served the 7-day waiting period for
a previous claim when that person files a subsequent claim for disability
benefits for the same or a related condition within 60 days after the
initial disability benefit period.