New Laws for 2024

California’s legislature and courts have been busy making new laws and decisions. You are required to implement most of the legal changes listed below on January 1st, 2024. Some changes will affect your Employee Handbook policies so plan to have it updated.

  • Increased Wage and Salary – The minimum wage throughout California will be $16/hour. Local laws may increase that amount. The minimum salary will be $66,560 no matter how few hours the employee may work. The minimum wage for computer software professionals increases to $55.58/hour and the minimum salary for them will be $115,763.35. Don’t make anyone salaried (exempt) without confirming they legally qualify for the exemption.
  • CA Sick Leave – Sick leave has been increased throughout California to a minimum of 40 hours per plan year. The hourly accrual rate has not increased, just the maximums. If you are using the accrual system, you must allow employees to accrue up to 80 hours but can limit usage to 40 hours per plan year. The extra accrual ensures the employee will have sick time available at the beginning of the next plan year. If you are front-loading, change the amount to 40 hours for ALL employees and new hires (yes, even part-time employees).
  • Unlimited Vacation – Court decisions have changed how this can work and, it would appear, make it less attractive to employers. In the simplest example, if Sam uses less unlimited vacation than Joe, you may have to pay Sam the difference. It’s even worse with unlimited PTO because Joe could use it for long-term medical leaves and you might need to pay Sam an even bigger difference. If you’re thinking of any unlimited paid time off benefit, please talk with an employment attorney first.
  • Reproductive Loss Leave – This is a new, separate leave for companies with 5 or more employees. It allows up to 5 non-consecutive days of unpaid time off for employees who have worked for you for at least 30 days. Eligible reasons include failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, and unsuccessful assisted reproduction.
  • Cannabis Use – CA discrimination laws have expanded and protect employees who may use cannabis when not working. If you are doing drug testing, make sure the cannabis test is only for active impairment/THC. Building and construction trades are exempted. You can still prohibit cannabis use or impairment during work hours.
  • Joint Employers – The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has released its final rule, making it easier for workers to be considered employees of more than one company. When there are joint employers, those employers may be subject to shared responsibility for certain labor and employment matters. Simply, if one of the joint employers gets in trouble, the other might share that burden.
  • Employee Agreements – If you use an Employee Agreement, severance and release agreements, non-disclosure agreements, or non-compete agreements, you’ll need to have them reviewed and updated based on recent court decisions.
  • Minimum Wage for Fast Food Employees – As of April 1, 2024, this affects fast food chains with 60 or more establishments. Their employees must earn a minimum wage of $20.00/hour. There is movement on making the minimum $22.00/hour and that should be decided next year.
  • Minimum Wage for Health Care Employees – As of June 1, 2024, a wide range of healthcare facilities will have new minimum wages from $18.00 to $23.00 per hour. Please review SB525 to see where you might fit or speak with an Employment Law attorney.
  • Mandatory Workplace Violence Prevention – Effective July 1st, 2024, you probably need a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan (you may add it to your Illness and Injury Prevention Plan) and provide training. There are a few exceptions but it’s best to review this law with your Employment Law attorney.

You have a lot of new laws and regulations to review so you are compliant on January 1st. Now is the time to prepare for any needed changes to your policies, practices, or Employee Handbook.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>





This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.