United States: California Employers – New Year, New Rules In 2017

The new year will bring along a variety of new obligations for California employers.  Although some of the new laws clarify existing law and provide helpful guidance, several impose additional requirements.  This update highlights key provisions of some of the more notable changes taking effect in 2017.  Links to the statutes and/or prior updates regarding the same are provided where applicable.

A.B. 1732: Single-User Restrooms

Assembly Bill 1732 requires all single-user toilet facilities in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or state or local government agency to be identified as all-gender toilet facilities by signage which must comply with Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations as of March 1, 2017.  The single-user toilet facilities must be designated for use for only one occupant at a time, or for family or assisted use.  The statute defines a "single-user toilet facility" as a toilet facility with no more than one water closet and one urinal with a locking mechanism controlled by the user.  The statute is aimed at providing equal access to everyone, regardless of their gender. The new law will be enforced by inspectors, building officials, and other local officials.

A.B. 2535: Itemized Wage Statements

Effective January 1, 2017, Assembly Bill 2535 revises Labor Code Section 226 to clarify that employers are not required to report the total hours worked on the itemized wage statements of employees who are exempt from payment of minimum wage and overtime under specified statutes of any applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.  Prior to this amendment, Labor Code Section 226 required employers to include the employees' total hours worked on their pay stubs unless the employee was paid solely by salary and exempt from payment of overtime.  For more information on A.B. 2535, please see our prior article here.

A.B. 1843: Juvenile Criminal History

Existing law prohibits employers from asking applicants to disclose, or taking into consideration, information regarding an arrest or detention that did not result in a conviction, or a conviction that was judicially dismissed or sealed.  Effective January 1, 2017, Assembly Bill 1843 amends Section 432.7 of the Labor Code and expands restrictions by prohibiting employers from taking into consideration, and/or asking applicants to disclose, certain information regarding juvenile records.  Specifically, employers are prohibited from seeking information pertaining to an arrest, detention, processing, diversion, supervision, adjudication, or court disposition that occurred while the person was subject to the process and jurisdiction of a juvenile court.

A.B. 2337: Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence

Assembly Bill 2337 adds subsection (h) to Labor Code Section 230.1 and will require employers with 25 or more employees to provide written notice to new employees upon hire, and to current employees upon request, of the rights and duties of employers and employees as set forth in Labor Code section 230 and 230.1.  Under the law, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, have the right to take time off from work, participate in safety planning, obtain psychological counseling, and seek medical attention for injuries caused by domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.  The amendment requires the Labor Commissioner to develop a form for employers to use to comply with the notice requirements.  The Labor Commissioner will post the form on or before July 1, 2017.  Employers are not required to comply with the notice requirement until the Labor Commissioner makes the form available.

S.B. 1001: Unfair Immigration Related Practices

Effective January 1, 2017, Senate Bill 1001 adds Section 1019.1 to the Labor Code prohibiting employers from: (1) requesting more or different documents than are required under federal law; (2) refusing to honor documents tendered that on their face reasonably appear to be genuine; (3) refusing to honor documents or work authorization based upon the specific status or term of status that accompanies the authorization to work; or (4) attempting to reinvestigate or re-verify an incumbent employee's authorization to work using an unfair immigration-related practice.  Job applicants and employees who suffer an "unfair immigration-related practice" can file a complaint with the Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement.  In addition to equitable relief, the statute imposes a penalty of not more than $10,000 per violation.

Significantly, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a revised Form I-9, which employers must begin using no later than January 22, 2017.  Employers may continue to use the current Form I-9 with a revision date of March 8, 2013 through January 21, 2017.  For more information on the revised I-9, please see our prior article here.

S.B. 1063 and A.B. 1676: Amendments to California's Equal Pay Act

Codified under Labor Code Section 1197.5, the Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying employees of the opposite sex different rates for "substantially similar work" when viewed as "a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions."  An employer does not violate the Act if it can prove any wage differential is based upon a seniority system, a merit system, a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience.

