REMINDER: New Employment Laws Lurking Around the Corner – Effective July 1, 2014

Author: Regina Silva

  1. AB 10 – California Minimum Wage INCREASE

On July 1, 2014, the minimum wage will be raised from $8.00 to $9.00. On January 1, 2016, the minimum wage will be raised to $10.00. It is very important that Employers start thinking about how they are going to roll out the minimum wage increase through their payroll department. Keep in mind, this minimum wage increase will also affect the salaries of exempt employees. (Must Earn Two Times State Minimum Wage for Full-Time Employment)

  1. SB 770 – Expansion of Scope of Paid Family Leave Benefits

In 2004, California created what is known as Paid Family Leave, which allows an employee to apply for up to six weeks of government-provided wage replacement benefits. These benefits supplement paid time off while an employee is taking time off work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, domestic partner, or parent. The time can also be used to bond with a child within one year of birth or placement of a child in foster care or adoption.
SB 770 amends the law. Under SB 770, PFL benefits are now also available for employees who take time off work to care for a seriously ill grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law. The law defines a “sibling” as a person related to another person by “blood, adoption or affinity through a common legal or biological parent.”

  1. AB 1392 – Limits Reduction of Hours Of Employees Participating in Work Sharing Plans

AB 1392 provides that any work sharing effective prior to July 1, 2014, will continue under the law as it existed prior to enactment of this bill, but would prohibit renewal of these plans after July 1, 2014. Thus, any plan approved before July 1, 2014 could continue for six months.

This law also now requires that the reduction of usual weekly hours of work for which a work sharing plan may be approved shall not be less than 10 percent or more than 60 percent. Plans must still be approved by the Director of Employment Development. An application for a work sharing program must also include how the employer will notify the employees of the work sharing program; an estimate of the layoffs averted by the work sharing plan; and a certification that the work sharing program is consistent with the employer’s obligations under state and federal law. Employees will, consistent with federal law, continue to receive unemployment benefits based on the usual workweek. Work sharing compensation will be charged to the employer’s account in the same manner as unemployment compensation. Also, employees will not be eligible unless the employer and the employees’ bargaining agent agree, in writing, under any applicable bargaining agreement, to participate in the plan.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ms. Silva is a graduate of University of the Pacific. She is senior counsel in the firm’s Employment Practices Group. She is a former prosecutor and has considerable trial experience. Contact her at rsilva@tysonmendes.com.

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