- As California goes, so goes the nation, according to an old saying. If so, the Golden State and its new workplace rules are worth watching. Multiple new laws this year involve all-gender restroom laws, issue mediation changes, and updates on employee pay.
- Other changes in the law are updates or expansions. The state’s Pay Equity Act expands beyond gender to include race and ethnicity. California’s minimum wage will also rise from $10 an hour to $10.50; however, the governor can temporary halt an increase because of economic factors.
- Current law doesn’t allow employers to ask job candidates of any age about a past arrest record that didn’t result in a conviction. The state will also extend further protection to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence or stalking by requiring employers with 25 or more workers to allow them protected time off for medical treatment or to attend court proceedings and to notify them of their rights.
California took an unprecedented step in expanding its pay equity law to include race and ethnicity. The Fair Labor Standards Act allows employees to discuss pay rates without fearing retaliation. Voluntary disclosure makes hiding pay disparities more difficult and employers who violate the law liable. More laws like that are spreading throughout the country, adding to compliance burden.
Generally, California has some of the most intense employee protection laws in the nation and can serve as a basis for the type of compliance a multi-state employer may need to adhere to in order to remain lawfully acting.