The new year is when the largest number of new state personnel regulations take effect. This year, there are many new regulations. The most widely applicable, as we see it, are these three:
1. “Ban the Box” (AB 1008)
What it does: Employers with 5 or more employees cannot inquire about criminal history before an offer of conditional employment is made. They can run criminal background checks after the offer and prior to first day of employment. However, deciding not to hire based on a criminal conviction needs to be directly job-related, and communicated in writing with the applicant given a chance to respond.
2. Parental Leave (SB 63)
What it does, in brief: Employers with 20 to 49 employees must provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave to bond with a new child. This includes children by birth, adoption or foster care. You can think of this as extending CFRA (the California Family Rights Act) to employers with as few as 20 employees.
3. Salary History (AB 168)
What it does, in brief: Employers can’t ask about salary history. If an applicant volunteers salary information, the employer may take that into consideration when deciding whether to hire the person and how much to pay them.
It remains o.k. to ask what salary they seek.
4. Immigration Protections (AB 450)
What it does, in brief: Employers cannot provide access to employee records without a subpoena or warrant. This also goes for allowing federal immigration agents access to areas of a business that are not public. There are also procedures specified when it comes to notifying employees of federal inspections of employment records, such as I-9 forms.
5. Minimum Wage
Just a reminder that as of 1/1/18, the minimum wage for employers with 25 or fewer employees increases to $10.50 per hour, while the minimum wage for employers with over 25 employees increases to $11.00 per hour.
Confused? Want to get out of the labor regulation business and back to your real work? Call Sequoia…we have solutions!