For our inaugural blog post I, Kelly DuFord, am celebrating with some good news in the world of law. As of yesterday, the California Legislature has passed and the Governor, Jerry Brown, has signed THREE new employee protection bills.
Keep in mind these are not all of the employment bills that will go into effect 2018, they are just some important bills that have been recently signed that we find particularly exciting, including two that are aimed at protecting women and families.
Ok, California for the win people! … Is that why it is so expensive to live here? Good old fashion human rights? No, shade… ok shade.
A new California law, AB168, going into effect January 1, 2018, bans employers from asking for salary history. The law governs public and private companies, regardless of the size of the company. Not only can they not ask about salary history. All Companies hiring in CA are now also required to give applicants a pay range, upfront for the position which they are hiring for.
AB168 was signed into law last Thursday by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill was one of nine bills aimed at helping women and children (YAS 9!).
Bill backers say that this law will help to narrow the gender wage gap, although some argue that it doesn’t allow for negotiation with the applicant. Other states that have passed similar laws include Oregon, Massachusetts, and Delaware.
The SF Gate noted that most online applications require applicants to input their salary prior to submission.
Oh and, Hello! There is more….
AB 1008 prohibits an employer from asking about a job applicant’s conviction history. This new law will affect companies, private or public, with 5 or more employees. These include misdemeanors with no jail convictions, as well as misdemeanor convictions for which three years have passed since the date of the conviction, and for felony convictions for which seven years have passed. This also includes non-felony convictions that are two or more years old for possession of marijuana.
Also, employers will now be required to justify and explain their reasoning for disqualifying an applicant because of conviction history. Employers are also required to give the applicant 5 business days to respond to the notice before an employer can make a final decision.
Some say this will give applicants with a criminal record the opportunity to be hired on their qualifications and not their criminal history.
Currently, employers with 50 or more employees are required to comply with the California Family Rights Act and provide parental leave of up to 12 weeks to bond with a new child within one year of the birth. This bill would lower the number of employees for covered businesses to 20 employees in a 75-mile radius. The bill would also prohibit an employer from refusing to maintain and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an employee who takes this leave.
Yup. You have a baby, you can take 12 weeks of leave and keep your insurance!
Downside – you have be in a company of 20 employees or more and the leave is unpaid (so hopefully you have so money set aside ….) However, it is protected, and opens up the protections to employees of small businesses.
For employers there is some good news, you will be authorized to recover the premium that the employer paid for maintain group health care coverage during the duration of the leave should the employee fail to return to work after the leave, as specified, and you are not required to cover BOTH parents if they work for the same employer, for more than twelve weeks in aggregate, and create a parental leave mediation pilot program to cover the provisions of this bills.
Ok, so that’s it for now .. we will be back with more 2018 employment law updates as they come in, AND if you have any concerns about where your company falls with these laws or any other employment or HR issues.. check out our “On Demand” page so we can help you, at an accessible flat rate.