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Governor Gavin Newsom signed several new laws that will take effect at the start of 2023. Here are 5 new laws to be aware of as we ring in the new year!

Minimum Wage Increase

California’s minimum wage will increase to $15.50. The new state salary threshold will increase to $64,480. Fast food minimum wage will increase to $22 per hour. The new law applies to “fast food chains” with 100 or more restaurants nationwide. It defines a “fast food restaurant” as establishments that provide food for “immediate consumption either on or off the premises” for customers who select and pay for items before eating, and where the restaurant prepares items in advance. The law does not apply to restaurants with table service.

Bereavement Leave

Governor Newsom also signed AB 1949, which makes Bereavement Leave a protected Leave of Absence. AB 1949 applies to all employers with five or more employees and all public sector employers. To be eligible for bereavement leave, the person must be employed by the employer for at least 30 days prior to starting the leave. Employees may take up to five days of bereavement leave upon the death of a family member, defined as including a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner or parent-in-law. Bereavement leave may be unpaid, but employees can use existing leave available to the employee (e.g., vacation, paid time off [PTO], sick leave, etc.). Bereavement Leave must be completed within three months of the family member’s death. Employers can require documentation to support the leave including a death certificate; a published obituary; or a verification of death, burial or memorial services from a mortuary, funeral home, burial society, crematorium, religious institution or government agency.

New Holidays

Effective January 1, 2023, Governor Newsom proclaimed the following holidays:

  • Monday, April 24 Genocide Remembrance Day​
  • Monday, June 19​ Juneteenth​
  • Friday, September 22​ Native American Day
  • Sunday, January 22 Lunar New Year

AB 1655 adds June 19, known as “Juneteenth,” to the list of state holidays. The bill authorizes state employees to elect to take paid time.

AB 2596, recognizes Lunar New Year as an official state holiday and allows state employees to take paid time off from work to celebrate.

AB 1801 authorizes state employees to elect to take time off with pay in recognition of “Genocide Remembrance Day.”

AB 855 establishes that California Native American Day will be a paid holiday for all statewide court employees.

Wage Transparency

SB 1162 requires businesses with 15 or more employees to include information about salary ranges for all job postings. It also gives workers the right to know the pay scale for their current position. Companies with 100 or more employees are required to submit pay data and wage history to the state by May of each year.

COVID-19 Noticing Requirements

AB 2693 extends the employer’s obligation to notify its employees about possible COVID-19 exposure in the workplace until January 1, 2024. It also allows employers to post a notice of a possible workplace exposure instead of issuing individual written notice to each employee. AB 2693 eliminates the employer’s requirement to notify the local health department.

What Employers Should Do Now

Register for Schneiders & Associates Annual Employment Law Update, 2023. New employment laws, including the 5 summarized, will be discussed on January 25, 2023 by Schneiders & Associates Partner Roy Schneider and Attorney Christopher Correa. Roy and Christopher will present the 2023 Annual Employment Law Update – an in-depth discussion and further explanation of new laws, via Zoom. Please register for this free webinar. We hope to see you there to answer all your new employment law related questions!

About the Author
Theodore J. Schneider practices in the areas of business and corporate transactions, employment law counseling, municipal and public law, real estate and land use, and homeowner associations. Ted began his legal career in 2002 when he joined the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, L.L.P. before relocating to Ventura County to join his father in practice.