New Year, New Laws: Are You In The Know?

As each New Year dawns upon us, industry professionals and HR departments gear up for the year ahead with new updates on California labor laws and regulations. As we enter 2019, it is imperative that management and employees are well informed and educated on new updates that have already taken effect as of Jan 1st and those that will be enacted throughout the year ahead. Familiarize yourself with these updates by using resources such as the Department of Labor website or the CalChamber’s free downloadable guide. You will want to update your workplace posters and employees handbooks to reflect up-to-date information. Are you fully prepared?

Read further for a briefing on new labor laws for 2019:

Looking back on 2018, which rules and regulations were you able to implement successfully? Are your onboarding procedures inclusive of all labor laws? Find out where you can improve upon your implementation process in order to better accommodate the upcoming New Year. You want to ensure employees are educated on their rights and what is expected of them in the workplace.

For example, California’s annual state-wide minimum wage increase is now at $11.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer staff members, and $12.00 per hour for employers with a staff of 26 or more. To ensure full compliance, check your local city or county minimum wage ordinances for 2019 as they may be more than the state’s. With several bay area cities enacting a $15 minimum wage this year, you must adhere to the local government’s minimum wage regulations if they are higher. Below is a roundup of all California Labor Laws coming into effect this year, as well as the Laws you must be in full compliance with by the end of the year. Do your due diligence to review this list and research all laws and regulations that will impact your company:


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AB 1654

PAGA Liability: Construction Employers

Excludes construction employees from coverage under the state Private Attorneys General Act, if covered by a collective bargaining agreement that includes certain provisions, such as an express waiver. Remains in effect until January 1, 2028.


AB 1976

Lactation Accommodation

Amends lactation accommodation provisions to require employers to provide a location other than a bathroom to express milk.


AB 2034

Human Trafficking Notice & Training

Mandates updated notice to be posted by January 1, 2019 by numerous types of employers (public transportation, emergency rooms, hotels, rest areas, etc.). Requires training for certain mass transit employees by January 1, 2021.


AB 22829

Salary History

Amends the statewide salary history ban, adding guidance about the questions an employer may ask during an interview and when employers must disclose pay scales for positions.


AB 233410

Workplace Safety

Allows Cal/OSHA to issue recordkeeping citations for errors to logs, for up to five years. Empowers Cal/OSHA to consider enforcing electronic recordkeeping requirements if the federal agency ceases doing so.


AB 2338

Sexual Harassment Training: Talent Agencies

Requires agencies to distribute anti-harassment materials, along with information about nutrition and eating disorders.


AB 2455

Home Care Aide Registry

Authorizes disclosure of home care aide contact information to labor unions, upon request, after July 1, 2019.


AB 2587

Family Temporary Disability Insurance

Repeals the seven-day waiting period for the initial receipt of insurance benefits under the California family temporary disability insurance and the provision allowing employers to apply vacation leave to the waiting period.


AB 2610

Commercial Driver Exception to Meal Period Laws

For certain commercial drivers, requires a meal period after six hours of work, instead of five hours, if the driver is paid at 1.5 times the minimum wage and receives overtime compensation.


AB 277011

Discrimination and Harassment: References

Allows a former employer to state it would not rehire a former employee based on the employer’s determination that the former employee engaged in sexual harassment.


AB 2844

Insurance Broker Commissions

Creates rebuttable presumption that commission is lawful if compliant with other provisions and paid per written agreement.


AB 3109

Waivers of Right of Petition or Free Speech

Provides that a contract or settlement agreement provision is void and unenforceable if it waives a party’s right to testify about criminal conduct or sexual harassment committed by the other party.


AB 3247

Arbitration Agreements

Mandates that if a party to an arbitration agreement refuses to arbitrate, the court must order arbitration when petitioned by another party, unless grounds exist for rescission of the arbitration agreement.


SB 224

Harassment Liability

Amends Civil Code to impose liability on a defendant who “holds himself or herself out as being able to help the plaintiff establish a business, service, or professional relationship with the defendant or a third party,” including elected officials, lobbyists, directors, and producers.


SB 820

Non-Disclosure Agreements

Prohibits confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements that would thwart disclosure of information related to claims of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination.


SB 826

Board of Directors Membership

Mandates that publicly held corporations must have a set number of women on their board of directors, based on the number of individuals on the board.


SB 1123

Paid Family Military Leave

Amends the Family Temporary Disability Insurance Program to include time off for a servicemember to participate in a qualifying exigency related to a covered active duty.


SB 1252

Wage Record Receipt

Allows current and former employees to request a copy of their wage record that they can keep.


SB 130012

Discrimination and Harassment

Among other things, curtails an employer’s ability to utilize non-disparagement clauses and certain waivers for claims asserted under the state Fair Employment and Housing Act.


SB 1343

Sexual Harassment Training: General

Requires employers with five or more employees to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every two years thereafter.


SB 1402

Customer Liability in Labor Contracting: Port Drayage

Establishes joint and several liability for customers who use or engage port drayage motor carriers if those carriers have unpaid wages, taxes, or workers’ compensation claims.


SB 1412

Criminal History

Creates additional exemptions to the restriction on inquiring about an applicant’s prior arrest and detention record.


SB 1428

Employment of Minors

Work permits may not be denied based on grades, GPA, or school attendance for minors seeking to participate in government-administered programs during school breaks.


SB 1500

Discrimination Against Service Members

Prohibits employers from discharging or halting benefits of an employee for being a member of the military reserve or because of ordered military duty or training.


Oakland, Measure Z

Hotel Worker Protections

Amends Oakland municipal code to raise minimum wage for covered hotel employees, require employers to provide panic buttons, and limit mandatory overtime, among other items. Minimum wage increase takes effect in 2019, with potential regulations and enforcement mechanisms likely by 2020.


AB 37513

Consumer Privacy

Allows a consumer to request a business disclose the personal information it collects, the categories of sources that collect the information, the business purposes for collecting or selling the information, and the categories of third parties with which the information is shared.


SB 97014

Human Trafficking Training: Hotels and Motels

Requires hotels and motels subject to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to provide at least 20 minutes of training regarding human trafficking awareness to each employee likely to interact or come into contact with victims of human trafficking.


SB 1121

Consumer Privacy

Amends the new California Consumer Privacy Act (AB 375, above) to allow consumers to recover damages from a business if the business does not use reasonable security procedures to protect confidential information, and a breach occurs.