We are only into the first quarter of 2017, and already California’s lawmakers have proposed new legislation for business owners. As of right now, the laws are still in the making, and will no doubt undergo significant changes before 2018, but our employment attorneys at Garcia & Gurney, ALC feel that you should be aware of the all the same.
Though there are several changes to California’s labor laws on the horizon, four notable ones are as follows:
SB 62 aims to expand employee leave rights, which are outlined under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Under the new law, the definition of “child” would be expanded to include adult children and children of a domestic partner. Additionally, the bill would be expanded to include people for whom leave can be taken, such as grandparents, parents, siblings, domestic partners, or in-laws. Most notable about this new bill is that it creates a specific distinction between CFRA and the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This means that the leaves for each are not allowed to run concurrently, allowing employees up to 24 weeks of leave instead of the standard 12.
Going hand in hand with the proposed expansion of CFRA, California lawmakers seek to extend paternal leave for new parents under SB 63. These changes will also apply to the new parents of an adopted child or of foster children.
Under this act, employers would be allowed to hire or retain a veteran over other qualified applicants or employees. If an employee choose to hire or retain an individual based solely on his or her veteran status, they would not be in violation of any discrimination laws.
Another significant change, AB 5, titled the “Opportunity to Work Act,” would require employers with more than 10 employees to offer additional hours to existing non-exempt staff before hiring additional employees or subcontractors. If an employer fails to do so before bringing on new hires, an employee or employees of the company could file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner or even file their own civil action lawsuit, for which their attorney’s fees would be covered.
At Garcia & Gurney, ALC, our Pleasanton employment lawyers strive to keep our clients up-to-date on the latest labor laws and proposed legislation throughout the state of California. We do this to ensure that all of their contract, policies, and procedures are in compliance with those laws and to help them mitigate the risk of lawsuits. To review your current employee documents and policies, and to start creating 2018-compliant ones, reach out to our Pleasanton employment law firm at 925-468-0400, or contact us online.