New Laws for California Employers in 2015

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. and Gayane Khechoomian, Esq.

Photo gcazzo.blogspot.com

Photo gcazzo.blogspot.com

The California legislature has passed numerous laws that will take effect January 1, or July 1, 2015.  Employers must revise their policies to reflect the new laws.  We have provided a summary of these new laws below.  

1. NEW PAID SICK LEAVE FOR ALL EMPLOYEES

Starting on July 1, 2015, a new law affecting millions of Californians will require that employers – both public and private – provide paid sick leave to all their employees. The “Healthy, Workplace, Healthy Families Act” (AB-1522) signed into effect by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. applies to all employees who work in California for 30 or more days in a year. The law defines “employer” as any person employing another under any appointment or contract of hire” regardless of how many employees they have,  and covers employees whether they are full-time, part-time, seasonal, or temporary. Specifically, the new provision provides that employees who work 30 or mosick leavere days within a year from commencement of their employment will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty (30) hours worked.

Employees become entitled to their sick leave beginning on the ninetieth (90th) date of employment. However, an employer may limit an employee’s use of paid sick days to 24 hours—or three (3) days—in each year of employment. Click HERE for the full text of the new law. Continue Reading…

2. NEW CELL PHONE REIMBURSEMENT REQUIREMENTS

stockfreshA new law now requires that California employers reimburse employees for use of their personal cell phone for mandatory business purposes, as decided by the California Appellate Court in Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc. The ruling affects millions of employers who must update their company policies in order to stay compliant with the new law.

What does this mean for employers?

California employers must indemnify employees for all “necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee in direct consequence of the discharge of his or her duties, or of his or her obedience to the directions of the employer.” Unfortunately, the exact measure of reimbursement is somewhat unclear.  While the court in Cochran determined that employers must consistently reimburse employees a “reasonable percentage,” it did not define what is reasonable. Furthermore, the employer must reimburse the employee even if the employee does not incur any additional expense on his or her cell phone/data plan as the result of using the device for work-related purposes (i.e. if the client has unlimited talk, text, and data plans). Continue Reading…

3. CHANGES IN ARBITRATION AGREEMENT ENFORCEABILITY

California Governor Brown signed two bills into law aiming to limit arbitration beginning January 2015. The bills have the effect of chilling arbitration by making it a less attractive option for employers and harder to enforce. Continue Reading…

To ensure that your business remains compliant with these new laws, consult a licensed California employment attorney.

EmployeeHandbook_Pop_6467 Employee Handbooks should be updated annually in order to keep up with the changes in California employment law.

To schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with The Grady Firm’s employment attorneys, call (323) 450-9010, or fill out a Contact Request Form. The Grady Firm attorneys can update your business’ company policies/Employee Handbook, create new policies, prepare employment forms, and explain the detailed nuances of the new law.  

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