Employer/Employment Laws You Should Know for 2017
We provide talent consulting for clients coast-to-coast, but California is where we play most. California legislature was busy this year, passing several new employment/employer laws we think you should hear.
Make sure you and your company are in the clear:
New I9 Form
By January 22, 2017 all employers must use the new I9 Form which is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the U.S. It must be completed by the employee and employer no later than the first day of work for pay. Click Here to download the new I9 Form.
Minimum Wage Increase | SB3
Come January 1, 2017, the new minimum wage will be $10.50. In order for employees to keep an ‘exempt’ status in CA, they must earn no less than 2 times the state minimum wage for full-time employment (defined as 40 hours per week). At $10.50, the new cutoff will be $43,680 (assuming The Federal Overtime Rule , which is still pending with Federal Judge, does not pass scrutiny).
Tracking Hours Worked for Certain Exempt Employees | AB 2535
Employers don’t have to track hours worked by certain employees that are exempt from minimum wage and overtime regulations anymore. See the recently added subjection (j) in the bill, which identifies seven situations where exempt employee hours don’t need to be tracked.
Equal Pay Act Expansion | AB 1676 & SB 1063
Come January 1, 2017, the California Equal Pay Act will be expanded with these two new laws that will: Remove past salary as a legit exception to equal pay on gender, and to prevent employers from paying employees of a different race or ethnicity different ranges for substantially similar work.
“Substantially similar work” refers to work that is mostly similar in skill, effort, responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions. Skill refers to the experience, ability, education, and training required to perform the job. Effort refers to the amount of physical or mental exertion needed to perform the job. Responsibility refers to the degree of accountability or duties required in performing the job. Working conditions has been interpreted to mean the physical surroundings (temperature, fumes, ventilation) and hazards.
Juvenile Court Information Prohibited in Interviews | AB 1843
Come January 1, employers cannot ask about the employee/applicant’s arrests, convictions, or other proceedings involving juvenile court in relation to considering a hire or any employment matter.
State Sponsored Retirement Savings Program | SB 1234
Come January 1, 2017 (law passed 2012 but goes into effect ’17), employers need to either maintain a private, qualified retirement savings plan, or enable employees to make automatic contributions from their paycheck to a California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program savings account. While still pending, employers may also be required to offer information of available retirement savings programs to employees.
Workplace Smoking Prohibitions | ABx2 6
While this went into effect June 9, 2016, the smoking prohibitions now include “the use of an electronic smoking device that creates an aerosol or vapor, in any manner or in any form, or the use of any oral smoking device for the purpose of circumventing the prohibition of smoking.”
All-Gender Toilet Facilities | AB 1732
All single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment/place of public accommodation/government agency, must be identified as all-gender toilet facilities.
Notice of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Leave Rights | AB 2337
As of now, employees must be notified at the time of hire, of their rights to take protected leave when victimized by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Come July 1, 2017, AB 2337 will further require California Labor Commissioner to develop a form employees may elect to use to comply with this notice requirement.
Fair Employment and Housing Act Expansion | AB 488
FEHA’s reach is now expanded to include employees hired under a special license, specifically those with physical or mental handicaps. It provides that it is not disability discrimination to pay less than the state minimum wage to disabled employees employed pursuant to California Labor Code sections 1191 or 1191.5
Arbitration contracts | SB 1241
This law applies specifically to arbitration agreements. Any agreement entered into, on or after January 1, 2017 must not contain any provisions. Employees working & residing primarily in California can’t be required to judicially declare claims outside of California, or judicially declare claims using the law of another state even in California, as a condition of employment.
Thank you to the National Law Review & legal advisers for guidance on this update.
Note: Digital Knack does not specialize in labor law, we do specialize in helping companies employ talented people in a compliant manner.