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What’s New for Employers in 2018: California Legislative Update

Another new year, and another new set of employment laws that will affect California employers.  Below is an overview of some of the significant new laws that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018.

State-wide “Ban-the-Box” Law:

  • The new “ban-the-box” law will apply to California employers with 5 or more employees.

  • Covered employers may not (1) include a question about an applicant’s criminal conviction history on an employment application; or (2) otherwise inquire about an applicant’s criminal conviction history at any time before making a conditional offer of employment.

  • Once a conditional offer of employment is made, and a criminal conviction background check is undertaken:  Employers who consider rejecting an applicant due to his or her conviction history must follow a specific process before making their final hiring decision, including notifying the applicant of their preliminary decision in writing and providing the applicant with at least 5 business days to respond before rejecting an applicant based on a criminal conviction.

NOTE:  All current background check laws must be followed, in addition to this new “ban-the-box” law.

No Consideration of Salary History:

  • All California employers will be prohibited from directly, or indirectly, asking job applicants about their wage/salary history, or from relying on applicants’ salary histories as a factor in their hiring decision and/or in determining what salary to offer applicants.

  • Employers must provide the pay scale for a position upon an applicant’s “reasonable request.”

  • The new law will not prohibit applicants from voluntarily, and without prompting, disclosing their own salary history.

New Parent Leave:

  • The new law will apply to California employers with 20 to 49 employees.  (Employers with 50 or more employees already have this parent leave obligation.)

  • Employees who have worked at least a year for the company and at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding the request for leave will be eligible for leave.

  • Covered employers must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to eligible employees within one year of their child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement, must guarantee reinstatement at the end of leave into their former position, and must continue to provide health insurance benefits during the leave.

Immigration Worker Protection Act:

  • Under the new law, employers will generally be prohibited from allowing immigration enforcement agents into non-public areas of the workplace without a warrant.

  • Employers will also be generally prohibited from providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to access, review, or obtain employee records without a subpoena or judicial warrant.

  • Employers who violate the new law will be subject to civil penalties.

Revision to Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training for Supervisors:

  • For those employers required to provide harassment prevention training to their supervisors, the training must include information on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation harassment.

    For more information about any of these new laws and their implications for employers, please contact the shareholders at Simpson, Garrity, Innes & Jacuzzi, P.C. - Paul V. Simpson, Ronald F. Garrity, and Marc L. Jacuzzi. 

What You Need to Know in 2019 Series: California's...
Issue 1 - 2018 Newsletter

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