Governor Brown signed 859 bills at the California Legislature’s 2017 session. California employers should be aware of several new laws that will materially affect their businesses. Here is a summary of some of the most significant new employment laws coming in 2018:
The New Parent Leave Act (SB 63)
Employers will be required to provide up to 12 workweeks of unpaid parental leave for an employee to bond with a child, and to continue the employee’s group health insurance coverage during this period. Businesses with 50 or more employees have already had this requirement under the California Family Rights Act. This new law will apply to businesses with as few as 20 employees.
The Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450)
Employers will be required to verify that federal immigration enforcement agents have a judicial warrant prior to entering the workplace. Employers are prohibited from allowing federal immigration enforcement agents to enter their business without a warrant. Employers must also provide notice to employees if there has been a request to review the employer’s Form I-9s.
Ban-the Box for Criminal History (AB 1008)
Employers with five or more employees will be prohibited from asking about criminal history information on job applications and from inquiring about, or considering, criminal history at any time before a conditional offer of employment has been made to the applicant. Further, the bill requires an employer who makes a preliminary decision to deny employment based on criminal history to provide the applicant written notification of the decision, and grant the applicant 5 business days to respond to that notification before the employer makes a final decision. Employers will need to carefully review and update their employment applications and hiring processes.
Prior Salary History Prohibition (AB 168)
Employers cannot ask about the salary history of an applicant or use an applicant’s prior salary history as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to an applicant, or in determining what salary to offer an applicant. In addition, employers are required to provide the pay scale for a position upon demand to any applicant applying.
Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training and Posting Requirement (SB 396)
Employers with 50 or more employees must expand the mandatory supervisor sexual harassment prevention training to also include training and education on harassment based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. Employers will be required to post a poster developed by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing regarding transgender rights in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace.
If you would like more information on new employment laws that will affect your business in 2018, contact Schneiders & Associates, L.L.P. and enroll in the 2018 Employment Law Update to be held in Ventura, California. This important seminar will cover all the new employment laws that will take effect in 2018.