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California Employment Law Changes In 2022

Updated: 5 days ago

Updates On California Labor Laws That Will Be Effective This 2022

We're entering 2022, and new California labor laws will be effective soon. Know what they are and how they affect your rights. Here's a list of the changes in California employment laws, which our prescreened California Employment Attorneys will also consider.

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1. Increased Minimum Wage In California

California's minimum wage threshold for companies with 25 or fewer employees will increase to $14.00 per hour on January 1, 2022. For employers with 26 or more employees in their company, there will be an increase of $15.00 per hour.

However, certain cities' minimum wages may be greater than the state's as long as they do not fall below the state's minimum wage.

Additionally, employers must pay exempt employees at least two times the California minimum wage (based on a 40-hour workweek) for full-time work.

If you continue to be paid less than the new minimum wage, consult a Los Angeles Employment Attorney immediately.

2. Penal Code's Definition Of "Grand Theft" Will Include Intentional Pay Theft

Any intentional theft of pay in an amount larger than $950 from one employee or $2,350 in the aggregate from two or more employees by an employer in any successive 12-month period shall be a crime punishable as a misdemeanor or felony under this new law.

For this new law, independent contractors are considered employees.

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3. Warehouse And Distribution Centers Need To Disclose Productivity Quotas To Employees

AB 701 changes the Labor Code to compel warehouse and distribution centers to disclose written information about productivity quotas to their employees.

This bill also states that employees cannot be forced to meet a quota that stops them from meeting meal and rest period requirements, using restroom facilities, or following occupational health and safety regulations.

4. Exemptions In The ABC Test

AB 1561 modifies the following existing exemptions from the ABC test:

  • Licensed manicurists (effective date extended to January 1, 2025).

  • Subcontractors in the construction industry (applicable timeframe extended to work performed before January 1, 2025).

  • A person licensed by the Department of Insurance or who provides underwriting inspections, audits, risk management, or loss control work for the insurance industry (effective date extended to January 1, 2025).

5. Changes In CFRA

Employees caring for a parent-in-law are now covered under AB 1033, which changes the California Family Rights Act ("CFRA").

The CFRA mandates employers to provide eligible employees with up to 12 work weeks of unpaid protected leave for family care and medical leave.

If you've been denied leave or fired in violation of the CFRA, consult with a prescreened Los Angeles Employment Lawyer.

6. Contractors And Subcontractors Need To Provide Electronic Records

AB 1023 changed the requirement that contractors or subcontractors working on public works provide certain payroll records to the labor commissioner, requiring contractors to provide documents in electronic format every 30 days during the project's construction and within 30 days after the project's completion.

Failure to produce the records will result in a penalty of $100 per day, up to $5,000 per project, if the documents are not provided.

7. Changes On By-Piece And By-Unit Compensation

Senate Bill ("SB") 62 changes the Labor Code to prohibit companies from compensating employees involved in garment manufacturing by the piece or unit, with few exceptions.

This bill further clarifies that, regardless of how many contracting levels a person uses, anyone who hires for the manufacture of clothing is liable for the unpaid salaries and overtime of the people who make their garments.

8. OSHA Has New Categories For Violations

SB 606 broadens Cal/enforcement OSHA's jurisdiction by introducing two new types of infractions: enterprise-wide violations and severe violations.

An example of this is when a company has a written policy or process that breaches OSHA's rules.

9. Added Contractor Liability

SB 727 changes the Labor Code to include fines, liquidated damages, and interest in a direct contractor's liability for any debt owing to a wage claimant by a subcontractor.

10. Extended Retention Period Of Employee Data

SB 807 increases the retention period for some employment-related data, including applications and personnel files, from two to four years.

When a complaint is filed with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing ("DFEH"), there are different retention requirements. While a mandated or voluntary dispute resolution is proceeding, the Bill extends the period for the DFEH to launch a civil action.

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11. Changes In Confidentiality Provisions

SB 331 broadens the existing prohibition on confidentiality provisions in employment-related settlement agreements to include those that limit disclosure of facts relating to all types of workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, not just those based on sex, under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

This bill also mandates that employees in separation agreements be informed of their ability to speak with a California Employment Lawyer and be given at least five days to do so.

12. Updates On Paying Arbitration Fees

Unless the arbitration agreement clearly provides a payment schedule, SB 762 requires all arbitration fees to be paid upon receipt of the invoice.

The purpose of this bill is to ban employers from delaying arbitration procedures by failing to pay costs on time or requesting extensions unless all parties agree.

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