Protect Your Company: Be Smart About 2015 Labor Laws
Labor law is constantly evolving. Beginning January 1, 2015, several new employment laws became effective. While there are hundreds of employment laws in place, following are a few recent employment laws I would like to highlight and bring to your attention.
- AB 2053–Anti-bullying training: Employers with 50 or more employees must provide workplace anti-bullying training to supervisors in addition to the harassment and abuse conduct training.
- AB 60–Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented workers: This new employment law is still a work in progress. AB 60 basically indicates an employer cannot discriminate against anyone possessing an undocumented worker driver’s license. Keep in mind, this document can not be used for employment verification. Additionally, employers should not request to see a valid driver’s license unless having one is required by law for the job performed.
- AB 1522–Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014: Implementation for AB 1522 becomes effective July 1, 2015. All employers must provide paid sick leave to all employees, including part-time and temporary employees. Employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, including overtime. Accrual begins after employee has worked 30 days in California, during one year. Additionally, employees must work at least 90 days before paid sick leave becomes available for use. Employers can require paid sick leave to be used in ‘reasonable minimum amounts’, such as in 2-hour increments, etc. Employers can cap the use at 24 hours (or 3 paid sick days) in each year of employment. However, employees can carry over accrued and unused hours to their next year of employment. Employers can cap the banked hours at 48 hours (6 paid sick days). Upon termination, employers are not required to pay out accrued, unused paid sick leave, unless paid sick and vacation are combined in a paid time off (PTO) bank. Another option may be to ‘front-load’ the required minimum paid sick leave hours accordingly. While AB 1522 is fairly new, there are several questions unanswered due to the lack of experience. It is recommended that employers and human resources professionals continue to monitor paid sick leave rules as the program is implemented. Work closely with your bookkeeper, payroll department or the person responsible for this program as tracking accrued hours for your program may be tricky.
With the ever changing rules and laws pertaining to employment, it is important to keep in mind that this training is not a substitute for the advice of your legal counsel and only provides basic information for small businesses.