Changes in the Law: 2014 Employment Law Update

Employers beware:  California’s laws change yearly and 2014 is no exception. Looking ahead the following laws will go into effect beginning January 1, 2014.
  • Various California counties increase their minimum wage including:
    • San Francisco County: $10.74
    • San Jose:  $10.15
    • CA state minimum wage changes in July of 2014 (see below)
  • IRS Mileage Reimbursement: $0.56 (down from 56.5 cents in 2013)
  • SB 390 makes it a crime for an employer to fail to remit employee withholdings;
  • SB 435 expands the 1 hour of pay penalty under Labor Code 226.7 to include missed “recovery periods” required to prevent heat illness (this expands the meal and rest break penalties)
  • SB 666 provides suspension/revocation of employer’s business license and a $10,000 fine for retaliation against employees on the basis of citizenship and immigration status.
  • SB 292 clarifies that an employee can win a sexual harassment claim without showing the harasser was motivated by sexual desire
  • SB 288 prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who takes time off work to appear in court or be heard in any proceeding relating to their status as a victim of specified offenses (ex: domestic violence)
  • SB 530 expands the current law prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about to arrests, to prohibit asking applicants about criminal records that have been expunged, sealed, or dismissed.
  • For those employers who conduct business within San Francisco County, be aware of these county specific ordinances:
                  1. Healthy San Francisco rates have increased:
Employer Size 
(counting all employees, worldwide)
2014 Expendiure Rate
Large
All employers w/100+ employees
$2.44 per hour paid
Medium
Businesses w/20-99 employees
Nonprofits w/50-99 employees
$1.63 per hour paid
Small
Businesses w/0-19 employees
Nonprofits w/0-49 employees
Exempt from coverage
      2. San Francisco is enacting the “Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance” prohibiting caregiver discrimination. This applies to employees in S.F. who work in S.F. for an employer with 20 or more employees. Employees can make written requests for “flexible” working arrangements when needed in connection with caregiving responsibilities to which an employer must respond within 21 days.
Other changes employers should note effective July 1, 2014:
  • AB 10:  State-wide, California minimum wage increases to $9/hour (this can vary by county and effective date, see above)
  • AB 218 “Ban the Box” law prohibits public employers from asking about criminal records on employment applications.
  • SB 770 expands California’s Paid Family leave benefits program to cover time off to care for seriously ill grandparent, sibling or parent in law.
Be sure to check that your workplace posters are up to date. For California posters go to: http://www.dir.ca.gov/wpnodb.html
Be advised this list is not inclusive of all the changes in the employment arena. To learn more about the legal changes in California employment law and to ensure your business is compliant, contact Chauvel & Glatt.

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