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Labor law changes coming to California in 2018

Employee Benefits icon3 min read

California governor, Jerry Brown recently signed some significant bills into place for California employment law. SHRM put together a list of the top five new state laws that HR should start preparing for. Here’s a summary of those laws:

  • Inquiries about salary history: employers will no longer be permitted to ask job candidates about their earning, current or prior. Employers must also provide job candidates with pay scale information should the applicant request it.
  • Immigration: employers must demand warrants and subpoenas from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents before enforcement. Employers must also provide certain notices to employees and union reps.
  • Ban the box: employers with five or more employees may no longer look at a job candidate’s criminal record until the employer makes a conditional offer of employment. Employers may change the offer upon reviewing criminal history if they follow certain steps before coming to their final decision. This makes California the 10th state to require private-sector employers to ban the box. “Ban the box” comes from the idea that employers discriminate against candidates who check the box on applications that asks if they’ve ever been convicted of a felony. The Ban the Box movement aims to encourage employers to hire the most qualified candidate for a job, regardless of whether they have prior convictions.
  • Baby bonding leave: Small businesses with 20-49 employees must provide at least 12 weeks of job-protected new parent leave within the first year of a child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. To qualify, employees must have more than 12 months of service and at 1250 hours of service with the employer within that 12 months. Employees must complete the service requirement before beginning the leave period.
  • Gender identity and sexual orientation harassment training: In addition to sexual harassment training requirements for companies with 50 or more employees, the new law will add required training on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation harassment. Employers must also post a transgender rights notice in the workplace.

If you’re in Human Resources in the state of California, it’s time to prepare for some changes to employment law coming in 2018. If you’re an HR professional in another state, take note: other states could soon be following suit.