New Laws in 2023 – What Employers Should Know
Starting January 1, 2023, California employers should be aware of a number of new employment-related laws. A summary is as follows, feel free to reach out to one of the attorneys you work with at Schwartz Semerdjian to discuss your workplace and any potential need to update any policies or handbooks because of these changes.
FOR ALL EMPLOYERS the following changes are ahead.
The definition of “family member” for whom employees can use their paid sick leave time to care for has been expanded to include any “person identified by the employee at the time the employee requests paid sick days.” This means an employee can use paid sick leave time to care for more individuals than before, but employers can limit an employee to one such “designated person” per 12-month period for paid sick days.
Employers cannot rely on the salary history information of an applicant for employment as a factor in determining whether to offer employment to an applicant or what salary to offer an applicant unless the applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses salary history information. This new provision expressly states, “Nothing in this section shall prohibit an employer from asking an applicant about the applicant’s salary expectation for the position being applied for.”
If a current employee asks, employers will be required to provide “the pay scale for the position in which the employee is currently employed.” The law defines pay scale as the salary or hourly wage range that the employer reasonably expects to pay for the position. Employers must maintain records of a job title and wage rate history for each employee for the duration of the employment plus three years after the end of the employment and allow the Labor Commissioner to inspect upon request.
While employers with at least five employees are already required to either sponsor a qualified retirement plan or register for CalSavers, employers with 1-4 employees (other than the owner) can register with CalSavers starting on January 1, 2023. Such employers have until December 31, 2025, to register their business.
FOR EMPLOYERS WITH AT LEAST FIVE EMPLOYEES the following changes are ahead.
Employees can use California Family Rights Act leave to care for “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.” This means an eligible employee can also use CFRA leave to care for more individuals than before. Employers can limit an employee to one such “designated person” per 12-month period for family care and medical leave.
Bereavement leave is now a protected leave of absence. Employees must be permitted to take up to five unpaid days of bereavement leave within 3 months of the death of a family member, defined as including a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner or parent-in-law. To be eligible for bereavement leave, the person must be employed by the employer for at least 30 days prior to starting the leave. Bereavement leave may be unpaid, but employees can use existing leave available to the employee (e.g., vacation, paid time off, sick leave, etc.).
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act has been amended to make it unlawful to discriminate against an employee or job applicant based on their “reproductive health decision-making,” which includes, but is not limited to, a decision to use or access a particular drug, device, product or medical service for reproductive health. This act has also been amended to make it unlawful starting January 1, 2024, to discriminate against an employee or job applicant based on the person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace.
FOR EMPLOYERS WITH AT LEAST FIFTEEN EMPLOYEES the following change is ahead.
Employers and any third party that they hire to announce, post, publish, or otherwise make known a job posting must include the pay scale for the position in any job posting. For additional information click here.
FOR EMPLOYERS WITH AT LEAST ONE HUNDRED EMPLOYEES the following change is ahead.
As part of the next and future annual pay data report to the California Civil Rights Department (due May 10, 2023), in addition to reporting the number of employees by race, ethnicity and sex in 10 job categories and by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Occupational Employment Statistics survey pay bands, California employers must report the “median and mean hourly rate within each job category, for each combination or race, ethnicity, and sex in the report.” The law also requires separate pay data reports from employers with 100 or more employees hired through labor contractors within the prior calendar year. For additional information click here.