What’s New?

The List of New CA Employment-Related Laws

by D. Gregory Valenza | |

As promised, below is a list of most of the employment-related laws passed during this legislative session. We’ve edited out some of the narrow-cast or obscure ones (mostly public sector, pension-related, and local school district-related) because your eyes will cross.  But first, a few details about two important new laws that we didn’t capture in the previous posts about the new statutes taking effect.

Pay Data Reporting 

As you may recall, the EEOC had in place for a couple of years a program wherein employers required to file Form EEO-1 were required to report pay data by certain criteria. The EEOC canceled this program.  But now the California Legislature has enacted SB 973 (here) and has imposed the pay data requirement on California employers who are required to file the EEO-1 Form.  The first report is due by March 31, 2021, so get going. Here is the main part of new Government Code section 12999:

On or before March 31, 2021, and on or before March 31 each year thereafter, a private employer that has 100 or more employees and who is required to file an annual Employer Information Report (EEO-1) pursuant to federal law shall submit a pay data report to the department covering the prior calendar year, which, for purposes of this section, shall be referred to as the “Reporting Year.” The department shall make the reports available to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement upon request.
(b) The pay data report shall include the following information:
(1) The number of employees by race, ethnicity, and sex in each of the following job categories:
(A) Executive or senior level officials and managers.
(B) First or mid-level officials and managers.
(C) Professionals.
(D) Technicians.
(E) Sales workers.
(F) Administrative support workers.
(G) Craft workers.
(H) Operatives.
(I) Laborers and helpers.
(J) Service workers.
(2) The number of employees by race, ethnicity, and sex, whose annual earnings fall within each of the pay bands used by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Occupational Employment Statistics survey.
(3) For purposes of establishing the numbers required to be reported under paragraph (1), an employer shall create a “snapshot” that counts all of the individuals in each job category by race, ethnicity, and sex, employed during a single pay period of the employer’s choice between October 1 and December 31 of the “Reporting Year.”
(4) For purposes of establishing the numbers to be reported under paragraph (2), the employer shall calculate the total earnings, as shown on the Internal Revenue Service Form W-2, for each employee in the “snapshot,” for the entire “Reporting Year,” regardless of whether or not an employee worked for the full calendar year. The employer shall tabulate and report the number of employees whose W-2 earnings during the “Reporting Year” fell within each pay band.
(c) The employer shall include in the report the total number of hours worked by each employee counted in each pay band during the “Reporting Year.”
(d) For employers with multiple establishments, the employer shall submit a report for each establishment and a consolidated report that includes all employees. The report shall include the employer’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code.
HR Professionals Become Mandated Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect
Under newly enacted AB 1963 (here),  “A human resource employee” who is “designated by the employer to accept any complaints of” discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, is now required to report child abuse or neglect to authorities under the existing Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act.  This obligation will arise when the HR professional “in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment, have knowledge of or observed a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect.”  So, this new law mainly will apply to businesses where children are employed or are present in the scope of the HR professional’s duties.  Failing to report when required to do so is a crime.
To ensure that HR employees are equipped with the necessary tools, AB 1963 requires employers to provide mandated reporters “training in child abuse and neglect identification and training in child abuse and neglect reporting. The training requirement may be met by completing the general online training for mandated reporters offered by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the State Department of Social Services.”
List of Key Labor and Employment Laws Passed This Session 

Some of these have been detailed above and in previous posts.  And, as stated above, I’ve trimmed the full list down some.

AB 685 COVID-19: imminent hazard to employees: exposure: notification: serious violations (Covered in a previous post).

AB 736 – Creates a new “Professional Exemption” Category for certain instructors at “independent institutions of higher education.”   This bill relaxes the salary basis test in some circumstances.

AB 908 This bill permits issuance of work permits to students without personal appearances of the student and parent or guardian during extended school closures (COVID, e.g.).

AB 979 Corporations: boards of directors: underrepresented communities ((Covered in a previous post).

AB 1281 The Legislature extended the deadline for companies to comply with the employment provisions of the California Consumer Privacy Act until January 1, 2022.

AB 1512  Security officers: rest periods – This law, in effect until January 1, 2027, allows certain unionized security guards to take legally compliant rest periods even if they are “on call” and carry pagers. Although this statute abrogates the California Supreme Court’s Augustus v. ABM decision with respect to covered employees, it is not retroactive and does not apply to pending cases.

AB 1731 Unemployment insurance: work sharing plans  (Covered in a previous post).

AB 1867 Small employer family leave mediation: handwashing: supplemental paid sick leave (Covered in a previous post).

AB 1947 This law increases the statute of limitations for certain Labor Commissioner retaliation complaints from 6 months to one year. It also enacts attorney’s fees under Labor Code section 1102.5, the state’s general “whistleblower” law.

AB 2017 Employee: sick leave: kin care. (Covered in a previous post).

AB 2043  Occupational safety and health: agricultural employers and employees: COVID-19 response  (Covered in a previous post).

AB 2143 Settlement agreements: employment disputes (Covered in a previous post).

AB 2147 Convictions: expungement: incarcerated individual hand crews (Covered in a previous post).

AB 2257 The AB 5 replacement bill. (Covered in a previous post).

AB 2399 Paid family leave: qualifying exigency  – This bill permits payment of Paid Family Leave Benefits for “qualifying exigency” (related to service member leave).

AB 2479 Rest periods: petroleum facilities: safety-sensitive positions  – This bill extends the “sunset” period for the rest period exemption for safety sensitive positions in certain petroleum facilities until 2026. It was set to expire on 1/1/21.

AB 2537 Personal protective equipment: health care employees  (Covered in a previous post).

AB 2588  This bill ensures that “general acute care hospitals” pay for all employer-mandated training imposed on applicants and employees in positions providing for direct patient care, with exceptions contained in the statute.

AB 2658 Occupational safety and health: hazards – This law expands Cal OSHA protections to domestic service employees such as housekeepers in private homes. (Covered in a previous post).

AB 2992 Employment practices: leave time (Covered in a previous post).

AB 3364 Clarifies that military or veteran’s status are covered under the Fair Employment and Housing Act as protected criteria.

AB 3075 Wages: enforcement. This law potentially expands liability of a successor employer for previous employer’s unpaid Labor Commissioner judgments and liabilities.

SB 275  Health Care and Essential Workers: personal protective equipment  (Covered in a previous post).

SB 973 Employers: annual report: pay data  (Covered above).

SB 1384 Labor Commissioner: financially disabled persons: representation.  This law authorizes the Labor Commissioner to appoint a deputy to represent workers in arbitration proceedings involving Labor Commissioner claims.

Never Miss a Post
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide