Property Service Workers Protection Act

On September 15, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Property Service Workers Protection Act (A.B. 1978) which establishes various requirements for the janitorial industry. Among other things, the bill requires covered employers to:

  • Effective immediately, keep certain records for three years.
  • Effective July 1, 2018, Register annually with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).
  • Effective July 1, 2018, provide all covered workers with a copy of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) pamphlet DFEH-185, entitled Sexual Harassment, until a sexual violence and harassment training program has been implemented (see below).
  • Implement a workplace sexual violence and harassment training program by January 1, 2020. The DLSE has until January 1, 2019, to establish a biennial in-person sexual violence and harassment training requirement for covered employers and employees.

The bill provides civil fines for violations.

The law went into effect upon signing.

Read CA A.B. 1978

San Francisco Amends Paid Parental Leave Law

On September 14, 2016, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee signed legislation (Ordinance 181-16) amending the city’s Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPLO). The PPLO requires, as of January 1, 2017, San Francisco employers with 50 or more employees to provide partial (45 percent) wage replacement (supplemental compensation) to employees taking leave to bond with a new child under the California Paid Family Leave program. On July 1, 2017, the ordinance’s supplemental compensation requirement will expand to San Francisco employers with 35 or more employees, and on January 1, 2018, to employers with 20 or more employees.

The amending ordinance makes the following technical amendments to the PPLO, consistent with its original intent:

  • Updates the legislative findings to reflect a recently enacted change in the state’s Paid Family Leave law which will increase the wage replacement rate under the state law starting January 1, 2018 from 55 percent to 60 percent for higher income workers, and to 70 percent for lower income workers. This change in state law will have the effect of reducing covered employers’ supplemental compensation obligation to 40 percent and 30 percent of weekly wages respectively.
  • Clarifies that a covered employer’s obligation to pay supplemental compensation coincides with the period during which the employee actually receives Paid Family Leave wage benefits from the state, which may not necessarily coincide with the employee’s six-week leave period because employees may apply for such benefits after their leave has already commenced, and/or the state may delay issuing payments.
  • Clarifies that periods of unpaid leave — in addition to paid leave — may not be counted when calculating an employee’s average weekly hours for purposes of determining the employee’s eligibility as a “covered employee.”
  • Clarifies that periods of partially paid leave — in addition to unpaid leave — may not be counted when calculating an employee’s average weekly earnings.
  • Removes a provision about employees who have been working for less than 26 weeks because an employee must work for at least 180 days in order to qualify as a covered employee.
  • Clarifies that the time when covered employees should give the state permission to share their Paid Family Leave weekly benefit information with their employer is when they file their application with the state, and that employers must in turn affirmatively request such weekly benefit information from the state.

Read the Amending Ordinance

Establishments Licensed by the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology – Required Posters

On September 14, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation (A.B. 2437) requiring establishments licensed by the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to post a notice of wages and hours in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Korean. The notices must be posted on or after July 1, 2017. The Labor Commissioner will create a model posting notice, in each of the listed languages, for employers to use on or before June 1, 2017.

Read CA A.B. 2437

Data Breach Notification Law Expanded

On September 13, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation (A.B. 2828) expanding the scope of the state’s data breach notification law to include the breach of encrypted information if the encryption key or security credential has also been compromised.

The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

Read CA A.B. 2828

Domestic Workers Bill of Rights – Repeal Date Removed

On September 12, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation (S.B. 1015) that removes the repeal date of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (DWBR). The DWBR regulates the hours of domestic work employees who are personal attendants and provides an overtime compensation rate for those employees. The DWBR was originally scheduled to be repealed on January 1, 2017.

Read CA S.B. 1015

California Earned Income Tax Credit Notice

On September 12, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation (A.B. 1847) that requires employers currently required to notify employees who may be eligible for the federal earned income tax credit (EITC) to also notify those same employees that they may be eligible for the state EITC under the same conditions.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

Read CA A.B. 1847

Overtime for Agricultural Employees

On September 12, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Phase-In Overtime for Agricultural Workers Act of 2016 (A.B. 1066) granting overtime pay for farmworkers.

Existing California law sets wage, hour, meal break requirements, and other working conditions for employees and requires an employer to pay overtime wages to an employee who works in excess of a workday or workweek and imposes criminal penalties for the violation of these requirements. Existing California law exempts agricultural employees from these requirements.

Assembly Bill 1066 removes this exemption for agricultural employees regarding hours, meal breaks, and other working conditions, and creates a schedule that phases in overtime requirements for agricultural workers over the course of four years (from 2019 to 2022). Beginning January 1, 2022, the bill will require any work performed by a person employed in an agricultural occupation in excess of 12 hours in one day to be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the employee’s regular rate of pay. The bill would provide employers who employ 25 or fewer employees an additional three years to comply with the phasing in of these overtime requirements. The bill authorizes the Governor to delay the implementation of these overtime pay provisions if the Governor also suspends the implementation of a scheduled state minimum wage increase. The bill also requires the Department of Industrial Relations to update a specified wage order for consistency with these provisions.

The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2017.

Read the CA A.B. 1066

San Francisco Releases Employer Health Care Spending Rates

The City of San Francisco has announced the 2017 rates for its Health Care Security Ordinance, whereby employers must either contribute a specified amount toward their employees’ health care costs on a regular basis or pay into a city health care fund for San Francisco residents. Beginning January 1, 2017, the health care expenditure rate for employers with 100 or more employees will be $2.64 per hour, and the rate for medium-sized employers with 20 – 99 employees will be $1.76 per hour.

The health care expenditures must be made on behalf of employees employed for more than 90 days and who regularly work at least eight hours per week in San Francisco. Employers with 19 or fewer employees and nonprofits with 49 or fewer employees are exempt.

Read the Announcement