NEW LAWS that will affect businesses in 2016

Dec 24, 2015

Minimum wage

California’s minimum wage rises to $10 in 2016, due to legislation that was approved two years ago. Keep in mind that nonexempt employees must earn at least twice the state minimum wage.

Fair Pay Act

This law, meant to protect against workplace discrimination, requires employers to show that pay differences for similar jobs must be the result of a “bona fide factor other than sex,” like education and seniority. Legal experts have differing opinions over whether Senate Bill 358 will amount to material changes for a given company.

School leave

This law provides employees with unpaid time off to find a school or childcare provider. Senate Bill 579 gives employees up to eight hours per month and up to 40 total hours in a calendar year to enroll a child in school or childcare, or address a school-related emergency. The law only applies to companies with 25 or more employees.

Leeway on pay-stub errors

This law gives employers 33 days to correct a minor violation on a pay stub (like a name misspelling) before an employee can sue. Before Assembly Bill 1506, employees could file representative action against an employer for any labor code violation.

Wage theft

This law gives the California Labor Commissioner the right to go after the property of employers found guilty of withholding wages from their employees. Senate Bill 588 authorizes the Labor Commissioner to file a lien against an employer’s property if the business owner declines to purchase a $50,000 wage bond after he or she is found guilty of wage theft.

Grocery store workers

Assembly Bill 359 gives grocery-store workers 90 days of job protection after an ownership change.

Franchisees

Corporate chains can no longer fire franchisees unless they substantially breach their contract. Assembly Bill 524 represented a deal cut between franchisees and franchisors.

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