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New employment law requirements for CA businesses take effect in 2015

Starting in 2015, employers in California will have to comply with a number of new laws. One of the major changes comes in the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. The law requires that employers give qualifying employees paid sick leave.

To qualify for paid sick leave, an employee must have worked in California for 30 days. A qualifying employee will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work time. For each year of employment, paid sick leave can be limited by the employer to 24 hours or three days. The employer may also cap the employee's annual accrual at 48 hours or six days. Some businesses have already taken steps to comply with the law, but employers must officially begin providing paid sick leave on July 1, 2015. 

Another change in the law expands protections for unpaid workers. Assembly Bill 1443 prohibits harassment of volunteer workers and unpaid interns. The bill also prohibits discrimination against unpaid interns and requires that employers meet religious accommodation requirements with regard to unpaid workers.

Employers should also be aware of Assembly Bill 1660, which expands protections for undocumented persons. Under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), the bill prohibits employment discrimination against individuals who hold or present "AB 60 driver's licenses," which will be issued to undocumented persons who can prove their identity and that they reside in California. AB 60 licenses will be issued starting Jan. 1.

The California Chamber of Commerce recently released a full list of changes to California employment law.

For more on cost-efficient solutions to employment law issues, please visit the Employment Law overview of Shulman, Hodges & Bastian LLP.

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