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November 21, 2019

Employment Law Updates for 2020

Are you ready for the new California labor laws going in to effect on January 1? The new year will bring significant changes for California employers, so it’s important to stay informed and up-to-date. Here’s a quick rundown of a few highlights of California’s employment law updates.

Arbitration
Under AB 51, employers are effectively banned from requiring employees to sign an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment. The new law also prohibits retaliation against applicants or employees who refuse to sign arbitration agreements. However, AB 51 does not apply to agreements entered into prior to January 1, 2020.

Statute of limitations for discrimination and harassment claims
AB 9 extends the current period an employee has to file claims with FEHA for discrimination, harassment or retaliation from one year to three years. The one-year statute of limitations for filing a civil action after the employee files a FEHA complaint remains the same.

Contract employees and the “ABC” test
AB 5 imposes sweeping amendments to the California Labor Code and the Unemployment Insurance Code. Most significantly, the law expands the presumption that workers are “employees” unless proven otherwise, and explicitly adopts the “ABC” test for classifying independent contractors. The law does not automatically change workers’ status when it goes into effect; however, employers should evaluate their workforce and make sure their worker classifications are in compliance.

Lactation accommodation
SB 142 requires employers to provide a location, other than a bathroom, in close proximity to the employee’s work area, to express breast milk. This location must have electricity, a sink, a refrigerator, a place to sit, and a surface for a breast pump and personal items. It must also be shielded from view and free from intrusion.

Minimum wage increase
Effective January 1, 2020, the California state minimum wage will increase to $13.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $12.00 per hour for employers with fewer than 20 employees. In Los Angeles, the minimum wage will increase to $14.25/per hour for employers with 26 or more employees.

Ensuring your company is up to date with yearly changes to employment laws crucial. It is also important to know that your staffing partners are in compliance with current employment requirements. Our team at Innovative Career Resources regularly attends legal updates, are proactive in our compliance, and would love to assist with your hiring needs. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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