California has enacted several new labor laws that will affect small businesses in 2016. A portion of these new laws are merely minor changes to existing laws and/or only affect specific industries or conditions, but several are impactful to small business employers. We’ve simplified the complex by summarizing only those that relate to small business community.
Minimum Wage Increase
The minimum wage in California increases to $10.00 an hour on January 1, 2016 and salaried exempt employees to $41,600 annual salary. For mechanics that use their own tools, minimum pay must be at least two-times minimum wage, or $20.00 per hour.
Paid Sick Leave Adjustments
Employers are now able to utilize alternative accrual methods. Employees must receive at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, or no less than 24 hours of paid leave accrued by the 120th day of employment per year.
Gender Wage Equality
The Fair Pay Act expands the provision to replace the term “equal work” with “equal skill, effort and responsibility”. The legislation also places requirements on employers to demonstrate that any disparity is based quantifiable and nondiscriminatory conditions.
School Activities Leave
Expands protected leave for employees with more than 2 employees to attend to school or child care activities related to child enrollment, re-enrollment, emergencies and more.
Piece Rate Workers
Employers will now be required to pay piece rate workers for rest and recovery periods and other non-productive time, separate from the piece rate compensation. It also requires that non-productive hours must now be included wage statements or pay stubs.
Prohibits employers from using E-Verify in any other way except that which is prescribed by federal law. Employers cannot use E-Verify for checking authorization status of an existing employee or an applicant that has not received an offer of employment.
Ensures that all workers receive WC benefits regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. Also authorizes the Contractors State License Board to investigate and enforce the obligation of all licensees to secure valid workers compensation insurance.