Legislative changes have been rolling out of California, one after another, in the last few months.
If you have any employees who work in the state, you can’t afford to miss the new requirements.
Here’s a closer look at six laws, so you can keep your business in compliance:
Law #1: Salary information
SB 1162 has two provisions that make salary information more widely accessible:
First, if your business has 15 or more employees and you’re planning on hiring, you’ll need to include the pay scale for any posted positions. In addition, if current employees want to know the pay scales for their positions, all they have to do is ask for that. The pay transparency provisions kick in Jan. 1, 2023.
Second, businesses with 100 or more employees now have increased pay data reporting requirements. For example, you’ll need to include the median and mean hourly rate for each combination of race, ethnicity and sex – that’s for each job category. The pay data reports will be due to the state each year in May, starting in 2023.
Law #2: Leave related to COVID
Due to AB 152, employers with 26 or more employees will need to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave through the end of 2022. This leave kicked in Jan. 1, 2022, and would have expired Sept. 30, 2022.
Employees who are unable to work or telework for certain reasons related to COVID-19 may be able to take time off under this law. As for the total hours of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave a covered employee is entitled to, that remains 80 hours – even with the extension in effect.
Employees should be compensated at the rate of pay they would have received if they’d worked those hours.
Note: COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave is in addition to paid sick leave available to an employee under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014.
Law #3: Bereavement leave
Under AB 1949, employers with five or more employees must provide up to five days of bereavement leave to an employee whose family member dies. Keep this timeframe in mind: Bereavement leave must be completed within three months of the date of the death.
Although the bereavement leave doesn’t need to be paid, employees can choose to use available leave balances, such as paid sick leave, that your company may offer.
The legislation, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2023, is an amendment to the California Family Rights Act.
Law #4: Caring for a designated person
AB 1041 expands provisions in existing California laws. Make sure you catch these changes related to time off for employees.
First, under the California Family Rights Act, employees can take 12 weeks of leave for family care and medical leave. AB 1041 says an employee can take family and medical leave to care for a designated person who’s related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.
Second, under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, employees can take paid sick days to care for themselves or their family members. Due to AB 1041, a family member can include a designated person. Warning: The definition of “designated person” differs from what’s used in the California Family Rights Act. According to the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, it’s a person identified by the employee at the time the employee requests paid sick days.
AB 1041 takes effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Law #5: Wage garnishments
You have until Sept. 1, 2023, to prepare for the changes that SB 1477 brings.
SB 1477 alters the amount you should withhold for wage garnishments. It’ll be limited to the lesser of: 20% of the individual’s disposable earnings for the workweek or 40% of the amount by which the individual’s disposable earnings for the workweek exceed 48 times the state minimum wage.
Currently, the limit is 50% of the amount by which an employee’s disposable earnings for the week exceed 40 times the state minimum wage.
Here’s a reminder regarding the California minimum wage:
- 2022 – $15 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $14 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and
- 2023 – $15.50 per hour for all employers.
Law #6: Unclaimed property
As a result of AB 2280, companies may find some relief under the state’s Unclaimed Property Law, which forbids businesses from keeping unclaimed property and using it as business income.
AB 2280 allows the state controller to establish the California Voluntary Compliance Program. By participating in the program, businesses with unreported unclaimed property could have interest waived – and considering that the interest rate for failing to report unclaimed property is 12%, businesses may be in need of that relief.