How Will California Employment Law Change in 2015?

Labor and Employment Attorneys Explain the New Statutes

There are three new important laws that are coming to California in 2015 that will affect employees, employers and labor lawyers in our state. They are laws regarding anti-bullying training, mandatory paid sick days off and joint liability in wage and workers’ compensation violations.

Our hope is that these laws will improve California workers’ rights and cultivate safe, healthy and respectful workplace environments.

What is the New Anti-bullying Training Law?

As of January 1, 2015, anti-bullying training will become a part of the sexual harassment training requirement. The new law lacks details on exactly how this training should be conducted; however, the law does define what it considers abusive conduct. Currently, abusive conduct is not illegal, but it can become a workplace violation, which can lead to disciplinary action within the business. Please see a previous newsletter for a deeper look into this anti-bullying law.

Am I Entitled to Paid Sick Days Off?

All employers, regardless of size, will have until July 1, 2015 to update their paid sick day policy to make sure it is in line with state law. By midyear, all state employees working 30 or more days in a year will be eligible for sick days. This also means that an employer must provide paid sick leave even if they only have one employee working over 30 hours a week. Workers will accrue sick time after 90 days of employment. The rate of accrual will be one hour of sick time per 30 hours worked.

Additionally, this paid time off can be used for an employee’s own sick days or for helping a sick family member.

This new law views permanent, per diem and temporary employees equally in terms of sick leave, as long as they work 30 days within a year. However, if the temporary employee comes from a staffing agency, then the staffing agency must provide the paid sick days. Employers cannot force a sick employee to find a replacement to take a sick day off from work.

However, employers can provide a more generous paid sick day policy, but the employer’s unique policy will not change an employer’s obligations under the new state law.

Joint Liability in Wage and Workers’ Compensation Violations

As of January 1, 2015, AB 1897 creates a new liability for businesses that participate in labor contracting. This will make both employers and employment agencies liable for any violation of a contract worker’s wage or workers’ compensation.

Exemptions are made for companies with less than 25 employees or with less than 5 contracted workers.

However, despite these laws, some employers try to make an extra profit by bending or breaking the rules. Fortunately, Los Angeles employment attorneys are experienced in handling these violations. The Law Firm of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob offers free consultations.