2017 will see the debut of some new changes to California employment law. Some of these changes include legislation pertaining to leaves of absence. Though for a moment it appeared that a New Parental Leave Law would be passed, it was ultimately vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown. With or without a new statewide bill, the leave legislation landscape is still ripe with changes in the coming year.
Without further ado, here's your California update:
1. Leave for Domestic Violence
A major change for 2017 is the revision of Labor Code Section 230.1, under Assembly Bill 2337. The revision states that employers with 25 or more employees must provide a written notice to employees at time of hire, or whenever it is requested, on their right to take leave if they are the victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. The leave is designed to give the victim time to enact safety planning, undergo psychological counselling, or to receive medical attention. Employers do not need to worry about enacting this policy just yet. However, as of July 1st, 2017 the Labor Commissioner will post the notice that states its enactment.
2. Municipal Paid Sick Leave
The ever complicated realm of leave management at the federal, state and municipal levels just got all the more complex. One of the biggest trends of 2017 so far is the enactment of paid sick leave. In June 2016, both Los Angeles and San Diego added paid sick leave legislation for 2017. And Santa Monica and Berkeley have followed suit with their own. Here’s a breakdown:
3. Increased PFL Benefits
Operative January 1, 2018, is Assembly Bill 908: an increase of paid family leave payments. The goal of this is to even the playing field for low-wage workers. Currently, there are California State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) which provide 55% of wage levels for 6 weeks of leave. This will be raised to 60-70% depending on income level and the weekly benefit amount will be a minimum of $50.00. PFL provides short-term leave benefits for employees who are eligible and who lose wages once they take a leave to care for themselves or a family member.
4. Extension of Leave Benefits to In-Home Supportive Service Workers
Come July 1, 2018, FMLA California Paid Sick Leave will extend to in-home supportive service workers, thanks to Senate Bill No. 3. Prior to this bill, these supportive workers were not entitled to paid sick leave under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. Now they will be! All that is required is that the worker works 30 or more days the year of when they commence their job until the date of paid sick leave.
So I bet I know what you’re all thinking. What does this mean for me? How do I adapt to even more changes in legislation?
As the scouts always say, ‘Be Prepared.’ These changes will inevitably add more work to HR Managers with employees in California, and the best way to prepare is to anticipate these changes and act accordingly.
Some things you can do to prepare:
- Update your employee handbook with the new employment laws of 2017
- Train your HR Staff on these new laws
- Develop a system of how to best notify employees on their rights to leave under these new laws
- Read as much as you can about boosting your compliance
- Add a software solution, which will help manage these complicated leaves in one clear spot
Have you had to deal with any of the new laws yet? How will you prepare for major changes in legislation?
Founded in 1987, Presagia has a long history of helping organizations solve complex business problems with easy-to-use solutions. Today, this means providing cloud-based absence management solutions that enable organizations to be more efficient, control lost time and risk, and strengthen compliance with federal, state and municipal leave and accommodation laws.