Laws for Employers in California

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave:  AB 1522

 Starting on July 1, 2016, employers are required to pay sick leave for employees who work 30 or more days within a year.  The law applies to all employees, whether they are full-time, part-time, temporary, migrant, or seasonal (small businesses are not exempt). 

Employees accrue paid sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, and can accrue up to six days (48 hours) of sick leave during the year, if there is no payout of unused time.  Employers are not required to pay out accrued sick leave at the end of an individual’s employment. 

Independent Contract Workers:  AB 1897

This law states that employers are to be responsible for independent contract workers.  Now, employers are jointly liable if they use independent contractors for workers’ wages and workers’ compensation insurance.  The employer can be legally responsible if the contractor fails in either of those areas.  Joint responsibility takes place when the independent contractor has a total of 6 or more non-exempt workers at the job site.

 Abusive Conduct Training:  AB 2053

 This law expands existing sexual harassment training requirements to include prevention of abusive conduct.  Employers who are required to provide sexual harassment training to supervisors are now required to provide training on abusive conduct.   

Abusive conduct is defined as “something that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to an employer’s legitimate business interests.”

Examples include: repeated infliction of verbal abuse, verbal or physical conduct that may intimidate, humiliate, or threatening. 

Discrimination Protection:  AB 1443 

AB 1443 states that discrimination protections are now extended to volunteers and unpaid interns.  These protections are added to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act to these workers to be protected by the state’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment laws, as well as religious beliefs to provide accommodation.   

Foreign Labor:  AB 477 

AB 477 adds protections to foreign workers and foreign labor contractors (a person who recruits or solicits compensation for a foreign worker).  The law now makes it illegal for a foreign labor contractor to charge a fee to a foreign worker, and limits housing costs charged to a foreign worker to make sure they are charged market rate.    Foreign labor contractors must meet requirements by July 1, 2016.