2018 California Employment Law Updates

2018 New Employment Laws. Numerous laws impacting employee rights in California go into effect this year. Be sure you are aware of the changes.

Salary  History

In a move to bring greater equality in compensation between the sexes, a new law prohibits employers from considering an applicant’s salary history when determining employee wages.

Minimum Wage

Each state has its own laws regarding minimum wage. The state of California’s minimum wage increased by $0.50 beginning on the first day of the year. Employers with more than 25 employees will need to pay workers at least $11.00 per hour this year. Employers with 25 or fewer employees are only required to pay $10.50 per hour in 2018. Other minimum wage increases are scheduled for each year between 2019-2022. California cities may have different minimum wage rates, over and above the State minimum. For example, the minimum wage in Los Angeles is $12.00, and will increase to $13.25 this summer.

Parental Leave Law

If you work for an employer that employs between 20-49 people, a new parental leave law may give you the right to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. The law applies equally to natural parents and parents who are adopting or welcoming a foster child into their home. Several factors must be met in order to qualify for the leave:

The employee must have worked for the employer for a minimum of one year prior to taking the leave of absence.

The employee must have worked a minimum of 1250 hours for the employer within the last year.

The employee must work at a job site where there at least 20 other employees working for the same employer within 75 miles.

Parents can take this leave within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. As long as the leave is taken within the one-year timeframe, it is protected leave under the new law.

Ban the Box

This law prohibits employers of five or more employees from including questions about an applicant’s criminal record on a job application. It also prevents employers from asking an applicant about their criminal history throughout the interview process. The topic cannot be discussed until after an offer has been made. If, after an offer is made, an applicant is determined to have a criminal history that is incompatible with the position offered, an employer can withdraw the job offer. If an employer decides to revoke an offer of employment, it must notify the applicant of their decision as soon as possible, explain its decision, include a copy of the conviction report, and outline how the applicant can respond to the revocation. The applicant then has the right to respond within five days—the employer’s decision is not final until this five-day period has passed. This gives applicants the chance to explain why their convictions should not be used to preclude them from the employment sought.

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