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Employer Briefing: New Laws For 2015, Part 1

(posted: December 7th, 2014)

Employer Briefing: New Laws For 2015, Part 1

There are a host of new employment laws coming into effect in 2015.'''

In this three-part series we've called out the laws & regs that are likely to have the greatest impact on employers and give you a brief summary of what to expect.

Part 1 addresses laws affecting leaves of absence, background checks, and workplace safety.

Part 2 will deal with employee protections.

In Part 3 we cover the increased wage-and-hour obligations for employers in 2015.

Remember that we are here to help. If you have questions or concerns about any of the new employment laws, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Leaves of Absence

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave. AB 1522, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, requires employers to provide paid sick leave to any employee who worked in California for 30 days. The effective date for employers to begin providing the paid sick leave benefit is July 1, 2015.

The law contains many different nuances, such as detailed recordkeeping and notice requirements, including a new poster requirement. The law also contains penalties for noncompliance.

We wrote in more detail about this change in an earlier post, here.

Time Off for Emergency Duty. Expanded Category. AB 2536 adds new personnel to the list of employees eligible for protected time off for emergency duty.

Background Checks

Criminal History Information in Public Contracts. AB 1650 requires contractors who bid on state contracts involving on-site construction-related services to certify that they will not ask applicants for on-site construction-related jobs to disclose information concerning criminal history at the time of an initial employment application.

Services to Minors. AB 1852 requires a business that provides specified services to minors to provide a written notice to the parent or guardian of the minor receiving those services. The written notice should address the business's policies relating to employee criminal background checks.

Workplace Safety

Penalties for Failure to Abate Safety Hazards. Cal/OSHA can require an employer to abate (fix) serious workplace safety violations and also issue civil penalties. An employer can appeal the citation. AB 1634, in effect, prohibits the state Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board from modifying civil penalties for abatement or credit for abatement unless the employer has fixed the violation.

Email for Workplace Safety Reports. AB 326 allows employers to email their reports of a work-related serious injury, illness or death to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

Workplace Violence Prevention Plans. Hospitals. SB 1299 requires Cal/OSHA to adopt standards by January 1, 2016, that require specified types of hospitals, including general acute care hospitals or acute psychiatric hospitals, to adopt workplace violence prevention plans as part of the hospitals' injury and illness prevention plans.

In the next post we'll look at the new laws related to employee protections.

Please contact us if you have questions.

Read the Series:

Employer Briefing: New Laws For 2015, Part 1 (Leaves of absence, background checks and workplace safety)

Employer Briefing: New Laws For 2015, Part 2 (Employee protections)

Employer Briefing: New Laws For 2015, Part 3 (Wage and hour)

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