New bills signed by Governor Brown and effective January 1, 2019 include the following:
- SB 1343 – Anti-Harassment Training Requirement – The current requirement has been expanded to now include employers with 5 or more employees. Employers must provide sexual harassment prevention training as follows:
- 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and
- at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees
Training must be accomplished by January 1, 2020 and every two years thereafter.
The new law directs the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing to develop or obtain 1-hour and 2-hour online training courses on the prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace, as specified, and to post the courses on the department’s Internet Web site.
In the meantime, RMA will search out reference material for our Clients.
- SB 820 – Prohibits a Non-Disclosure clause in certain claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or harassment or discrimination based on sex, that are filed in a civil or administrative action. By enacting the training required in 1 above, we trust you never have to worry about a Non-Disclosure clause.
- AB 1976 – Lactation Accommodations – amends the existing law to provide for a private space for lactation, other than a bathroom. A temporary space is acceptable if it is:
- private and free from intrusion while an employee expresses milk
- used only for lactation purposes while an employee expresses milk, and
- the employer makes a reasonable effort to provide an employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, in close proximity to the employee’s work area, for the employee to express milk in private.
- SB 1252 – Copy of Payroll Records – Existing law already requires that employees have a right to inspect or copy their payroll records and that they must be allowed to do so within 21 days of such a request. This new law clarifies that if an employee requests a copy of the records, the employer must provide the copies (as opposed to requiring employees to copy the records themselves).
- SB 1412 – Criminal History Inquires – As you may remember, a new law was enacted in 2018 to prohibit an employer from asking about an applicant’s criminal history. Independent Escrow Companies are exempt because of the DBO’s employee reporting requirement. There has been a change to tighten the exception to “particular convictions”. Thankfully, you are still exempt, since convictions regarding controlled substances, theft, embezzlement, etc., can be defined as “particular convictions”. As a reminder, always notify a new employee that their employment is contingent on DBO and EAFC clearance. And report each new employee to DBO and EAFC within 10 days of hire. You can contact Nikki@rmacounts.com for assistance.
- Lastly, the CA minimum wage is increased to:
- $11.00 per hour for employers with 25 employees or less, OR
- $12.00 per hour for employers with 26 employees or more
Also check with your local City website for wages specific to your City: for example:
- County & City of Los Angeles – less than 25 = $12.00 per hour – increases to $13.25 on 07/01/19
- County of Pasadena – less than 25 = $12.00 per hour
- City of San Diego = $12.00 per hour
The CA minimum wage will increase a dollar ($1) each year effective each January 1st. Be prepared for it.
As a reminder, each employer must display the following posters at your location:
- CA Law Prohibits Workplace Discrimination and Harassment https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2017/06/DFEH_WorkPlaceDiscriminationHarassmentPoster.pdf
- Transgender Rights in the Workplace – applies to employers with 5 or more employees https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2017/11/DFEH_E04P-ENG-2017Nov.pdf
- Your Rights and Obligations as a Pregnant Employee – applies to employers with 5 or more employees https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2018/01/RightsObligationsPregnantEe_ENG.pdf
- Family Care and Medical Leave (CFRA Leave) and Pregnancy Disability Leave – applies to employers with 50 or more employees https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2017/06/CFRA_PregnancyLeave_English.pdf
Any required Department of Fair Employment and Housing posters must be conspicuously displayed where they can be easily seen and read by all employees and job applicants. The text must be large and legible enough to be easily read when posted.
If 10 percent or more of a company’s workforce speaks a language other than English, the posters must also be displayed in that language (or languages). DFEH provides translated posters in several languages, available in the resources section of their website.
Free copies of workplace posters can be downloaded from the resources section of their website. Or you can purchase and display an all-in-one poster from Chambers of Commerce or other private organizations.
Being an Employer is an important responsibility, being fair, transparent, and above-board in your employer-employee relationship is essential to a happy productive office.
RMA recommends a yearly review of your Employee Hand-book; make sure it reflects your current policies and legal responsibilities. You can contact Tricia Mares at Tricia@RMACounts.com for an update or to start the process of preparing an Employee Handbook and Policy Manual.
Happy New Year! All the Best to You during 2019!!