Employers take note: New laws for 2015

It’s been a busy legislative session with Gov. Jerry Brown signing in 930 of the 1,074 bills presented to him in 2014. Beginning in 2015, new regulations around leaves of absence; discrimination, harassment and retaliation protections; wage and hour laws; background checks; workplace safety; workers’ compensation; unemployment insurance; and health care will now affect California employers’ day-today operations and policies. One of the most game-changing pieces of employment-related legislation is AB 1897,which will impose liability on employers who contract for labor. The purpose of the law is to hold companies accountable for wage-and-hour violations when they use staffing agencies or other labor contractors to supply workers. If a labor contractor fails to pay its workers properly or fails to provide workers’ compensation coverage for those employees, the “client employer” can now be held legally responsible and liable.

Another law that employers should pay close attention to is AB 1522, effective July 1, 2015, which requires employers to provide paid sick leave to any employees who worked in California for 30 days at an accurate rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked. AB 1522 is not a simple law and mandates detailed recordkeeping and notice requirements, and contains penalties for noncompliance. For more information, contact Bryan Starr, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs.

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