California employers must comply with several new employment laws taking effect July 1, 2014
California Employment Laws – Minimum Wage Increase
In 2013, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 10, which amended the California Labor Code to increase the minimum wage. The first phase of the new employment laws includes a minimum wage increase that takes effect July 1, 2014, and increases the mandated minimum wage from $8.00 to $9.00 per hour. The second phase of the minimum wage increase takes effect on January 1, 2016, and increases the mandated minimum wage from $9.00 to $10.00 per hour.
The minimum wage increase also affects exempt employees. Generally, California's Wage Orders require that any employee classified under the executive, professional, or administrative exemptions be paid a salary of not less than twice the prevailing minimum wage. Once the minimum wage increase takes effect on July 1, 2014, exempt employees will have to be compensated based upon an annual salary of not less than $37,440.
California Paid Family Leave Act Expansion
Again, in 2013 Governor Brown signed legislation that significantly expands California's Paid Family Leave Act (FMLA). The current Paid FMLA dictates that California employees can receive temporary disability insurance benefits to cover up to 55% of wages lost while they take up to six weeks of leave. This benefit is eligible for up to six weeks of leave per year to care for a seriously ill spouse, domestic partner, child or parent. The new expanded Paid Family Leave program takes effect July 1, 2014 and broadens Paid Family Leave by allowing California employees to collect benefits for caring for seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and in-laws.
California's current Paid Family Leave Program provides that employees based in California who contribute to the State Disability Insurance (SDI) fund are entitled to six weeks of partial pay each year while taking time off from work to (i) bond with a newborn baby, adopted or foster child; or (ii) care for a seriously ill parent, child, spouse or registered domestic partner. Employees eligible to participate in California's Paid Family Leave Program may receive up to 55% of their weekly wages up to a preset maximum weekly benefit amount set by California's Employed Development Department. Lastly, Paid Family Leave does not need to be taken consecutively, and can be taken intermittently on an hourly, daily or weekly basis as needed.
Posting and Notice Requirements
Several revised posting and notice requirements also take effect in California on July 1, 2014:
- Employers must prominently display a poster showing the new $9.00 per hour, minimum wage.
- Employers must start using an updated workers' compensation brochure containing new pre-designation regulations. Employers must provide their employees, at the time of hire or by the end of the first pay period, with the workers' compensation brochure.
- Employers must start using updated Paid Family Leave brochures containing new family member definitions (as noted above, this now includes grandparents, grand-children, siblings, and parents-in-law). Brochures should be provided to new hires and to employees who take a qualifying leave.
California Employment Lawyers
California employers should ensure their wage and hour practices are in full compliance with the new minimum wage employment laws, FMLA expansion and posting and notice requirements as July 1 approaches. To discuss any of these new laws in further detail, feel free to contact leading California employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley. Take advantage of a free initial consultation to discuss your case by calling us toll-free at (888) 500-8469 or clicking here to contact us.
New California Law Should Spur Employers to Review Leave Policies – Society for Human Resource Management