As 2022 winds down, every CA employer should start preparing for the new and revised employment laws that go into effect on January 1, 2023. Below is a summary of few laws.
Please ensure that your policies and/or employee handbooks are updated.
Extension of California Family Rights Act
The CA Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) has been extended to allow an employee to take CFRA leave for a “designated person,” in addition to previously enumerated reasons. “Designated person” is defined as any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is equivalent of a family relationship and includes domestic partners. Employers may limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period. The CFRA applies to employers with five or more employees.
Extension of California Paid Sick Leave
California’s Paid Sick Leave Law (“PSL”) has a similar extension to allow an employee to take paid sick leave for a “designated person.” The definition of “designated person” under the PSL is even broader than under the CFRA, and is defined as a person identified by the employee at the time the employee requests paid sick days. Interestingly, this definition does not require that the person be related by blood or affinity or be the equivalent of a family relationship. Employers can also limit an employee to one designated person per 12 month period under the PSL.
Bereavement Leave Law
Effective January 1, 2023, employers with five or more employees will be required to provide up to five days of unpaid bereavement leave to employees who have worked for the employer for at least 30 days. Bereavement leave is permitted for the death of a qualifying family member, which includes a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law as defined in the CFRA. The five days do not need to be taken consecutively, but must be completed within three months of the family member’s death. Employers may require documentation providing the death of a family member, and must maintain confidentiality related to the bereavement leave. Employees may use accrued but unused vacation time for any portion of the bereavement leave that is unpaid.
Pay Data Transparency and Reporting Requirements
Effective January 1, 2023, employers with 15 or more employees will be required to put the pay scale range in all jobs postings. Furthermore, all employers will be required to make pay scale information for an employee's current position available to employees upon request.
Additionally, employers with 100 or more employees will be required to provide a detailed pay data report to California’s Civil Rights Dept. every May.
Employers who fail to comply with any of these laws will be subject to penalties.
Protections for Employees During “Emergency Conditions”
Effective January 1, 2023, employees must be permitted to leave work or refuse to go to work during an “emergency condition,” which is defined as a disaster or extreme peril to the safety at the workplace caused by natural forces or a crime, or an evacuation order due to a natural disaster or crime at the workplace, an employee’s home, or their child’s school. The law explicitly excludes health pandemics from the definition of “emergency condition.” However, employees who are required by law to render aid or remain on the premises in the event of an emergency, employees of health care facilities who provide direct patient care, and employees of licensed residential care facilities are excluded from the protections afforded by this new law.
Reminder: Minimum Wage Increase
Effective January 1, 2023, the state minimum wage will increase to $15.50 per hour. This also means an increase to meet the salary basis test for exempt employees to $64,480.
Please note local jurisdictions may have higher minimum wage requirements.
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