January 06, 2020

Your Labor of Love: A New Wave of California Employment Laws for 2020

Los Angeles partner Mark Terman compiled a labor law update featured in California CPA. In “Your Labor of Love: A New Wave of California Employment Laws for 2020,” Mark discusses essential elements of many California laws that became effective on January 1, 2020, and what they mean for private employers.

Mark begins by acknowledging the complexities of independent contractor classification and states that, “Establishing lawful independent contractor classification in California has never been certain or simple, as it can bypass legal rights and benefits available only to employees.” Mark goes on to mention that the law expands the “ABC test,” which “presumptively considers all workers to be employees and forces a hiring business to bear the burden of providing certain criteria for proper independent contractor classification.”

Employers also should make note of the new deadline for added sexual harassment training. Mark writes, “employers who employ five or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, are required to provide two hours of anti–sexual harassment training to all supervisors and managers, and at least one hour of anti–sexual harassment training to all non-supervisory employees,” by January 1, 2021, and once every two years thereafter.

Other new regulations discussed include:

  • More time to sue employers
  • Arbitration agreements under siege
  • More penalties for failure to pay wages
  • “No rehire” prohibited in settlement agreements
  • Additional leave for organ donors
  • Serious occupational injuries and illnesses
  • More paid family leave benefits
  • Added lactation accommodation
  • Expanded definition of “race” in the Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act
  • Payment of motion picture and print shoot employee final wages
  • Consequences for late payment of arbitration fees
  • Increased minimum wage
  • Overtime exemption for some computer professionals.

In addition to providing steps to ensure compliance, Mark encourages employers to review the new laws to ensure compliance and to update their personnel policies and practices accordingly.

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