Knowing your rights as an employee is critical to making sure they are properly enforced. Unfortunately, employment rights can be a complicated area of the law. Further still, these laws are constantly changing. So, you not only need to have a firm foundation of knowledge regarding employment rights, but you should also try to keep up to date with changes in the law. This year, California has taken some bold steps in the area of wage and hour legislation. These laws will go into effect in the new year, 2021. We will go over said legislation in more detail here.
Wage and Hour Legislation Recently Passed
As of January 1, 2021, California will see new employment laws go into effect that may have significant impacts on workers throughout the state. For instance, California’s minimum wage, as well as the exempt salary thresholds will increase. This, in fact, is due to SB 3 which was passed during the 2015-2016 legislative session. This important piece of legislation established a schedule of minimum wage increases for the State of California through the year 2023. As of January 1, 2020, employers with 26 or more employees had a mandatory minimum wage increase from the $12 per hour previous minimum to $13 per hour. Additionally, the exempt annual salary threshold went up to $54,080 where it was previously at $49,920. As of January 1, 2021, the minimum wage will increase further as it goes from $13 per hour up to $14 per hour for those employers who have 26 or more employees. Be sure to check your local minimum wage laws, as well as local rules, which may increase the minimum wage even more than the state law.
In addition to minimum wage increases, there are other pieces of wage and hour legislation that California workers should be aware of. For instance, AB 2765 relates to the prevailing wages of those employed in public works. This law, which will be effective as of January 1, 2021, will require that workers employed in public works will, generally speaking, receive no less than the prevailing rate of per diem wages. AB 2765 also expands what is defined as “public works” to include construction work, alteration, demolition, or installation which is done under private contract for a charter school if the project is paid for from certain bonds’ proceedings.
AB 2017 made changes relating to sick leave and kin care. In fact, it amends Section 233 of the Labor Code which allowed employees to use half of their annual accrual of sick leave in order to provide care for a family member. AB 2017 grants employees sole discretion to designate leave taken to provide care for a family member as sick leave.
These are among several important employment law changes coming to the State of California. Employers should take heed of these legislative updates and make changes accordingly. This may include updating company policies as well as employee handbooks.
Employment Law Attorneys
Understanding employment laws and keeping up with changes in the law can be overwhelming. If you need assistance understanding or enforcing your employment rights, talk to the knowledgeable attorneys at The Rankin Law Firm. Contact us today.