Employers constantly need to be aware of new laws that affect the employer-employee relationship. The first of the year is a time when this is particularly important because many new state and federal laws take effect on January first of the new year. Compiled below is a look at some of the important laws that have changed as of January 1, 2016.
2. E-Verify – AB 622 (CA Law) – prohibits employers from using the E-Verify system to check the employment authorization status of existing employees or applicants who have not received an off of employee (except as required by federal law or as a condition of receiving federal funds).
Employers my still use E-Verify in accordance with federal law to check the employment authorization status of a person who has been offered employment.
If an employer receives any notification issued by the SSA or the DHS containing information specific to the employee’s E-Verify case or any tentative nonconfirmation notice, which indicates the information entered in E-Verify did not match federal records, the employer will be required to provide the notification to the affected person as soon as practicable.
3. Protection of Family Members - AB 1509 – If an employee complains of discrimination or retaliation, because of the claim the employee made against the employer, the Employer may be held liable for retaliation against that employee and any other family member’s of the employee employed by the employer.
4. Equal Pay Act – SB 358 – Under the Act, and employer is prohibited from paying employees of the opposite sex lower wage rather for “substantially similar work.”
Employers may not enact rules policies or other conduct that prohibits employees from disclosing their own wages, discussing wages of others, or asking about the wages of other employees. Still, no one, including the employer is required to disclose employee wages.
5. Employee Time Off – SB 579 – This bill has 2 important pieces (1) An employer cannot discriminate against a parent, guardian, or grandparent have custody of a child in a licensed “child day care facility” or K-12, for taking off up to 40 hours of unpaid time each year for the purpose of participating in school activities; and (2) employees are allowed to use one-half of their accrued sick leave to care for a family member. Employers are prohibited from taking discriminatory action when using sick leave for this purpose.
As a result of the new laws and amendments in employment law, employers should consult with legal counsel to ensure their policies are compliant and their employee handbooks are up to date.
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Author: Aimee Haynes
I motivate, I blog, I listen, I give advice, I help, I create, I work with others, I stand my ground when needed, and I am always open to new ideas. In addition to the qualities that define me most, I'm also a Corporate Law attorney working with entrepreneurs, creatives, and small businesses to help them achieve success.