New California Employment Laws for 2022
California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed several bills into law which affect many businesses and business owners in the state. Listed below is a summary of the new employment laws that are set to take effect in 2022.
1. AB 701: Regulations on Use of Productivity Quotas for Warehouse and Distribution Center Employees
- Requires covered employers to provide each nonexempt employee working at a warehouse distribution center a written description of each quota to which they are subject, including tasks to be performed, materials produced or handled, time periods and any potential adverse employment actions that may result from failure to meet quotas.
- Requires garment manufacturers who contract with another person for the performance of garment manufacturing to be jointly and severally liable with manufacturers or contractors for wage violations of employees in the supply chain. For purposes of expanding the shared liability under this law, the bill expands the definition of garment manufacturing.
- Prohibits the practice of piece-rate compensation for garment manufacturing, except in cases of worksites covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement. The bill imposes statutory damages of $200 per employee against a garment manufacturer or contractor, payable to the employee, for each pay period in which each employee is paid by piece rate.
3. AB 1003: Increased Penalties for Wage Theft
- Makes the intentional theft of wages, including gratuities, in an amount greater than $950 from any one employee, or $2,350 in the aggregate from 2 or more employees, by an employer in any consecutive 12-month period punishable as grand theft.
- For purposes of this section, independent contractors are considered employees.
4. SB 807: Employer Record Retention Requirement Expanded
- Extends employer record retention requirement to four years, with specified extensions when a complaint has been filed.
- Modifies Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) authority in a variety of ways.
5. AB 1033: CFRA Expanded to Cover Parent-in-Laws
- Expands on the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to cover small employers and expanded the definition of family member for whom leave could be taken. This new bill clarifies that employees can take family and medical leave to care for a parent-in-law with a serious health condition.
- Revises and adds more detailed provisions to the small employer (5 to 19 employees) mediation program originally created in 2020 by AB 1867, including making participation in the mediation program a prerequisite to the employee filing a civil action.
6. SB 606: Expanded Enforcement Power for Cal/OSHA
- Expands Cal/OSHA’s enforcement power by creating two new violations categories for which Cal/OSHA can issue citations — “enterprise-wide” violations and “egregious” violations.
- Establishes a rebuttable presumption that an employer’s written policy that violates specified health and safety regulations exists at all of an employer’s worksites.
7. SB 727: Expanded Penalties for Contractors
- Extends a direct contractor’s liability for any debt owed to a wage claimant by a subcontractor to include penalties, liquidated damages, and interest.
8. SB 639: Phase Out of Program Allowing Disabled Employees to Receive Less Than Minimum Wage
- Prohibits the issuance of licenses to disabled employees allowing them to earn less than the minimum wage. Existing licensees can renew their licenses until January 1, 2025.
- Extends the sunset to the newspaper carriers’ exemption from the ABC test for employment statement to 2025 and requires publishers and distributors to report certain information to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”).
- Revises several of the exemptions from the ABC test, including licensed manicurists, subcontractors, data aggregators, underwriters, and manufactured housing dealers.
- Modifies existing requirements for contractors or subcontractors of public work projects to furnish pay records to the Labor Commissioner once every 30 days while work is being performed on the project and within 30 days after the final day work is performed.
- A failure to furnish records results in a penalty of $100 per day, not to exceed $5,000 per project.
- Requires hospitals to implement an evidence-based implicit bias program as part of the training of new nursing program graduates.
- Exempts from the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) janitorial employees represented by a labor organization with respect to work performed under a valid collective bargaining agreement that contains certain provisions.
- This provision expires when the CBA expires or on July 1, 2028, whichever is earlier.
- Authorizes public employee unions to file a special unfair labor practices charge before the Public Employment Relations Board against public employers that fail to comply with existing law requiring disclosure of employee information to public employee unions.
- Provides restrictions on chain community pharmacies using quotas for employees.
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