What New California Labor Laws Do You Need to Know About?

Sacramento state seal

California recently experienced a few changes made to its labor laws. These laws, which will take effect in 2020, spell good news for California workers. We have compiled the following list of new labor laws in California for your convenience. If you seek legal help, we encourage you to speak with an experienced attorney today.

AB 9: “SHARE” Act

SHARE stands for the “Stop Harassment and Reporting Extension” Act. This act extends the statute of limitations under the Fair Housing and Employment Act (FEHA). Under the new SHARE Act, workers now have three years to file certain kinds of work-related claims. These claims include workplace harassment, discrimination, or civil-rights-related retaliation claims. Before, the statute of limitations for these kinds of claims was only one year.

AB 51: Prohibition of Arbitration Agreements

Under this new California labor law, employers can no longer require an employee or applicant to settle future disputes through arbitration. While employees can choose to give up their right to sue in favor of arbitration, employers cannot make that choice a condition of employment. This means that employers cannot force employees to sign an arbitration clause. Nor can employers retaliate against or fire employees for refusing to sign. This makes arbitration clauses optional and ensures employees are completely protected by FEHA.

AB 749: “No Rehire” Provisions in Settlement Agreements

This law prohibits employers from using “no rehire” provisions in settlement agreements. This applies to agreements reached between employers and disgruntled employees who have filed claims against them. Employers cannot use these provisions to deter employees from filing claims of sexual harassment discrimination or other workplace issues. However, the law does allow exceptions. Employers can still terminate employees for not doing their job or for misbehavior. As long as the reason for termination is not connected to a settlement, AB 749 has no effect. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2020. But it does not void “no rehire” provisions in settlements made before that date.

SB 142: Accommodations for Lactating Employees

This law expands the accommodations that employers must offer lactating employees. Employers must provide these employees with a space that has running water and a refrigerator. It also extends employer policy and document retention requirements. Failure to do so will result in Labor Code penalties.

SB 688: Unpaid Wages

This new labor law in California provides added protection for workers’ wages. Labor laws in California currently allow the Labor Commissioner to issue a citation if an employer fails to pay an employee minimum wage. The new law will allow the Labor Commissioner the same ability in cases where a worker has entered a contract for more than the minimum wage, but the employer has failed to pay what was promised.

Contact a Walnut Creek Labor Lawyer Today

If you are a worker, it is important that you keep up-to-date with the labor laws in California. We have included some of these laws here, but this list is not exhaustive. We encourage you to reach out to an employment attorney in Walnut Creek to learn more.

At the Law Office of Christopher Baudino, we take pride in helping workers. We do so by offering a wide range of practice areas that pertain to many workers. If you would like more information, contact us today.

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