Employers with employees or facilities in California should take
note of several recent employment laws signed by California
Governor Jerry Brown in recent months.
On September 30, 2016, Governor Brown expanded California's
pay equity rules by signing AB-1676. AB-1676 prohibits the use of prior
salary, by itself, to set employees' pay and is intended to
close the wage gap between employees of different genders and
races. On the same day, Governor Brown also signed SB-1063, which prohibits employers from paying
an employee less than co-employees based on race or ethnicity for
substantially similar work. Employers should consider reviewing
their pay structures to ensure they comply with the new laws.
Changes to pay stubs
Earlier this year, on July 31, 2016, Governor Brown signed AB-2535, revising California Labor Code Section 226. The current version of
Labor Code Section 226 requires employers to include on a pay stub
total hours worked by the employee unless the employee is paid a
salary and is exempt from overtime.
Effective January 1, 2017, employers do not need to report total
hours worked on a pay stub for employees who are "exempt from
the payment of minimum wage and overtime" under specified
statutes or any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare
Commission, including for persons "employed in an executive,
administrative, or professional capacity provided in any applicable
order of the Industrial Welfare Commission."
On September 29, 2016, Governor Brown signed AB-1732, which requires all California
businesses, government buildings and places of accommodation that
have single-occupancy restrooms to identify them with appropriate
signage as universally acceptable to all genders by March 1, 2017.
Employers with single-user restrooms should start preparing by
ordering signage that explicitly states the restroom is
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Seyfarth Synopsis: Employers in California: be aware and prepare for new laws increasing minimum wages and mandating overtime pay for agricultural employees; expanding the California Fair Pay Act to race and ethnicity and to address prior salary consideration; imposing new restrictions on background checks and gig economy workers; and more. Small employers will be relieved the Governor vetoed expanded unpaid parental leave, but it will likely return in future sessions.
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