Another year, another dozen or so new laws for California employers and employees to brush up on. (It’s the most wonderful time of the year.) Here are my top three:
1. Paid Sick Leave Posting and Notice Requirements
While California’s new paid sick leave law does not go into effect until July 1, 2015, employers are required to provide notice of employees’ paid sick leave rights beginning January 1, 2015. Employers must post notice of these rights where employees can easily read it in the same manner as they do (or should do) with respect to their employees’ minimum wage, overtime, and worker’s compensation rights. Further, employers must provide newly-hired non-exempt employees with notice of their paid sick leave benefits pursuant to the Wage Theft Prevention Act Notice (Labor Code section 2810.5), or “WTPAN,” as it is referred to by . . . absolutely no one.
2. Protection for Unpaid Interns and Volunteers Under FEHA
Assembly Bill 1443 closes a pretty egregious loophole exempting unpaid interns and volunteers from the discrimination, harassment and retaliation protections of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. AB 1443 extends such rights to unpaid interns and volunteers.
3. Extended Statute of Limitations on Liquidated Damages for Minimum Wage Violations
Assembly Bill 2074 clarifies that the statute of limitations for liquidated damages stemming from minimum wages violations under California Labor Code sections 1197.1 and 1194.2 is the same as the underlying minimum wage violations themselves, three years. Previous case law had suggested that these liquidated damages were penalties and thus subject to a one-year statute of limitations.
Please contact the Leichter Law Firm, APC located in Los Angeles, California to learn more about your legal rights in the workplace.