California’s Legislature Enacts Several New Laws That Will Impact Workplace in 2023!
Karma Management has now become Karma Global which was incorporated in the year 2004, having now completed almost 18 years of its existence.
As late as April 2021, Karma Global took a very bold step of venturing into foreign shores in terms of shoving up its business prospects in countries like the US, the UK, UAE, Canada, the Philippines, and South East Asia.
It has already made its mark in terms of providing excellent services in the areas of payroll, outsourcing, recruitment and talent acquisition, facility management services, and regulatory compliances including immigration, negotiations, and employment contracts in these foreign countries as well.
In fact, the CVO and MD, Pratik Vaidya of Karma Global were selected by SME Forum last year to lead a Select US Summit where he took along a delegation of over hundreds of SME Members for business discussions with the authorities in the States as well as with the entrepreneurs and Innovators of many countries who were present in this forum.
Soon thereafter, Pratik Vaidya, CVO & MD of Karma Global went on a Europe tour, participating along with Advantage Austria and brainstorming on the ecosystem of Start-ups in Salzburg, Austria
Karma Global thus entails the compliance of international clients in keeping with the global scenario, thereby undertaking a noteworthy mission of guiding clients through a spider’s web of legislation so that clients are able to stay on the right side of the ever-changing laws, especially if, it keeps an update on what is happening around the world as far as people, wages, work, benefits, employment contracts, negotiation, and unions are concerned.
Karma Global’s decades of experience in making sure that clients are compliant with all types of changing legislation offers unique support to mitigate risk and grasp technological solutions with a combination of expertise.
California’s Legislature Enacts Several New Laws That Will Impact Workplace in 2023!
The California Legislature has enacted several new laws for compliance in 2023!
Besides various state labour and employment laws, the minimum wage has increased!
Expanded pay data reporting and mandatory disclosures!
The select employment laws have gone into effect on Jan. 1, 2023, unless stated otherwise.
Minimum Wage Increases: As of Jan. 1, 2023, the California state minimum wage will increase to $15.50 for all employers, regardless of employee headcount. This also means that as of Jan. 1, 2023, exempt employees in California must be paid a minimum annual salary of $64,480.
“Living wage ordinances” in various locales within the state have been enacted, so local standards should be confirmed to ensure compliance with all governing wage requirements.
Covered-exempt computer professional employees must be paid a minimum of $53.80 per hour, or $112,065.20 in annual salary.
(Expanded Pay Data Reporting and Mandatory Pay Scale Disclosures): This bill requires private employers with 100 or more employees to submit a pay data report to the Civil Rights Department annually on or before the second Wednesday of May, beginning May 10, 2023.
The pay data report is separate from an employer’s EEO-1 and must include the median and mean hourly rate for each combination of race, ethnicity and sex within each job category.
Additionally, beginning Jan. 1, 2023, employers with 15 or more employees must include the pay scale for a position in any job posting. Employers must also provide an employee with the pay scale for the employee’s current position upon the employee’s request.
(CFRA and Paid Sick Leaves Expanded to Cover Employee’s Care for “Designated Person”): This bill expands on the categories of individuals for whom an employee may take leave to care under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and California’s Healthy Workplaces Healthy Families Act (HWHFA).
Under the amended CFRA, an employee may take unpaid leave to care for a “designated person,” defined as “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.”
Similarly, an employee may take paid leave to care for a “designated person” under the amended HWHFA, defined as “a person identified by the employee at the time the employee requests paid sick days.”
Under both the amended CFRA and HWHFA, an employee may identify a designated person at the time they request leave.
An employer, however, may limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period.
(New Requirement to Provide Five Days of Bereavement Leave): AB 1949 requires covered employers to offer employees up to five days of bereavement leave.
Under AB 1949, employees who have been employed for at least 30 days may take five days of bereavement leave for a family member, defined as a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent or grandchild.
Bereavement leave need not be taken consecutively, but, it must be completed within three months of the death.
Notably, the statute states that leave “shall be taken pursuant to any existing bereavement leave policy of the employer.”
Therefore, employers have three options for compliance depending on current practice:
1) If no existing bereavement leave policy exists, then the five days mandated by the new law may be unpaid;
2) If an existing policy provides for less than five days of paid bereavement leave, employees are entitled to take not less than a total of five days of leave, consisting of the number of paid days of leave available under the policy with the remaining days to be unpaid (e.g., a policy providing for two paid days of bereavement leave would result in an employee taking two days of paid bereavement leave and three days of unpaid bereavement leave under the law); or
3) If an existing policy provides for less than five days of unpaid bereavement leave, employees are entitled to take not less than a total of five days of unpaid bereavement leave. In all situations, employees may use vacation, personal leave, sick leave or other compensatory time off to substitute for unpaid leave. Interfering with leave or improperly denying leave are unlawful employment actions; however, an employer is permitted to ask for proof of documentation of death within 30 days of the first day of leave.
(Updated Requirements for COVID-19 Exposure Notification Requirements to Employees): In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, California law previously required employers to provide written notice of potential COVID-19 exposure to employees within one day of receiving notice of such exposure.
