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Top 10 Employment Issues to Know for 2023

by | Dec 9, 2022 | Firm News |

The California legislature continues to keep employers on their toes as we march towards 2023.  Following are the top 10 Employment related issues to know and prepare for in 2023.  As always, do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions on how these laws apply to you or require further information on your obligations.

  1. Minimum Wage Increase: Effective January 1, 2023, the California state minimum wage will increase to $15.50 per hour for large and small employers.  The increase to the minimum wage causes the minimum salary for most exempt employees in California to increase to $64,480 annually and $5,373.33 per month.  The required minimum wage for the hand tool exemption is $31 per hour.
  2. Continued Expansion of Pay Transparency: The CA legislature continues to combat wage disparities by increasing pay transparency. The law requires employers, upon reasonable request, to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant applying for employment and to a current employee the pay scale for the position in which the employee is employed. The law further requires employers to maintain records of job title and wage rate history for each employee for the duration of employment plus three years after the end of employment. These records are open to inspection by the labor commissioner. Finally, employers with 15 or more employees must include the pay scale for a position in any job posting.  There are additional requirements for large employers (100+ employees) to disclose wage information to the DLSE.
  3. Bereavement Leave: Amends FEHA to require employers to provide up to 5 days unpaid bereavement leave for death of employee’s family member.
  4. Designated Person Added to CFRA and CA Paid Sick Leave: Expands class of people for whom an employee may take CFRA leave and CA paid sick leave to include a “designated person.” Under CFRA, “designated person” is defined as “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”  For purposes of paid sick leave, a “designated person” means “a person identified by the employee at the time the employee requests paid sick leave.” This definition does not require the person be related by blood, or even a family-equivalent relationship.
  5. Emergency Conditions Leave: Senate Bill 1044 makes it unlawful for employers to take or threaten adverse action against an employee for refusing to report to or leave a workplace due to a reasonable belief that the workplace is unsafe due to a “emergency condition.” An emergency condition is defined to mean either of the following: (1) Conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons or property at the workplace or worksite caused by natural forces or a criminal act; or (2) An order to evacuate a workplace, a worksite, a worker’s home, or the school of the worker’s child due to natural disaster or a criminal act.  An emergency condition does not include a health pandemic.
  6. Reproductive Health Decision Making (Eff. 1/1/24): SB 523 expands the list of protected categories under FEHA to include reproductive health decision making. Employers are forbidden from discriminating against an employee or applicant based on reproductive health decision making or to require employees to disclose information related to reproductive health decision making as a condition of employment, continued employment or a benefit of employment.
  7. California Consumer Privacy Act re: Employee: Voters approved Prop 24, the California Privacy Rights Act in 2020, which amended the CCPA and effective 1.1.23 employers covered under CPRA must comply with notice and disclosure requirements. The law applies to personal data collected on or after January 1, 2022 by any for-profit entity doing business in California that collects consumers’ personal information (or on whose behalf such information is collected) and that satisfies at least one of the following: 1) As of January 1 of the calendar year, has annual gross revenues in excess of $25 million in the preceding calendar year; 2) Alone or in combination, annually buys or sells, or shares the personal information of 100,000 or more consumers or households, or 3) Derives 50% or more of its annual revenues from selling or sharing consumers’ personal information.  If you are subject to the CCPA, then you are required to provide California employees with privacy notices that, among other things, itemize the categories of personal information collected, shared, and sold about the employee.
  8. Testing for Off-Work Cannabis Usage (Eff. 1/1/24): Amends FEHA, making it unlawful to discriminate against any person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or “otherwise penalize a person,” based on: 1) the “person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace,” or 2) an “employer-required drug screening test that has found the person to have non psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their hair, blood, urine, or other bodily fluids.”  The law exempts “an employee in the building and construction trades.”
  9. Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act: Provides various protections for fast food workers, by, among other things, establishing a “Fast Food Council” (the “Council”). Council consists of 10 members appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, and Senate Rules Committee. Members include fast food workers, their advocates, franchisees, franchisors, representatives from the DIR and Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.
  10. EEOC Issues New Mandatory Workplace Poster: Businesses with at least 15 employees need to replace their workplace discrimination poster with a new notice that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently published. You can find the new poster here: EEOC Poster.