Employment Law Reporter December 2017: New Local Laws Will Impact Employers

Over the past few years an increasing number of cities and counties have become active in regulating the activities of employers.  This year has been no different, and commencing in 2018, employers should prepare for a number of local law developments that will have an impact on the way they treat their employees, including the following:

On July 1, 2018, the minimum wage in the cities of  Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Malibu, along with unincorporated potions of Los Angeles County, will increase to $13.25 for employers with 26 or more employees and $12.00 for smaller employers.

Northern California locations, including San Francisco, Berkeley,  Palo Alto, San Jose and numerous others will also increase their minimum wage in 2018.

On January 1, 2018, Santa Monica will increase the required amount of sick leave for employers with 26 or more employees to 72 hours, and smaller employers to 40 hours.

San Francisco will expanded its parental leave ordinance to require employers with 35 or more employees to provide paid parental leave beginning July 1, 2017, and on January 1, 2018, employers with 20 or more employees must also comply with this requirement.

Further, San Francisco enacted its own lactation ordinance effective January 1, 2018, which improves upon existing state and federal requirements by ensuring that the designated area for expressing milk is safe and clean, has a surface for a breast pump, includes a place to sit and has electricity.  Additional requirements include access to a nearby sink and a refrigerator, and dissemination of a written lactation policy.

Effective July 1, 2018, San Francisco also will ban employers from asking applicants about their prior salary history, and will also prohibit disclosure of a current or former employee’s salary history without the employee’s authorization, unless the history is already public.  Employers will also be prohibited from retaliating against an applicant for refusing to disclose salary history.

Finally, the Northern California city of Emeryville passed a law which is similar to San Francisco’s earlier Retail Workers Bill of Rights.  The law applies to certain retail and fast food companies that becomes fully enforceable in 2018.  In brief, for employee schedule changes initiated by the employer, the law requires advance notice to employees.  Employees have right to decline, and “predictability pay” must be paid when the employer adds or subtracts hours or moves to another date or time, cancels, or adds a previously unscheduled shift.  Such pay is required at the rate of one hour of regular pay when notice of the change is less than 14 days, but more than 24 hours, in advance of the change.  Additional pay is required when less than 24 hours of notice of the change is provided.  Also, before hiring additional workers, work must be offered to part-time employees.  Other features include an employee’s right to rest a certain number of hours between shifts and an employee’s right to request a flexible working schedule.

 

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