Several new laws went into effect at the start of this year, several of which have a substantial impact on California businesses.  These laws range from Covid-19 policies, minimum wage increases, to expanded leave benefits. Continue reading for highlights of the new laws, effective January 1, 2021.

Notification of Potential Covid-19 Exposure: Public and private California employers must, within 24 hours, provide detailed notices to employees when there is a Covid-19 exposure and provide notice to local public health departments within 48 hours of Covid-19 “outbreaks.”

Overtime: Agricultural companies with 26 or more workers must pay overtime, after 8.5 hours of work, in a single day, or 45 hours in a week. Fresno employers in farming and agriculture will want to update their wage and hour policies.

Minimum Wage Increase: The California minimum wage increases to $14.00/hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $13.00/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.  Effective January 1, 2021, the City of San Diego’s minimum wage will increase to $14.00 per hour. Local ordinances may impose further increases to the minimum wage, so it is important to keep an eye on your local city or municipality governing body.

Annual Pay Data Reporting Requirements: Under SB 973, employers with more than 100e employees must submit a pay data report to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).  This report is due by March 31 every year, beginning in 2021. The pay data is based on race, ethnicity and gender.

Expansion of Paid Family Leave Benefits: The new law expands family-leave benefits, ensuring that employees who work for an employer with at least five employees must be provided up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave, for an employee’s own serious health condition or that of a qualifying family member. The new law also expands on the potential reasons for taking leave, making it possible for workers affected by Covid-19 to take time off to care for a parent, sibling or grandchild.

Expanded Leave for Crime Victims: AB 2992 extends job-protected leave for a victim of a crime or abuse that caused physical injury or mental injury and a threat of physical injury. This is in addition to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. California employers with 25 or more employees must also provide such victims time off work to seek medical attention and psychological counseling for injuries, to participate in safety planning, or to obtain services from a victims’ services organization.

Independent Contractor Benefits: Independent contractors who work for app-based companies, including Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, are now eligible for a limited number of healthcare and other workplace benefits, including a guaranteed wage for time spent behind the wheel.

Corporate Diversity: Publicly held corporations with principal executive offices in California are required to have at least one director from an underrepresented community by the end of 2021. Corporations may increase the number of directors on their boards to comply with these requirements.

If you have any questions about how these laws apply to your business, contact the experienced business attorneys at Webb Law Group.