Senate Bill 1063 amends Labor Code Section 1975.5(b) to expand California's equal pay protections to cover race and ethnicity and mirrors the language in Labor Code Section 1197.5(a).

Assembly Bill 1676 also amends the Equal Pay Act by adding the following language: "[p]rior salary shall not, by itself, justify any disparity in compensation" to subsections (a)(3) and (b)(3) of Section 1197.5.  Significantly, these amendments do not prohibit an employer from inquiring about an applicant's prior salary.  However, an employer may not rely solely on an individual's prior salary history to justify a disparity in compensation for "substantially similar work."

Both amendments are effective January 1, 2017.  For an in-depth analysis of California's Equal Pay Act and suggested steps to ensure compliance with the Equal Pay Act, and recent amendments, please click here.

S.B. 1241: Venue and Choice of Law Provisions in Employment Agreements

Effective January 1, 2017, Senate Bill 1241 adds Section 925 to the Labor Code and prohibits an employer from requiring a California-based employee, as a condition of employment, to agree to a provision that would either require the employee to litigate or arbitrate California-based claims outside of California or under the laws of another state.

The law seeks to protect employees, who primarily work and reside in California, from being required to agree to venue and choice of law provisions that deprive the employee of the substantive protection of California law with respect to a controversy arising in California. Currently, many employers, particularly those based out of state, include choice of law provisions in their agreements that apply the company's home-state laws to all employees, including those in California.  A court faced with a dispute would then apply a balancing test to determine whether to apply the chosen law, or California law instead.  Senate Bill 1241 essentially strips employers of this ability, and requires companies, regardless of where they may be headquartered, to come to California to litigate or arbitrate employment claims under California law.  However, the bill provides an exception for contracts with an employee who is in fact "individually represented by legal counsel in negotiating the terms of an agreement to designate either the venue or forum in which a controversy arising from the employment contract may be adjudicated or the choice of law to be applied."

The new law applies to any employment contract entered into, modified, or extended on or after January 1, 2017.  Any contract that violates the provisions of the new law is voidable by the employee, and if a provision is rendered void at the request of the employee, the matter shall be adjudicated in California and California law shall govern the dispute.  Furthermore, a court may award reasonable attorneys' fees, among other remedies, to an employee enforcing his or her rights under the law.

California State Minimum Wage Increase

Senate Bill 3 amends Sections 245.5, 246, and 1182.12 of the Labor Code and schedules six increases to the state minimum wage over the next six years.  Significantly, on January 1, 2017, all California employers with 26 or more employees will be required to increase the minimum wage paid to workers to $10.50.  For information on future increases please see our prior post here.

Los Angeles and San Diego Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Ordinances

Earlier this year, Los Angeles and San Diego approved ordinances for increased minimum wage and paid sick leave requirements.  For more information on the Los Angeles and San Diego ordinances, please see our prior article posted here.

By way of reminder, the San Diego ordinance will increase the minimum wage to $11.50 per hour, effective January 1, 2017.

The Los Angeles ordinance will increase the minimum wage to $12.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees, effective July 1, 2017.  The minimum wage for employers with 25 or fewer employees will increase to $10.50 per hour, effective July 1, 2017.

In light of these new statutes and amendments to existing law, employers are encouraged to educate themselves on the new obligations and review their policies and practices prior to the end of the year.  Employers should consult experienced legal counsel with questions and concerns before making or implementing personnel-related decisions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
24 Oct 2017, Seminar, Los Angeles, United States

Presented by The American Bar Association White Collar Crime Committee.

24 Oct 2017, Conference, Los Angeles, United States

Corporate transactions are not just in the domain of M&A corporate attorneys. This program will cover the important role of employment and benefits counsel in shaping mergers and acquisitions. The presenters will provide practical guidance on conducting due diligence of labor, employment, employee benefits and executive compensation arrangements of target companies.

25 Oct 2017, Business Breakfast, New York, United States

Please join us for a complimentary breakfast program and networking with private equity investment banking professionals to discuss private equity activity and prospective deal flow opportunities in the technology industry.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.