The state of California passed dozens of employment laws in 2020. To navigate these upcoming changes, first you need to understand them. Here is a quick guide to seven new California employee laws.
1. AB 685: Obligations for Reporting COVID-19 Exposure
AB 685 defines an employer’s obligation to report exposure to COVID-19. There are three main components.
If an employee notifies their employer that they may have been exposed to COVID-19, the employer must notify the entire company. They must provide a safety plan for all employees.
If a company has at least three confirmed cases of COVID within two weeks, the company must notify public health agencies. They must identify the employees who are sick, and they must make the outbreak known to the public.
If an outbreak is large enough, OSHA can block entry into the company’s building. OSHA can issue a citation for violations of conduct.
2. SB 1383: Expansion of Family and Medical Leaves
SB 1383 provides 12 weeks of leave to all employees in companies with five or more workers. Employees can take leave to care for people in their home who are sick or injured. They can also take leave to be with someone who was injured during military service.
3. AB 2992: Expansion of Leave for Crime Victims
Under the California Labor Code, an employer cannot deny leave to any victim of domestic violence or sexual assault. AB 2992 expands leave to victims of any violent crime, including the immediate family of murder victims.
Employees may take leave regardless of any legal process that occurs. They may be required to verify their need for leave, but a victim advocate may vouch for them.
4. AB 2257: Defining Independent Contractors
AB 2257 modifies AB 5. AB 5 specifies that an employee is considered independent if they are self-directed and provide unique services.
AB 2257 specifies that artists, inspectors, and freelance writers are considered independent if they pass the Borello test. Referral agencies and tutoring companies are also exempt from the test in AB 5.
5. AB 979: Corporate Boardroom Diversity
AB 979 requires publicly held companies to represent disadvantaged communities within their board of directors. By the end of 2021, every publicly held company must have one board member who identifies as BIPOC or LGBTQ. By the end of 2022, large boards of directors must have multiple members from underrepresented communities.
6. AB 3175: Sexual Harassment Training for Minors
In 2018, California passed a law requiring sexual harassment prevention training for teenagers between 14 and 17. Minors and their parents must attend training before the minor can work in entertainment.
AB 3175 specifies that a parent or guardian must accompany the minor during training. The parent must certify that their child has completed training.
7. AB 1963: Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse
Mandated reporters who know about child abuse must report the abuse to authorities. AB 1963 expands “mandated reporters” to include human resources employees and adults with direct contact with children. These people face up to six months in prison if they fail to report abuse.
California Employee Laws and You
Laws adapt to an ever-changing world. California employee laws meet growing needs for expanded leave, diversity, and child safety.
AB 685 defines COVID-19 reporting obligations, while SB 1383 and AB 2992 expand leaves. AB 2257 and AB 979 empower independent workers and disadvantaged communities. AB 3175 and AB 1963 protect children from abuse.
Meet the needs of the changing workplace. QualStaff Resources has more than twenty years of experience in recruiting and managing employees. Contact us today, or call us at 858-450-4290.