Employers need to be aware of the labor laws that became effective in 2014. Most of these laws require that employers post bulletins/notices describing the laws and in many cases employers are also required to distribute the appropriate pamphlets. Labor Law compliance is a protection for financial penalties and just good business practices. In a court of law, seldom if ever, is lack of knowledge an acceptable reason for failures to follow labor laws. Following is a brief comment on some of these laws.
Minimum Wages: On July 1, 2014, the hourly minimum wage in California for non exempt employees increases from $8.00 to $9.00 an hour. On January 1, 2016, the minimum wage is slated to increase to $10.00 an hour. If you aren’t displaying the required 2014 poster showing the new minimum wage for July 1, 2014, you will need to post a notice of the wage change to be in compliance.
An employer who fails to pay an employee the required minimum wage is now subject to civil penalties and restitution, as well as liquidated damages to the affected employee. “Liquidated damages” is financial compensation awarded to an employee for a loss or injury resulting from the employer’s failure to pay the minimum wage.
Workers Compensation: Effective July 1, 2014, new regulations change the employee criteria when predesignating a personal physician or medical group for work-related injuries or illnesses (includes two new forms). Employers are required to provide the new pamphlet to new hires.
Paid Family leave: Effective July 1, 2014, paid family leave to care for a seriously ill “family member” now includes a grandparent, grandchild, sibling or parent-in-law. Employers are required to provide this pamphlet to new hires and when employees take a leave of absence for a covered reason.
Domestic Work Employees: Domestic Workers, including household employees are now entitled to overtime pay. This law provides specific overtime compensation for certain “in-house” employees. By definition, this employee must be a “domestic work employee who is a personal attendant.” It does not include casual babysitters. Employers are advised to carefully review the application of the legislation.
Keep in mind that State and federal laws require employers to post and hand out the most current employment notices, even if you only have one employee in California.