Are You Aware of These New Employment Laws That Took Effect on January 1, 2023?

A new year usually brings with it several new employment laws, and the year 2023 is not an exception. On January 1, 2023, several California employment laws went into effect. Among the changes that occurred on January 1, 2023, are the following;

  • A higher state minimum wage,
  • Pay transparency and pay data reporting requirements,
  • Provision of bereavement leave,
  • Expansion of California Family Rights Act Leave,
  • Enhancement of retaliation protections surrounding emergency conditions, and
  • The contraceptive Equity Act of 2022.

Below, we briefly discuss each of these new laws. 

State Minimum Wage Increase

On January 1, 2023, California’s minimum wage went up. Now the minimum wage in California is $15.50 per hour. 

Pay Transparency and Pay Data Reporting Requirements

On January 1, 2023, Senate Bill 1162 set new pay transparency and pay data reporting requirements for California employers. 

First, according to this new law, employers with at least fifteen employees must include the amount of money they expect to pay new hires in any job posting, including postings meant to be filled by remote workers and postings made by third-party companies. And if an employee asks to see the pay scale of their current position, an employer must provide it. 

Secondly, from the second week of May 2023, private employers with at least 100 employees must provide a wage data report to the Civil Rights Department every year on that same week of May. Among other things, the report must include median and hourly rates, and employers with several establishments will no longer be able to submit one report for all establishments.

Provision of Bereavement Leave

Assembly Bill 1949 includes bereavement leave as a type of protected leave of absence for California employees. Employers with at least five workers must provide up to five days of bereavement leave to qualifying employees. Employees qualify for unpaid bereavement if they lose a family member, such as a child, parent, spouse, or sibling. 

Expansion of California Family Rights Act Leave

AB 1041 made some amendments to Section 12945.2 of the Government Code, and now a “designated person” is among the class of people for whom a California employee may take family care leave under the CFRA. A designated person is someone related to an employee by blood. They may also have a relationship with an employee that is equivalent to a family relationship.

Enhancement of Retaliation Protections During Emergency Situations

Because of SB 1044, employers no longer have the right to retaliate against a worker who decides not to show up at or leave work because they reasonably believe the premise is hazardous because of an emergency situation. A belief is considered “reasonable” if a reasonable individual with the same information as the worker would conclude there is a real risk of death or bodily harm if they remain on or enter the premises. 

Contraceptive Equity Act of 2022

Senate Bill 523 makes it unlawful for employers to require job applicants or employees to disclose information about reproductive health decision-making or discriminate against an applicant or employee because of their reproductive health decision-making. 

Contact a California Employment Lawyer

Contact a qualified California employment lawyer for more information on the above and other California employment laws that went into effect at the beginning of 2023.