Over the course of 2021, California’s legislature passed several pieces of employment-related legislation that take effect with the new year and may impact your business, regardless of size or industry. We have highlighted the key points below, with data referenced from California Legislative Information. We invite you to contact the KVK team with any questions about this legislation and how it may apply to you.

 

Wage & Hour

 

SB-3: Minimum Wage Increase

 

  • As of January 1, 2022, the minimum wage for all industries employing 26 or more employees will increase to $15 an hour, and $14 an hour for employers employing 25 or fewer employees.
  • After the state minimum wage reaches $15 an hour for all employees, the rate will be adjusted annually for inflation based on the national consumer price index (“CPI”) for urban wage earners and clerical workers.
  • Frequently asked questions regarding the minimum wage increase can be found here.

 

AB-1003: Wage Theft: Grand Theft

 

  • An employer’s intentional wage theft in an amount greater than $950 from any one (1) employee, or $2,350 aggregately from two (2) or more employees, in any consecutive twelve-month (12-month) period, is punishable as grand theft.
  • Wages, gratuities, benefits, and other compensation may be recovered by an employee as restitution.
  • An independent contractor qualifies here as an employee, and its hiring entity qualifies as an employer.

 

AB-286: Food Delivery Personnel Keep Tips

 

  • A food delivery platform may not charge a customer a purchase price higher than that posted on the platform’s website by a food facility at the time of order.
  • A platform must pay any tip or gratuity to the delivery person (for delivery orders) or to the food facility (for pickup orders).
  • A platform must disclose cost breakdowns for each transaction, with certain exceptions.
  • The provisions of this bill are severable.

 

AB-701: Warehouse Distribution Centers: Production Quotas

 

  • Certain employers must provide a nonexempt employee working at a warehouse distribution center written descriptions of each quota the employee is subject to, either upon hire or within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this bill.
  • An employee is not required to meet a quota preventing compliance with meal or rest periods, using bathroom facilities, or occupational health and safety laws.
  • An employer may not retaliate against an employee for failing to meet an undisclosed quota or a quota that does not allow workers to comply with meal or rest periods or occupational health and safety laws.
  • If a current or former employee asserts a quota violated his or her rights under this bill, he or she may request a written description of each applicable quota and a copy of the most recent ninety (90) days of personal work speed data, which the employer must provide.
  • The Labor Commissioner must enforce these provisions in collaboration with the Department of Industrial Relations, including the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) and the Division of Workers’ Compensation.

 

ASB-657: Employment Electronic Postings & NoticesB-468: Emotional Support Animals

 

  • Where an employer must physically post information, it may also distribute that information to employees by email with the information attached as a document (note that an employer must still physically display the required posting no matter what).

 

Workplace Safety

 

SB-606: Workplace Safety

 

  • A workplace safety violation by an employer with multiple worksites is rebuttably presumed enterprise-wide if the employer has a written policy or procedure that violates workplace safety, or there is evidence of a pattern or practice of the same violation involving multiple worksites.
  • Cal/OSHA must issue a citation for an egregious violation, defined by evaluating several factors.
  • Certain state agencies are exempted from the rebuttable presumption, enterprise-wide citation, and egregious violation citation provisions of this bill.
  • Cal/OSHA may issue an investigatory subpoena if an employer fails to promptly provide requested information, and may enforce the subpoena if the employer fails to provide requested information in a reasonable time period.

 

COVID-19

 

SBAB-654: Clarifying Employers’ Notification, Benefits & Disinfecting Requirements After COVID-19 Exposure-331: Non-Disclosure Agreements

 

  • Renewable natural gas delivery is added to the list of utilities certain Cal/OSHA COVID-19-related operational prohibitions are not allowed to materially interrupt.
  • An employer, with certain exceptions, must provide notice of a COVID-19 outbreak to the local public health agency within forty-eight (48) hours or one (1) business day, whichever is later, with this provision being repealed on January 1, 2023.
  • This bill takes effect immediately as an urgency statute.

 

Blog by Patrick Babajanian, December 28, 2021

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