California has enacted several major changes to labor and employment law in 2020. Below is our reminder to California employers to ensure that they are in compliance with the following new laws.
Starting January 1, 2021, all employers with 5 or more employees are now subject to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). This is a significant departure from the previous standard, which applied only to employers with at least 50 employees, or 20 employees for baby bonding leave purposes.
For employers who are new to the CFRA, it provides up to 12 weeks of leave in a 12 month period for employees who have worked for the employer for at least one year and 1,250 hours during the 12 months preceding the leave. The leave may be taken for an employee’s own serious health condition, or the serious health condition of the employee’s child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner. CFRA leave may also be taken within one year of birth, adoption, or foster-placement for bonding purposes.
CFRA leave is unpaid. However, if an employee is taking CFRA leave for their own health condition, employers may require the employee to use their accrued PTO. If the employee is taking the leave for any other reason, the employee must be permitted to and can be required to use their accrued vacation, but sick leave use is by mutual agreement.
This new law requires employers to provide written notices to employees within one business day after receiving notice of potential COVID-19 exposure.
Cal/OSHA Emergency Regulations
Cal/OSHA’s new emergency regulations require employers to provide employees exposed to COVID-19 through work-related activity with all of their pay, seniority, and other benefits as though the employee had never left work. This provision applies so long as the employee is “able and available” to work. If employees become symptomatic and are therefore unable or unavailable to work, the employee is no longer entitled to paid leave.
This law expanded upon existing law and now requires employers with 5 or more employees to provide Mandated Reporter training to HR professionals and supervisors who manage minors.
This bill clarified kin care laws, and now mandates that employees have the sole right to designate sick leave as kin care.
This bill added provisions that for employers with 5 or more employees, their human resources employees and all adult employees whose duties require direct contact with and supervision of minors in the performance of the minors’ duties in the workplace to become mandated reports. Employers must provide those employees who are mandated reports with training on identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect.
This bill expands protections against retaliation or discrimination for employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, so that the employees are able to obtain services for certain injuries, psychological counseling, or mental health services. Related to an experience of crime or abuse, or to participate in safety planning and take other actions to increase safety from future crime or abuse.
This bill extends DLSE filing time from 6 months to 1 year and awards attorneys’ fees to successful plaintiffs.
This bill extends the authority of the Labor Commissioner and requires that the Labor Commissioner represent wage claimants who are financially unable to represent themselves in a hearing where a court order has compelled arbitration and the commissioner has determined that the claim has merit. The bill also requires that a petition to compel arbitration must be served upon the Labor Commissioner.
On or before March 31, 2021, and on or before March 31 every year thereafter, private employers with 100 or more employees, and that is required to file an annual Employer Information Report, to submit a pay data report to the DFEH. The Employment Development Department will provide the DFEH with a list of the names and addresses of all businesses with 100 or more employees in order to ensure compliance. The required pay data report shall include:
- The number of employees by race, ethnicity, and sex in each of the following job categories:
- Executive or senior level officials and managers;
- First or mid-level officials and mangers;
- Sales workers;
- Administrative support workers;
- Craft workers;
- Laborers and helpers; and
- Service workers.
- 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.
- Employers 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.”
- Employers shall calculate the total earnings, as shown on IRS 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.
- Employers must include the total number of hours worked by each employee counted in each pay band during the “Reporting Year.”
- Employers with multiple establishments must submit reports for each establishment as well as a consolidated report that includes all employees.
- The report must include a section for employers to provide clarifying remarks regarding any of the information provided, but employers are not required to provide clarifying remarks.
- The report must be submitted in a format that allows the DFEH to search and sort the information using readily available software.
- If an employer submits to the DFEH a copy of the employer’s Employer Information Report (EEO-1 Report) containing the same or substantially similar pay data information, then the employer is in compliance.
Raimondo & Associates will continue to monitor these mandates and guidance and provide updates as necessary.