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October 26, 2015

An Employment Year In Review: Legislative Changes of 2015

As we enter into the 4th quarter, Innovative felt it was a great time to look back and reflect on some of the legislation that went into effect in 2015.

This year brought several pieces of legislation from both the Federal Government and the State of California that had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the economy.

As you are aware, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) rolled out effective January 1, 2015. This is a very complex piece of legislation, one which they continue to revise as the impact of the law begins to play itself out. Regardless of what type of insurance you chose to adopt for you and/or your family, the one plan that is guaranteed to keep you from the penalty tax is the Minimal Essential Care (aka MEC Plan).

Another significant piece of legislation this year was AB 1522, (aka the CA Paid Sick Leave Act). This law was implemented in two phases. The first phase began on January 1, 2015 with employers being required to inform all employees of the new law. The second phase went into effect July 1, which is when employees began to accrue their paid sick leave. Sick leave is accrued at 1 hour of “SICK” pay for every 30 hours worked and can be utilized after 90 days of employment. Sick leave is NOT paid time off or vacation, and cannot be used for “personal” time, nor is the time accrued paid out once your assignment has been completed.

The last piece of legislation was initially passed in 2014, increasing the minimum wage in CA from $8.00 per hour to $9.00, with an additional increase on January 1, 2016 to $10.00 Some cities such as Los Angeles ($15/hr. by 2018), San Francisco and Oakland, CA (currently at $12.25/hr.) passed more aggressive increases in their minimum wage, all of which exceed the federal government’s minimum wage law.

These are three significant pieces of legislation to be mindful of, as either an employer or employee. It is always a great idea to remain engaged in the legislative process whether you agree or disagree. One of the many things that make the United States such a great county is that each individual has a voice, and if used properly can make a difference in the lives of many.

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