This bill revises an employer’s COVID-19 notification requirement by authorizing an employer to alert employees to a potential exposure of COVID-19 by prominently displaying the exposure notice. This bill will no longer require employers who experience a COVID-19 outbreak in their workplace to notify the local public health agency within 48 hours.
(Retaliation Prohibited in the Event of an Emergency Condition): This bill prohibits an employer, in the event of an emergency condition, from taking or threatening adverse action against any employee for refusing to report to, or leaving, a workplace or worksite within the affected area because the employee has a reasonable belief that the workplace or worksite is unsafe, except as specified.
“Emergency condition” means either
1) conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons or property at the workplace or worksite caused by natural forces or a criminal act; or
2) an order to evacuate a workplace, a worksite, a worker’s home or the school of a worker’s child due to natural disaster or a criminal act, but does not include a health pandemic.
The bill also prohibits an employer from preventing any employee from accessing the employee’s mobile device or other communications device for seeking emergency assistance, assessing the safety of the situation, or communicating with a person to confirm their safety.
The bill requires an employee to notify the employer of the emergency condition requiring the employee to leave or refuse to report to the workplace or worksite, as specified. However, these new protections do not apply when emergency conditions that pose an imminent and ongoing risk of harm to the workplace, the worksite, the worker or the worker’s home have ceased.
(Statute of Limitations Extended for Sexual Assault Claims): This bill, until Dec. 31, 2026, revives claims seeking to recover damages suffered as a result of a sexual assault that occurred on or after Jan. 1, 2009, that would otherwise be barred solely because the statute of limitations has or had expired.
The bill also revives claims seeking to recover damages suffered as a result of sexual assault that occurred on or after the plaintiff’s 18th birthday when one or more entities are legally responsible for damages and the entity or their agents engaged in a “cover up” as defined, and any related claims, that would otherwise be barred prior to Jan. 1, 2023, solely because the applicable statute of limitations has or had expired, and authorizes a cause of action to proceed if already pending in court on the effective date of the bill or, if not filed by Jan. 1, 2023, to be commenced between Jan. 1, 2023, and Dec. 31, 2023.
This bill does not revive claims that have been litigated to finality before Jan. 1, 2023, or claims that have been compromised by written settlement agreements entered into before Jan. 1, 2023.
AB-257: FAST Recovery Act
Fast food workers will have more power to fight for wages up to $22 per hour and better working conditions.
The new law paves the way for a special council to set minimum standards for wages, hours, and working conditions.
The law was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Labour Day. Newsom signed the bill to regulate fast food industry working conditions and establish a council to examine pushing the minimum wage to as much as $22 per hour.
The law established California’s Fast Food Council, a 10-member council set up to create standards for wages, hours, and conditions in the fast food industry. The law provides protections for workers who are victims of sexual harassment, wage theft, safety issues, and other hazards.
Big corporations like In-N-Out and Starbucks have backed legal challenges that would put the bill back on the ballot for voters to decide on in 2024.
Minimum Wage Frequently Asked Questions:
|1. What is the minimum wage in California?
|Effective January 1, 2023, the minimum wage is $15.50 per hour for all employers. Some cities and counties have higher minimum wages than the state’s rate.
|Starting in 2017, California started a phase-in schedule to reach the $15 minimum wage for all employers.
|Minimum Wage for Employers with 25 Employees or Less
|Minimum Wage for Employers with 26 Employees or More
|2. What is the difference between the local, state, and federal minimum wage?
|Most employers in California are subject to both federal and state minimum wage laws. Also, local entities (cities and counties) are allowed to enact minimum wage rates and several cities have recently adopted ordinances that establish a higher minimum wage rate for employees working within their local jurisdiction.
The effect of these multiple coverages by different government sources is that when there are conflicting requirements in the laws, the employer must follow the stricter standard; that is, the one that is the most beneficial to the employee. Thus, since California’s current law requires a higher minimum wage rate than does the federal law, all employers in California who are subject to both laws must pay the state minimum wage rate unless their employees are exempt under California law. Similarly, if a local entity (city or county) has adopted a higher minimum wage, employees must be paid the local wage which it is higher than the state or federal minimum wage rates.
|3. What are some exceptions to paying at least the minimum wage per hour?
|There are some employees who are exempt from the minimum wage law, such as outside salespersons, individuals who are the parent, spouse, or child of the employer, and apprentices regularly indentured under the State Division of Apprenticeship Standards.
There is an exception for learners, regardless of age, who may be paid not less than 85 percent of the minimum wage rounded to the nearest nickel during their first 160 hours of employment in occupations in which they have no previous similar or related experience.
