California Employment Law – Top Five New State Laws in 2018

Employment Law in California is forever growing. California Governor Jerry Brown signed several significant employment bills that took effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and many employers throughout California need to update their policies and practices accordingly. Here are the top five new California employment laws.

  • A.B. 168: Salary history inquiries
    • No longer able to ask job applicants about their current or prior earnings.
    • Must provide the pay scale for a position upon an applicant’s request.
  • A.B. 450: Immigration enforcement
    • Must demand warrants and subpoenas from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents before any enforcement activities.
    • Must provide certain notices to employees and their union representatives.
  • A.B. 1008: Ban the box
    • Employers with at least five employees can’t consider a job applicant’s criminal history until a conditional employment offer is made.
    • If the employer decides to deny employment based on an applicant’s criminal history, the employer must follow certain steps before making a final decision.
  • S.B. 63: New parent leave
    • Small businesses with 20-49 employees will have to provide 12 weeks of job-protected baby bonding leave within the first year following a child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement. This includes the following available leaves:
    • California Fair Employment & Housing Act’s (FEHA) Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) law
    • California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
    • Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) *Federal
    • California’s New Parent Leave Act
  • S.B. 396: Gender identity and sexual orientation harassment training
    • Sexual harassment training is already required for employers with 50 or more employees. That will soon need to include training on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation harassment.
    • Employers need to post transgender rights notice in the workplace.

Overall, this year’s legislative session seemed to continue recent California employment law trends focusing on California Equal Pay Act-related issues and immigration—as there have been new laws passed in each of these areas in the last few years.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your assigned DecisionHR Human Resources Business Partner at 1-888-828-5511.