New Laws for CA Employers Effective July 1, 2018

Minimum Wage Goes Up…Again

San Francisco’s minimum wage is now $15.00 per hour. Makes sense though…it’s expensive to live there.

LA (both the city and the county) is now at $13.25 per hour for those with 26 or more employees, $12.00 if they are under 26.

El Cerrito = $13.60

Emeryville = $15.00

Milpitas = $13.50

Richmond = $11.91 (if you have benefits)/$13.41 (if you do not)

San Leandro = $13.00

Santa Monica Hotel Workers = $16.10/hr for hotels with 150 rooms

The rest of California…you’re staying the same until January 2019 ($11.00/hr 26 employees+, $10.50/hr 25 employees or less).

National Origin Protected Class – Further Defined

CA’s FEHC (Fair Employment Housing Council) have clarified what the “national origin” protected class is. The regulations set forth that “national origin” includes, but is not limited to, the individual’s or ancestors’ actual or perceived:

  • physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics associated with a national origin group; marriage to or association with persons of a national origin group;
  • tribal affiliation;
  • membership in or association with an organization identified with or seeking to promote the interests of a national origin group;
  • attendance or participation in schools, churches, temples, mosques, or other religious institutions generally used by persons of a national origin group; and
  • name that is associated with a national origin group.

The regulations also define “national origin groups” to include, but are not limited to, ethnic groups, geographic places of origin, and countries that are not presently in existence.

“English Only” Policies No More

Employers can no longer adopt or enforce the use of any language in the workplace (most commonly English). The only time this enforcement can be done is if:

  1. The language restriction is justified by business necessity;
  2. The language restriction is narrowly tailored; and
  3. The employer has effectively notified its employees of the circumstances and time when the language restriction is required to be observed and of the consequence for violating the language restriction.

BTW if 10% of your workforce speaks another language, you need to provide all your policies in that language.

Height and Weight Requirements = Unlawful (most of the time)

I’ve never seen this in the workplace BUT…employers now cannot have height or weight requirements unless it is job related and justified by business necessity. Think “racehorse jockey” or “sumo wrestler.” Obviously weight and height are a requirement for those jobs. Administrative assistants, plumbers or CFOs…not so much.

Don’t Ask for Driver’s Licenses

You can no longer request a copy of the driver’s license UNLESS driving is an essential function of the job and it is required to do the job. Also, if you DO request it for business necessity it needs to be done uniformly (you cannot single out one person to show their license).

1099s in CA: New Regulations

There is a new three prong test (effective 4/30/2018) in CA to qualify if a worker is a bonafide 1099. It’s hella strict! (I was just in SF…that’s how I’m justifying the use of “hella”). I wrote a blog on this in May…click here for more info.

If you have questions on any of these law changes or HR questions in general, never hesitate to reach out to me via email [email protected].

By: LeiLani E. Quiray, Founder and HR Pro @bethechangeHR

#californiaemployers #hrexpert #employmentlaw #bethechangeHR

Disclaimer: Although I admire attorneys I am not one. If you need legal advice please reach out to your employment attorney or I can refer you to a stellar one.


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