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CALIFORNIA EMPLOYER REQUIREMENTS - EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022
January 2, 2022
by Laura Prince, Founder and CEO
Happy New Year!
Please take note of the below California laws that took effect on January 1, 2022. I also wanted to take this opportunity to let you know we offer payroll services and human resources services on a flat rate basis. If you need assistance with payroll or human resources (onboarding, employee manuals, etc.), please contact us!
MINIMUM WAGE AND MINIMUM SALARY EMPLOYER REQUIREMENTS
Employers need to review the base salary for all exempt employees to ensure the employees meet the salary required to be exempt. To be exempt from the requirement of having to pay overtime to the employee, the employee must perform specified duties in a particular manner and be paid “a monthly salary equivalent to no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment.” (Lab. Code, § 515, subd. (a).)
With the increase in the state minimum wage on January 1, 2022, the equivalent of two times the minimum wage of $14 per hour for small employers (25 employees or less) equals $58,240 per year ($1,120 per week), and two times the minimum of $15 per hour for large employers (26 employees or more) equals $62,400 per year ($1,200 per week) to qualify for the white collar exemptions.
It is important to note that the salary basis test is set according to the California state minimum wage, not the applicable minimum wage that may apply in the various local city and counties in California.
UPDATE EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS TO COMPLY WITH AB 1033
AB 1033 passed in 2021 and takes effect on January 1, 2022, adds parents-in-law to the definition of “parent” for purposes of qualifying leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). As a reminder, effective January 1, 2021, SB 1383 took effect that requires employers with 5 or more employees to comply with the CFRA. Employers with as few as five employees must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid job protected leave during any 12-month period for certain covered reasons. In addition, the definition of family members covered under the CFRA was expanded under SB 1383 so that it no longer just includes a spouse, a parent or a child, but employees can take leave to care for grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, or domestic partners with a serious health condition. Employers should review their CFRA policies to ensure compliance with these recent changes.
NEW HIRE PACKET REQUIREMENTS
California employers are required to provide certain information and forms to new hires. For example, California employers are required to provide non-exempt employees with certain information upon hire as required by the Wage Theft Protection Act. The law became effective in 2012 and is codified at Labor Code section 2810.5. Many employers use the Labor Commissioner’s template (available here) to meet their legal requirement, and will pre-populate the items in the form that do not change from employee to employee, lessening the information required to be completed on the form for each employee.
AB 331 was approved by the Governor on October 7, 2021, and its provisions applies to employment agreements (specifically severance agreements, settlements agreements, or a release of claims) entered into on or after January 1, 2022. AB 331, known as the “Silenced No More Act,” amends Code of Civil Procedure Section 1001 and prohibits settlement agreements filed in “a civil action” or a complaint in “an administrative action” from preventing the disclosure of factual information related to the claim. This applies to claims for sexual harassment, as well as workplace harassment, discrimination, or retaliation based on any other protected characteristic under California law.
AB 331 also prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign an agreement (a nondisparagement agreement or any other document) that would restrict the employee’s ability to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace.
The law also requires the following disclosure in an agreement that contains a non-disparagement provision or any other restriction on the employee’s ability to disclose information related to workplace conditions: “Nothing in this agreement prevents you from discussing or disclosing information about unlawful acts in the workplace, such as harassment or discrimination or any other conduct that you have reason to believe is unlawful.”
In terms of separation/severance agreements, the new law requires employers to notify the employee that they have at least five days to consider the agreement and that they have a right to consult an attorney. The employee may sign the agreement prior to the expiration of this five-day period.
TAKE A STAND AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN YOUR COMMUNITY
June 24, 2021
by Laura Prince, Founder and CEO
I am extremely saddened by the senseless murder of a woman in my community. On Monday, June 21, 2021, Vita Joga, was shot and killed while working her shift at a local restaurant, House of Oliver . Although, I did not know Vita personally, I have been to House of Oliver many times to support the business owner and restaurant during the pandemic and Vita was always a great server and had a contagious joyful spirit. She will be greatly missed by the community, her co-workers, family, and friends. With that being said, Vita was a victim of domestic violence and had filed a restraining order against her ex-fiancé whose name I will not give recognition to. I think we can all agree that domestic violence victims are not protected as they should be. In this case, the perpetrator was out on bail from a previous domestic violence arrest that occurred at the same restaurant where he killed Vita this last Monday. This should not have happened.
The reason for my posting is that I want to make sure victims of domestic violence are aware that OnDemand Legal Solutions, LLC offers NO COST and LOW COST assistance with preparing Requests for Restraining Orders. Please contact us if you are a victim of domestic violence and you need help with this process. We must take a stand against domestic violence. All inquiries will remain confidential.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ASSEMBLY BILL 2138 ("AB2138")?
August 20, 2020
by Laura Prince, Founder and CEO
AB2138 was signed in 2018, however just became effective July 1, 2020. Californians with past criminal convictions seeking a professional license will have an easier time doing so. This law removes barriers for close to 8 million California workers with criminal records seeking vocational and professional licenses. The new bill will apply to 42 California licensing boards under the California Department of Consumer Affairs, including the Bureau of Cannabis Control, CalCannabis Cultivation, and the Manufactured Safety Branch for commercial cannabis licensing.
Before AB2138, if an individual was convicted of a crime, licensing boards could revoke, deny or suspend a license at their complete discretion without regard for any established guidelines. Now there are protections in place for licensees if their convictions occurred outside of the seven-year window, or if they were unrelated to the licensee’s job functions.
Additionally, with AB2138, license applicants are no longer required to self-disclose the details of their prior criminal history before their California Department of Justice background check. Self-disclosure on applications has previously been advised but has been debated by some as an unfair trap as it could cause an applicant’s license to be automatically denied. Formerly, the law authorized a board to deny a license on the grounds that an applicant knowingly made a false statement of fact that is required to be revealed in the application for licensure. The new law prohibits a board from denying a license based solely on an applicant’s failure to disclose a fact that would not have been cause for denial of the license had the fact been disclosed.
As of July 1, 2020, in order for a licensing board to deny, suspend, or revoke a license based on a criminal conviction, that conviction must be “substantially related” to the qualifications or duties required by the license or profession. A licensing board may still consider convictions older than seven years if they fall under the following categories: any serious felonies per California Penal Code Sec. 1192.7, convictions requiring sex offender registration per California Penal Code sections 290(d)(2) or (d)(3), and for certain licenses, financial crimes “directly and adversely” related to certain occupations.
With occupational licensing being a prerequisite to obtaining a business license for almost 200 jobs in California, this newly enacted law has a wide-reaching effect.
Contact us today if you need help forming your business, applying for a business license, business operating permit, or commercial cannabis license. Let us focus on the administrative paperwork so that you can focus on your business.