California enacted nearly 900 new laws in 2017, and much of the legislation moved towards protecting employees in all sorts of workplaces. Employers and managers are adjusting their businesses to accommodate these new statutes. These include new hiring procedures, immigration enforcement and allowances for parental leave.
Employers in the Golden State are now prohibited from asking new job applicants about salary history in order to form an offer. Applicants are permitted to volunteer this information, which could include benefits as well as salary. Applicants may also expect a pay scale provided by a prospective employer upon request.
Criminal histories may not be considered while employers with five or more workers screen job applicants, according to the new California Fair Chance Act. Applicants must be determined to be qualified before criminal history may be introduced, and they must be allowed a chance to respond if that history becomes the reason for rejection.
The new Immigration Worker Protection Act designates the federal Form I-9 as the only requirement for verifying a worker’s immigration status. In addition, the California Family Rights Act was recently amended to increase parental leave. Employers with 20 or more employees may provide up to 12 weeks of leave for parents to bond with newborns or recently adopted children.
Updates in employment law are the responsibility of employers to understand and follow. Victims of employment law violations have the right to sue for companies and individuals to follow these laws. An attorney can help workers and former workers prepare a civil lawsuit to address these violations and award financial damages as appropriate.
Source: Bloomberg Law, “New Employment Laws Pose Compliance Challenges in California,” Dori Goldstein, March 31, 2018