California compliance changes are keeping business owners – and their employment law advisors and HR teams – on alert. According to a recent Society for Human Resource management presentation at the 2016 CalSHRM event, the recent employment law changes that have gone into effect in California encompass more than 175 pages of statutes. As a result, companies that do business, employ workers, or have offices in California need to stay updated on the state's compliance changes in order to avoid costly penalties. Here's a closer look at a sampling of new regulations that business owners and HR reps need to be aware of:
The Fair Pay Act
California's Fair Pay Act makes it illegal to pay men and women different wages for completing "substantially similar work." According to the guidelines, the basis of comparison doesn't have to be the same facility or even company; instead, it can be other organizations or company locations outside the state. Further, the basis of determination is a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions.
Amendments to the Family School Partnership and Kin Care Act
Under the Family School Partnership and Kin Care Act, employers with 25 or more employees must provide 40 hours per year to parents to participate in certain school activities. Expanded reasons for leave include school emergencies, finding or enrolling a child in school or daycare, and expanded protections to stepparents, foster parents, and legal guardians.
California Paid Sick Leave
California employers must provide paid sick leave to employees under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Family Act. For every 30 hours that an employee works (assuming they work more than 30 days per year), they accrue one hour of sick leave. Each year, workers can accrue up to six days or 48 hours. If a company has employees in San Francisco, they may need to consider local laws as well.
The state's minimum wage increased to $10 per hour on January 1, 2016. The minimum salary for "white collar exemptions" is now $41,600.
Expanded Sexual Harassment Training Requirements
New bills have been passed this year which expand the scope of sexual harassment training to new California employee groups, including farm laborers and janitors.
New and updated California changes are leaving many businesses concerned about the state's complex employment regulations. Businesses want to ensure they're treating workers fairly and staying in compliance with important guidelines to avoid expensive penalties, lawsuits, and more. Many business owners are opting to work with outsourced HR partners or arrange for personalized consultations to help them identify areas of risk and ensure that their policies and procedures are in line with the latest developments. Contact a trusted resource today to get a full list of the changes and policies that are impacting your business and craft a compliance roadmap that’s appropriate for your unique situation.