California employers beware: since January 1, 2022, California employers have made four statewide legal changes that affect the rights of employees. In addition, employers need to be aware of the new living wage ordinances specific to certain localities. These new laws require updated labor law posters for employees.
We highlight these changes below, starting with the statewide labor law changes.
Statewide Labor Law Changes
As of January 1, 2022, the current hourly minimum wage in California is:
· $14.00 for employers with 25 or fewer employees and
· $15.00 for employers with 26 or more employees.
As a result, employees with exempt status in California will see their monthly salary increase to an annual salary of $62,400 if there are 26 or more employees or $58,240 if there are 25 or fewer employees. Employers must be aware that certain industries have specific minimum monthly salaries as well.
Workplace Discrimination and Harassment
A new labor law poster requirement clarifies how to file complaints.
As a result of the #MeToo movement, California passed the Stand Together Against Nondisclosure (STAND) Act. This act prohibits using confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements in cases involving claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and workplace harassment or discrimination based on sex. In January 2022, this prohibition on confidentiality expanded to any type of claim of workplace harassment or discrimination based on a protected characteristic. This means that individuals are free to discuss the underlying facts related to claims of workplace sexual harassment or discrimination.
Additionally, with respect to non-disparagement agreements in California, it is now illegal to include any provision that prohibits an employee from disclosing information about any type of harassment or discrimination or other workplace conduct an employee believes is unlawful unless the agreement contains specific language in the statute.
Employers are still allowed to keep settlement or severance amounts confidential, and California law still protects employer trade secrets, proprietary information, and other confidential information that does not involve workplace harassment or discrimination.
Your Rights and Obligations as a Pregnant Employee
When an employee notifies the employer of pregnancy, the employer must provide a copy of “Your Rights and Obligations as a Pregnant Employee.” This notice covers the reasonable accommodations and notice and timing obligations from both employees and employers as well as return rights. The 2022 version of the poster defines “child” and “parent.”
Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave
The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) authorizes eligible employees to take a total of 12 weeks of paid or unpaid protected leave during a 12-month period under certain qualifying circumstances. Under recent changes, there are more employers who must comply with CRFA as well as expanded definitions of a child and eligible family members. In 2022, an employee may not use CFRA leave to care for parents-in-law with serious health conditions.
Local Wage Ordinances and Labor Law Updates
Effective January 1, 2022, unless otherwise stated, certain California localities have also introduced updates and/or new posting requirements for employers in a number of locations.
- Alameda – Minimum Wage: $15.75 per hour by July 1, 2022
- Belmont – Minimum Wage: $16.20 per hour
- Berkeley – Minimum Wage: $16.99 per hour by July 1, 2022
- Burlingame – Minimum Wage: $15.60 per hour
- Cupertino – Minimum Wage: $16.40 per hour
- Daly City – Minimum Wage: $15.53 per hour
- East Palo Alto – Minimum Wage: $15.60 per hour
- El Cerrito – Minimum Wage: $16.37 per hour
- Emeryville – Minimum Wage: $17.68 per hour by July 1, 2022
- Fremont – Minimum Wage: $16.00 per hour by July 1, 2022
- Half Moon Bay – Minimum Wage: $15.56 per hour
- Hayward – Minimum Wage: $14.52 to $15.56, depending on the size of the employer
- Los Angeles City – Minimum Wage: $16.04 per hour by July 1, 2022
- Los Angeles County – Minimum Wage: $16.04 per hour by July 1, 2022
- Los Altos – Minimum Wage: $16.40 per hour; there is also a “Know Your Rights” poster updated to reflect the 2022 minimum wage
- Malibu – Minimum Wage: $15.96 per hour by July 1, 2022
- Menlo Park – Minimum Wage: $15.75 per hour
- Milpitas – Minimum Wage: $16.40 per hour by July 1, 2022
- Mountain View – Minimum Wage: $17.10 per hour
- Novato – Minimum Wage: Ranges from $15.00 per hour to $15.77 per hour, depending on the size of the company
- Oakland – Minimum Wage: $15.06 per hour; the “Measure FF” poster also includes information about paid sick leave and a notice requiring payment of customer service charges to hospitality employees
- Palo Alto – Minimum Wage: $16.45 per hour, plus a new “Know Your Rights” poster updated to reflect the 2022 minimum wage
- Pasadena – Minimum Wage: $16.11 per hour by July 1, 2022
- Petaluma – Minimum Wage: $15.85 per hour
- Redwood City – Minimum Wage: $16.20 per hour
- Richmond – Minimum Wage: $15.54 per hour; there is a minimum wage notice and a notice titled “Your Rights as an Employee” updated to reflect the 2022 minimum wage
- San Carlos – Minimum Wage: $15.77 per hour
- San Diego – Minimum Wage: $15.00 per hour, and there is also a new poster explaining that employers must provide paid sick leave to every employee who works at least two hours a week
- San Francisco – A new poster for the city’s Health Care Security Ordinance updates spending rates for 2022
- South San Francisco – Minimum Wage: $15.80 per hour
- San Jose – Minimum Wage: $16.20 per hour; new versions of the “Know Your Rights” and “Ordinance Basics and Responsibilities” posters update the 2022 minimum wage information
- San Mateo – Minimum Wage: $16.20 per hour
- Santa Clara – Minimum Wage: $16.40 per hour; new “Know Your Rights” and “Ordinance Basics and Responsibilities” include updated 2022 minimum wage information
- Santa Monica – Minimum Wage: $15.96 per hour by July 1, 2022
- Santa Rosa – Minimum Wage: $15.85 per hour
- Sonoma – Minimum Wage: $15.00 to $16.00 per hour, depending on the size of the employer
- Sunnyvale – Minimum Wage: $17.10 per hour
- West Hollywood – Minimum Wage: $17.64 per hour, on a phased schedule raising the minimum wage for large and small businesses
Labor Law Posting Requirements for All California Businesses
All employers must display employment law posters that employees can easily view. California law also provides an alternative email posting option as more employees work remotely;
however, all employers must still comply with existing California posting requirements and physically post documents in the workplace.
Our California labor law poster package includes the new posters as well as other required California posters. If you sign up for our 1-Year Compliance Plan, you’ll receive regular updates, so you’ll never miss out on any new posting requirements and updates.