There are also exceptions for employees who are mentally or physically disabled, or both, and for nonprofit organizations such as sheltered workshops or rehabilitation facilities that employ disabled workers.
|4. May an employee agree to work for less than the minimum wage?
|No. The minimum wage is an obligation of the employer and cannot be waived by any agreement, including collective bargaining agreements.
|5. Is the minimum wage the same for both adult and minor employees?
|Yes. There is no distinction made between adults and minors when it comes to payment of the minimum wage.
|6. Does an employer have to pay the minimum wage if they only have one employee?
|Yes employers must pay all employees at least the minimum wage per hour.
|7. If a worker also gets paid tips, can an employer use the tips as a credit toward the obligation to pay the minimum wage?
|No. An employer may not use an employee’s tips as a credit toward its obligation to pay the minimum wage per hour.
|8. What can a worker do if their employer does not pay at least the minimum wage?
|Workers can either file a wage claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (the Labor Commissioner’s Office), or file a lawsuit in court against the employer to recover the lost wages. Additionally, if they no longer work for this employer, workers can include in their claim waiting time penalties pursuant to Labor Code Section 203.
|9. What is the procedure that is followed after a wage claim is filed?
|After a wage claim is completed and filed with a local office of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), it will be assigned to a Deputy Labor Commissioner who will determine, based upon the circumstances of the claim and information presented, how best to proceed. Initial action taken regarding the claim can be a referral to a conference or hearing or dismissal of the claim.
If the decision is to hold a conference, the parties will be notified by mail of the date, time, and place of the conference. The purpose of the conference is to determine the validity of the claim and to see if the claim can be resolved without a hearing. If the claim is not resolved at the conference, the next step usually is to refer the matter to a hearing or dismiss it for lack of evidence.
At the hearing, the parties and witnesses testify under oath, and the proceeding is recorded. After the hearing, an Order, Decision, or Award (ODA) of the Labor Commissioner will be served on the parties.
Either party may appeal the ODA to a civil court of competent jurisdiction. The court will set the matter for trial, with each party having the opportunity to present evidence and witnesses. The evidence and testimony presented at the Labor Commissioner’s hearing will not be the basis for the court’s decision. In the case of an appeal by the employer, DLSE may represent an employee who is financially unable to afford counsel in the court proceeding.
|10. What can a worker do if they prevail at the hearing and the employer does not pay or appeal the Order, Decision, or Award?
|When the Order, Decision, or Award (ODA) is in the employee’s favor and there is no appeal, and the employer does not pay the ODA, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (Labor Commissioner’s Office) will have the court enter the ODA as a judgment against the employer. This judgment has the same force and effect as any other money judgment entered by the court. Consequently, workers may either try to collect the judgment themself or it can be assigned to the Labour Commissioner’s Office.
|11. What can a worker do if their employer retaliates against them because they asked about not being paid the minimum wage?
|If an employer discriminates or retaliates against a worker in any manner whatsoever, for example, fires the worker because they asked why they were not being paid the minimum wage, or because they filed a claim or threaten to file a claim with the Labor Commissioner, the worker may have rights to protection from retaliation.
Karma Global while dealing with all such issues and cases, always takes the approach to act trustworthily and to be compliant with the laws of the land.
Karma Global always advises its clients to be on the right side of the law and to abide by the same. In this respect, it offers a plethora of excellent services in terms of documentation compliance and validity of licenses for running the business and also supports establishments and union-afflicted workers to take a just stand on issues, in the company’s interest and not on trivial grounds just for the sake of it, to show the level of aggression.
Respect for all fundamental principles and rights at work (FPRW), including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, is an essential foundation of the ILO and key to successful policy and decision-making. As the world of work is changing at an ever-increasing pace, strong, influential and inclusive social dialogue is, and will be, a key vehicle to shape the world of work that we want.
Karma Global is well aware that the lengthening list of supranational regulations is a burden enough for any multinational business, while each jurisdiction implements its regime with its own unique local twists, creating a maze of localized regulations.
Also, it is universally known that compliance timelines are always tighter given the stipulated dates. Sometimes simple oversights on the part of the employers can threaten to damage reputations and jeopardize operations and therefore, such Organizations like Karma Global make it a point to reach out to employers and establishments struggling with compliance in order to keep pace with them so that staying compliant and in good standing with the Government’s rules, across the entire operational footprints is made simpler and easy by Karma Global
We have the reach and resources to be your global partner in regulatory compliance management, easily transforming all regulatory uncertainties into clarity and control.
Our global regulatory health checks, conducted by our teams of local experts, can evaluate your current regulatory standing across every market and solve the country-specific challenges they find.
With our finger permanently on the regulatory pulse – monitoring supranational regulatory schemes and the innumerable pieces of local legislation that give them the force of law – we make sure there are no surprises.
We expertly classify, register, document, assess, review and report across all your regulatory obligations, leaving you free to focus on the business end.
Our deep, country-by-country knowledge, expressed through a 250 -strong network of local offices makes light work of the most intricate local and global reporting obligations.
For clients facing urgent one-off regulatory challenges – perhaps a major cross-border KYC exercise for a time-critical international deal – we can scale up quickly and easily thanks to a flexible structure and global resource base at local, regional, and international levels.
Proprietary blog of Karma Global Tech Management LLC
This blog has been collated and compiled by the internal staff of Karma Global with the knowledge and expertise that they possess, for its monthly newsletter Issue 08 of February 2023 in case of specific or general information or compliance updates that matter, kindly reach out to the Marketing Team – Kush@karmamgmt.com / firstname.lastname@example.org