California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed several new employment laws, which employees should look out for to see if they are affected by them. These include:

State minimum wage increased 

The state minimum wage is now $13/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and $14/hour for employers with 26 or more employees. This increase may affect whether certain employees are exempt from overtime compensation, one requirement of which is that the employee is paid a monthly salary equivalent to no less than two times the state minimum wage.

AB 1512 creates exception to meal and rest break law for security officers 

Security officers who are covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement may be required to remain on the premises and on call during rest periods. If the rest period is interrupted, the officer can take a subsequent, uninterrupted rest period. If the officer is unable to take a 10-minute rest period for every four hours worked, the officer must be paid for one additional hour at his or her regular hourly rate.

AB 2017 amends kin care law to provide that designation of sick leave is at employee’s sole discretion 

California’s kin care law requires employers to permit employees to use at least half of their accrued and available sick leave to care for a family member. Now only an employee can designate his or her leave as kin care leave whereas previously an employer could also designate leave as kin care.

AB 2992 broadens leave for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking

 Employees now may take time off if they are victims “of a crime that caused physical injury or that caused mental injury and a threat of physical injury” or if an “immediate family member is deceased as the direct result of a crime.”

AB 1963 designates certain human resources professionals and front-line supervisors as mandated child abuse reporters

For companies that have five or more employees and employ minors, the law now requires that employers provide employees who are mandated reporters with training on identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect.

AB 1947 extends time for filing complaints with Division of Labor Standards Enforcement 

Employees now have one year (rather than 6 months) to file a complaint. AB 1947 also authorizes an award of reasonable attorneys’ fees to prevailing plaintiffs.

SB 1384 provides Labor Commissioner will represent certain financially disabled persons when wage claims are referred to arbitration

The Labor Commissioner will be involved when an informal investigation shows a disabled person’s claims have merit. SB 1384 also requires a petition to compel arbitration for such a claim under section 98, 98.1, or 92 to be served on the Labor Commissioner.