Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New California Employment and Labor Laws to Watch Out for in 2014

The year 2014 is just around the corner, and as it is, everyone in the workforce, both employers and employees, are expecting changes in the California employment and labor. New laws signed by Calif. Governor Jerry Brown will be made effective next year, and as such, employers would have to make the necessary changes in their employment handbooks, as well as in their practices and policies.

Here is the list of some of the notable employment and labor laws in California to watch out for in 2014:


•    Assembly Bill 10. This bill was signed September 25 of this year, which would raise the state’s minimum wage from the current per-hour rate of $8.00 to $9.00 on July 1, 2014. By Jan. 1 2016, the minimum wage would increase once again, this time to $10.00. This bill, however, has been met with criticisms, especially from some businesses in California.

•    Senate Bill 770. This bill expanded the Paid Family Leave program of qualified California workers. Before the law, employees who took time off to take care of a child, spouse, parent or domestic partner with a serious illness, or to bond with an adopted or foster child can collect state disability insurance. The new law, which will be made effective July 1 next year, would include taking care for seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws.

•    Senate Bill 496. This newly-signed bill would protect workers from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation for reporting local law violations.

•    Assembly Bill 218. Signed into law October 10, this bill states that local and state government agencies searching for potential employees are now prohibited from asking applicants regarding their criminal convictions. Here, agencies may still ask for the prospects’ criminal background, so long as the former determine the minimum employment qualifications.

•    Assembly Bill 263. This newly-signed bill would protect employees against unfair employer practices related to immigration, especially if they exercise their rights that are protected under the state’s Labor Code. Here, covered employers are not allowed to threatening employees in contacting immigration authorities when the latter complains about certain employer violations.

With these new laws taking into effect in 2014, employees can expect stronger protections against discrimination and other unfair employment practices, as well as be made aware of the changes in the realm of California labor. Meanwhile, an employee who thinks his or her employer violated any provisions in any of these new laws may consult with an expert Los Angeles employment lawyer.