Governor Gavin Newsom has signed several new employment law bills this year. Many of them will come into effect on January 1, 2022. That means your rights as a worker here in California will be changing and we want to make sure you are up-to-date.
At Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C., our attorneys help protect workers in Los Angeles and throughout California. Our dedication to your rights is why we have gathered information on some of the most important new employment laws. Here are three new California employment laws coming into effect in January that you need to know about.
California’s New Employment Laws
- Increased Penalties for Wage Theft. AB 1003 makes the intentional theft of wages, including gratuities, over $950 from a single employee, or $2,350 from two or more employees, by an employer in a consecutive 12-month period punishable as grand theft offense. The lost wages are recoverable as restitution, and the bill includes independent contractors as employees.
- Family Coverage Expanded. If you are caring for a parent-in-law who has a serious health condition, you may now take leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA).
- Silenced No More Act. SB 331 expands coverage under the Stand Together Against Non-Disclosure Act (STAND Act). Before SB 331 was passed, the STAND Act prohibited California employers from including non-disclosure agreements in the settlements of legal actions related to sexual assault, harassment, discrimination and retaliation based on sex. SB 331 adds protection for workplace harassment or discrimination based on any protected status under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
This bill also affects non-disparagement and other contractual provisions in employment agreements and separation agreements. It does not matter whether a civil action or complaint is filed or not. The employer cannot enforce a contractual provision that restricts an employee’s ability to disclose factual information about illegal acts at the workplace, except in a separation agreement where the following language is included:
“Nothing in this agreement prevents you from discussing or disclosing information about unlawful acts in the workplace, such as harassment or discrimination or any other conduct that you have reason to believe is unlawful.”
Employees have at least five business days to consider and consult an attorney about separation agreements with such provisions.
Choose a California Employment Attorney Who Will Fight for You
These are just a few of the new employment laws that will go into effect on January 1, 2022. The dedicated labor law attorneys at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. will continue to monitor California labor law to keep you informed. If you have any questions about your employment situation or a conflict at work, please give us a call. Our number is (310) 273-3180 or you can fill out one of our online contact forms. The initial consultation is free, but remember to contact us from personal devices that are not connected to your employer.