This episode will be a bit of a departure, since it will be focused on some changes recently announced for California employers. Yep, Governor Newsom just finished signing a number of new, and expanded laws. Here’s an overview of some things I think you’ll find interesting.
Oh, by the way – there’s no way I could cover all the details here, so be sure to check out the links in the description. They’ll lead you to valuable, detailed information on each of these programs – if you want to do a deep dive.
Alright, first up is pay transparency. California is joining Colorado, Washington, New York City, and other municipalities, in requiring that employers disclose pay ranges in job postings. So, if you’re an employer with 15 or more employees, you now have to include salary ranges in the jobs you post on Indeed, LinkedIn, Zip Recruiter and the like. In fact, anywhere you post a job, you’ll have to include the salary range.
In addition to that – in the past you were required to provide a pay scale for the current position to job applicants. Well, that has now been expanded to include any current employee that makes a ‘reasonable request’.
Oh, and you’ll also have to keep a record of each employee’s job title and wages during their employment and for 3 years after they leave.
Next, California has extended it’s Supplemental COVID Related Sick Leave program. Originally the federal government put a paid sick leave program in place to cover COVID and related time off. Well that federal program expired in September of 2021. But a number of states – California included – created their own sick leave program. Ours has been extended a few times, and with this most recent signature, the September 30th deadline, has been extended to December 31st of 2022.
So, companies with 25 or more employees must provide up to 80 hours of paid leave (the leave comes in 2 distinct buckets of 40 hours each). The approved reasons for paid time off include being subject to an isolation period, seeking a medical diagnosis, caring for a family member who is isolating, or a child whose school or day care is closed for COVID related reasons.
Let’s talk about Reporting Pay Data.
The federal Equal Employment Opportunity agency requires companies with 100 or more employees to annually file information on their workers – it’s called the Employer Information Report (EEO-1). Well, in addition, California has its own annual reporting – it’s called California Pay Data Reporting.
The eligibility requirements are similar to those for the EEO-1 (in fact, if you have to file an EEO-1 you automatically must file the CA Pay Data Reporting information as well). And you’ll also note that a lot of additional information is required – because the EEO-1 doesn’t collect information on pay, but that is a requirement of the CA reporting. You also have to disclose headcount, pay, and hours worked for all your employees – broken out by race, ethnicity and sex in each specified job category.
“… if you’re an employer with 15 or more employees, you now have to include salary ranges in the jobs you post on Indeed, LinkedIn, Zip Recruiter and the like. In fact, anywhere you post a job, you’ll have to include the salary range.“
An interesting newcomer to the scene is the Employees’ Rights in Emergency Conditions.
This law offers protections for employees during emergency situations. You as an employer can’t take any kind of adverse action or even threaten to take adverse action (that means disciplining), well, you can’t do that against an employee who leaves work, or refuses to report to work in the event of an emergency condition – if their workplace is in the affected area and they feel unsafe. So, what precisely is an emergency situation? Well it’s defined as the existence of either of the following:
(1) conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons or property at the workplace or worksite caused by natural forces or a criminal act; or
(2) an order to evacuate a workplace, a worksite, a worker’s home, or the school of a worker’s child due to natural disaster or a criminal act.
Now, I think it’s really interesting to note that a health pandemic is not included in that definition.
There’s a carve out for first responders, disaster service workers, and certain other categories of workers.
And the employee must notify their employer of the emergency condition. There are other stipulations. Again, check out the links.
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Next up is the new Bereavement Leave law.
CA employers with 5 or more employees must now offer up to 5 days of unpaid leave to eligible employees for the death of a family member. Call outs to this new law include
A pro tip here – since employees can now use sick time to get paid during Bereavement Leave, you should update your sick leave policy to reflect bereavement as a qualifying reason to take sick leave.
And finally, another notable change is to CFRA, the California Family Rights Act. This leave law, which was a precursor to the federal FMLA or Family Medical Leave Act, was revised in recent years to cover employers with as few as 5 employees. Well, that law is expanding yet again.
CFRA allows family leave to care for your own medical condition or that of a family member. While the definition of family member for CFRA has been more expansive (it includes not only your spouse and children, but also adult children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and parents-in-law). This latest update has added ‘designated person’ to the eligibility list.
A designated person means any individual who is related by blood, or their association with the employee is equivalent to that of a family relationship.
Now as you might guess – this opens quite a box of questions. Again, I’ll refer you to the links in the description for more detailed information.