New laws going into effect in 2018 will profoundly impact the rights and obligations of employers and employees. Some of the new rules that will begin being enforced in 2018 or in subsequent years include the following:

  • The New Parent Leave Act: Under this newly passed legislation, small companies that have at least 20 employees will now be required to provide unpaid leave for parents to bond with a new child. The leave must be taken within a year of a child being born or adopted or within a year of a foster care child being placed. Employers are required only to provide the leave for the birth or placement of a child, not for any other medical needs of family members.
  • Assembly Bill 1008: This new regulation prohibits an employer with at least five employees from making inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history on a job application. Employers are also barred from from considering an applicant’s criminal history at any time until the employer has made a conditional offer of employment, except in limited circumstances such as when a background check for the profession is mandated under local, state, or federal laws.
  • Assembly Bill 168: Employers are not permitted by law to ask about a job applicant’s prior salary or job benefits, and employers are not allowed to use salary history as a factor in setting an applicant’s current pay. If a job applicant discloses salary information voluntarily, however, the employer is permitted to use that information. This law is aimed at combatting alleged wage discrimination whereby women are paid less than men for similar work.
  • The Immigrant Worker Protection Act: This law protects undocumented workers from immigration enforcement while they are working. Under the law, employers aren’t permitted to reverify whether current employees remain eligible to work.
  • SB 396: This law requires that any employer who provides a mandatory training course must include in the course a discussion of harassment or discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.
  • SB 295: This law establishes new requirements for sexual harassment prevention training and requires the training be conducted in a language spoken by the workers who are receiving the training.

This is just a small sample of the laws expected to go into effect in 2018. It is critical to speak with your business litigation lawyer for assistance complying with these changes in rules and regulations that could affect your rights or obligation as a business owner.

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