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2014 New Employment Laws for California Employers

NEW EMPLOYMENT LAWS – 2014

 The following is a summary of new laws for 2014 that affect California employers operations and policies.  Unless otherwise indicated, all new legislation went into effect on January 1, 2014.  Should you have any questions about these laws, or any other employment related matters, feel free to contact Stacy Henderson at (209) 599-5003 or shenderson@thtlaw.com

1.  WAGE AND HOUR

AB 10

Raises the minimum wage from $8.00 per hour to $9.00 on July 1, 2014 and $10.00 on January 1, 2016.

AB 241

Enacts the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which will expire on on
January 1, 2017.  This law requires people who hire in-home employees as
“personal assistants” to pay overtime for hours worked in excess of 9 in one
day or 45 in one week.

SB 435

Mandates that employers not require employees to work during “recovery periods” as defined by OSHA.

AB 442

Expands the penalty issued by the Labor Commissioner for minimum wage violations to included liquidated damages to the employee.

AB 263

Imposes increased civil penalties for using the immigration law to retaliate against employees who exercise their written or oral rights under
Labor Code.  Authorizes various penalties against employers who engage in unfair immigration-related practices.

AB 1386

Allows the Labor Commissioner to file a lien on employers’ real property.

SB 462

Eliminates the right of employers who prevail in wage and hour litigation to recover attorney’s fees unless the employer proves the action was pursued
in “bad faith”.

SB 390

Creates a criminal penalty for an employer who fails to remit withholdings related to employee wages.

AB 1384

Creates a civil penalty for garment manufacturers for failure to display
name, address and registration number at the front entrance of the premises.

AB 1387

Increases bond requirements for employers in the car wash industry, but exempts an employer if it has a CBA that meets criteria.

SB 168

Provides that a company that acquires a farm contractor business in some circumstances assumes the liability for wage violations by the predecessor company.

AB 1336;
SB 54;

SB 377;
SB 776

A number of bills related to prevailing wages for employers who provide
services or construction work for government/public entities to pay
prevailing wage, which is significantly higher than minimum wage.

SB 54

Expands payment of prevailing wages to privately financed refinery
construction projects.

2. DISCRIMINATION AND RETALIATION PROTECTIONS

AB 556

Adds “military and veteran status” to the list of classifications protected
from employment discrimination under the FEHA.

SB 292

Clarifies that conduct which may constitute sexual harassment does
not need to be motivated by sexual desire.

SB 496

Expands whistleblower protection to include reports alleging a violation of
local rule or regulation.  Also protects against retaliation by employers for employees who disclose or may disclose information.

  3.  IMMIGRANT PROTECTIONS

AB 163

Prohibits employers from engaging in unfair immigration-related practices.

SB 666

Calls for disbarment of an attorney who threatens to report a litigation
witness to immigration authorities.  Also allows the state to suspend or
revoke an employers’ business license for threatening to report an
employee’s immigration status.

AB 524

Clarifies that threatening to report immigration status may make a person guilty of criminal extortion.

AB 60

Allows a driver’s license to be issued to undocumented immigrants.  This card is not an acceptable for Form I-9 verification.  (This law does not take effect until January 1, 2015, or on the date the DMV’s director executes a specified declaration, whichever is sooner).

                                                     4.  LEAVES AND BENEFITS

SB 288

Adds new protected time off for crime victims.

SB 400

Adds new protected time off and new requirements for accommodating victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and adds stalking victims to the protected class.  Mandates employers to take reasonable safety precautions to protect victims.

AB 11

Requires an employer with 50(+) employees to provide a temporary leave of absence of up to 14 days per calendar year to employees who perform emergency duties as a volunteer firefighter, reserve peace officer or emergency rescue personnel to engage in fire, law enforcement or rescue training. 

SB 770

Expands Paid Family Leave benefits to include time off to care for a seriously ill grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law.  (This law does not take effect until July 1, 2014).

——

San Francisco’s “Family-Friendly Workplace Ordinance” requires certain employers to consider employee requests for flexible or predictable work arrangements.

5.  BACKGROUND CHECKS

AB 218

Limits circumstances in which public employers may ask about criminal convictions to when the agency determines the applicant meets the minimum qualifications for the position the person is applying for.  (This law does not take effect until July 1, 2014).

 6.  WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

AB 1309

Out of state professional athletes making workers’ compensation claims in California will have to prove they worked a good part of their career for California teams or spent 20% of professional time working in California.

AB 607

Relates to death benefits for dependent children.

AB 1376

Relates to language assistance and interpreters.

SB 146

Deals with medical treatment, billing and copies of prescription.

SB 809

Involves reporting of controlled substances.

 

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