Changes to California Employment Law Effective January 2015

As discussed in our previous article, 2015 brings with it some changes to California employment law. Many feel that frequent changes result in employees unsure of what their rights are in the workplace, but the changes to California’s employment law are for the employees protection and address issues that come up repeatedly as the California State Legislature attempts to ensure that all employees are provided with a safe work environment.

If you haven’t yet considered how the changes to California’s employment law in 2015 could impact you or your job, take a minute to consider the potential ramifications. Here are a few every California employee should be aware of effective January 1, 2015:

  • Shared Liability for Employers who Use Labor Contractors
  • Wage and Hour Changes: From $9 hourly minimum to $10 as of January 1, 2016. And depending on what city you work in, you may be entitled to a higher hourly minimum.
  • Paid Sick Days Now Required
  • Discrimination Law and Training Requirements were Expanded: There is additional protection included in portions of discrimination laws for: unpaid interns and volunteers.  
  • Child Labor Laws Enhanced: Treble damages are now available and civil penalties for Class “A” violations have increased.
  • Immigration and Retaliation: Additional clarification and additions to existing make protections for employees regardless of immigration status more clear.

These new laws may impact your workplace. If you are an employee struggling with any of the above issues, please get in touch immediately to discuss what protections you are entitled to and how we can alleviate the situation. Call the employment law experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.

California Labor Law: Governor Brown’s New Law

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Assembly Bill 1897, creating new Labor Code section 2810.3. The new labor code section created by the Assembly Bill applies to almost all companies with 25+ employees that obtain or receive workers to complete work through the “usual course of business” from other businesses that provide workers (otherwise known as labor contractors). The new law makes such companies liable for three things:

  • Payment to contractor’s employees
  • Any contractor’s failure to secure appropriate workers’ compensation coverage as required
  • Compliant actions regarding occupational health and safety requirements (OSHA) in place

Companies will now have a new statutory liability. The legal contraction of labor services in regards to the new Labor Code section isn’t related to the required finding of joint/co-employment or any type of control over working conditions, the method of payment, scheduling of work hours, or the overall work site environment. Under the new law, each company is liable even if they can exhibit proof that they were not aware of violations that existed or occurred.

The new labor code law applies to workers who are completing their job in the normal course of business on site. California employees who are exempt from overtime (i.e. executive, administrative and professional employees) are excluded from the new law’s reach. There are also a few exemptions from the definition of a “client employer” who is covered under the new law: companies with fewer than 25 workers, companies who use 5 or less labor contract workers at any given time, state organizations, homeowners and home-based businesses who receive labor contract services in their homes, and companies providing transportation services. Additional limited exemptions in relation to non-profit, community organizations, unions, apprenticeship programs, motor club services, cable operators, telephone corporations, etc.

The new law will be effective as of January 1, 2015. For additional information regarding exceptions and exclusions of the new labor law, contact your southern California employment law experts at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik.