By: Bhakti Shivarekar, Esq.
California enacted new employment and labor legislations which apply to most California employers and have been in effect since January 1, 2017. The following Article a summary of a some of the changes in the law. More updates will be covered in the next series of this Article.
California’s Fair Pay Act:
Effective January 1, 2017, the scope of the California Fair Pay Act has been expanded significantly in the following ways: First, the requirement of equal pay for substantially similar work is expanding beyond gender to include race and ethnicity. Second, the California Labor Code has been amended to emphasize that prior salary history is no longer sufficient to justify any disparity in pay for substantially similar work.
California employers need to make sure that disparities in the wages of employees who perform similar work are not based on sex, race or ethnicity or solely on prior salary history.
California Equal Restroom Access Act (ERAA):
The ERAA requires single-occupancy restrooms to be identified as gender-neutral by signs. The ERAA applies to all single-occupancy restrooms in businesses, government buildings, and places of public accommodation. The law simply requires businesses, government buildings and places of public accommodation to use the proper signage—i.e., gender-neutral signage—on any single-user restrooms that they have.
Increased State Disability Benefits and Paid Family Leave:
Effective January 1, 2018, State Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave wage replacement benefits will increase to 60 -70% of a participant’s wages. The current wage replacement benefits are at 55%.
Under the current law, there is a 7-day waiting period which means that applicants need to wait for 7 days from the date the claim is filed to receive the benefits. The current 7-day waiting period for Paid Family Leave benefits will be eliminated as of January 1, 2018.