As we begin the new year, it is important for employers to stay up to date on laws affecting them and their businesses. There are many new laws affecting employers, most of which have been in effect since January 1st, 2016. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Minimum Wage

As of January 1, 2016, California’s minimum wage increased from $9 per hour to $10 per hour.

2. Paid Sick Leave

As of July 1, 2015, employers must provide at least three paid sick days to all employees (part-time, full-time, exempt, and non-exempt). (Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, Assembly Bill No. 304)

3. School Activities Leave

 Amendments to School Activities Leave allows employees to take time off to find and enroll their children into school (or child care provider). The amended code will extend protections to employees who are stepparents or foster parents. This law applies to employers with 25 or more employees. (Senate Bill No. 579)

4. Gender Wage Equality

Amendments to the Fair Pay Act prohibits employers from paying employees less than employees of the opposite sex for “substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.” Any wage differences must be affirmatively shown by the employers to be based entirely and reasonably upon any of the following: seniority, merit systems, or other bona fide factors coupled with a showing of “business necessity.” (Fair Pay Act)

5. Piece-Rate Workers

Employers are required to pay piece-rate workers for rest and recovery periods and other non-productive time at specified minimum hourly rates. This compensation is separate from piece-rate compensation and specific information on the total hours of compensable rest and recovery periods must now be included on a piece-rate worker’s pay stub. (Assembly Bill No. 1513)

6. Labor Commissioner Enforcement of Judgment

Labor Commissioner may enforce a judgment or nonpayment of wages by directly issuing levies and liens on an employer’s property. (Senate Bill No. 588)

7. E-Verify

California employers may use E-Verify to check employment authorization status of a person who has been offered employment. However, employers may not check employment authorization status of existing employees. The penalty for such violation is $10,000. (Assembly Bill No. 622)

Amity Law Group, LLP specializes in employment law and offers services in English, Chinese, and Vietnamese in all areas of Southern California, including Alhambra, City of Industry, Diamond Bar, Los Angeles, Monterey Park, Pasadena, Rosemead, San Gabriel, Long Beach, Orange County, Huntington Beach, Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Fullerton, Costa Mesa, and beyond.

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