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New Employment Laws Affecting California Employers Items 6-11


6 – Employee Reproductive Health Are Now Protected. Effective January 1, 2018, an individual’s right to privacy (Cal. Const. Article I, Sec. 1) includes the right of freedom to make reproductive health decisions free from interference from their employers. Labor Code § 2810.7 makes it unlawful for a California employer to take any adverse employment action against an employee, their dependent, or family member based upon their reproductive health decision, including the timing thereof, the use of any drug, device, or medial service. Violation subjects both the employer and the person violating the law to civil liability for discrimination. Remedies also include reimbursement, reimbursement for lost wages and interest thereon. Employer are also required to provide notice of an employee rights and remedies in employee handbooks.

Immediate Action Required: Review and revise Employee Handbooks, Forms, and Notices. Provide training to all personnel of the new law.

7 – Joint Liability of General Contractors and Subcontractors for Unpaid Wages. Appling to construction and “other work” contracts entered into as of January 1, 2018, general and subcontractor shall be jointly and severally liable for the unpaid wages of their subcontractor’s employees. Subcontractors, upon request from the contractor. are also required to provide information concerning their employees and the work performed, so that a contractor can dispute the monies allegedly owed. The Labor Commissioner is empowered to bring enforcement actions.

Recommended Action: Review all subcontractor contracts and take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure subcontractors pay all wages owed to their employees, and set up contracts so that subcontractor are required to maintain appropriate detailed records concerning all work performed on all related projects.

8 – The New Parental Leave Act. California has long required employers with fifty (50) or more employees provide employees who have worked over 1280 hours in the previous twelve (12) months with the option of taking up to twelve (12) weeks protected unpaid parental leave within one year of the birth, adoption, or foster care placement of a child. Effective January 1, 2018, the New Parental Leave Act expands this leave for employers with twenty (20) or more employees.

The new law also creates a pilot mediation program thru 2020 to address Department of Fair Employment and Housing Charges of violating the new leave law.

Immediate Action Required: Review and revise Employee Handbooks, Forms, and Notices. Provide training to all supervisors regarding the new law.

Review and revise Employee Handbooks, Forms, and Notices. Provide training to all supervisors regarding the new law.

9 – Labor Commissioner Workplace Retaliation Powers Increased Significantly. Effective January 1, 2018, the Labor Commission can (a) expand any complaint and investigate claims of employer retaliation or discrimination, and (b) petition the Superior Court for a temporary injunction to stop any unlawful retaliatory or discriminatory conduct.

The standard which must be meet for such injunctive relief has also been lowered. Temporary injunctive relief, such as reinstatement, will be granted upon a showing that “reasonable cause exists to believe a violation has occurred.” This new lowered standard for injunctive relief is also available to all individual claims of retaliation or discrimination.

In addition, the Labor Commissioner may issue citations directing specific relief to persons determined to be responsible for violations, and subject employers who willfully refuse to comply with civil penalties.

Immediate Action Required: Review and revise Employee Handbooks, Forms, and Notices. Provide training to all supervisors regarding the new law. Be prepared to address issues of retaliation and discrimination before every matter before

10 – New Poster-  Employee’s Sexual Assault / Domestic Violence Leave Rights. In May, 2017 the Labor Commissioner release the new poster of the time off and accommodation rights under Labor Code §§ 230 and 230.1 concerning protections afforded victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stocking. A copy of the poster must be given to any current employee upon request, and to all new employees. See our August 2017 Update.

11 – Human Trafficking law posting requirement. Effective January 1, 2018, hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast inns have been added to the list of businesses which must post a notice in a conspicuous place in clear view of the public and employees which provides contact information for specific state services which can help victims of human trafficking.

Business which sell alcoholic beverages, adult or sexually oriented materials, as well as truck stops, airports, rail or light rail stations, bus stops, emergency rooms, acute care hospitals, urgent care centers, farm labor contractors, private job recruitment centers, roadside rest areas, and businesses that offer message or bodywork services are also required to post the notice.

Notices must be posted in specific languages in additional to English. Model notices prepare by the California Attorney General’s office in the specific languages required in each state county can be found here.

Recommended Action: If you operate a listed business, download and post the appropriate notices.


New Free Tool To Help Draft Job Descriptions The Law Offices of Douglas M. Wade, PLC has been working with MinuteCreator, Inc. to provide a new tool to help employers draft job descriptions. The tool lets employers search The Bureau of Labor Statistics Standard Occupation Classifications for a job title, and then using the Occupational Information Network (O*Net) lists matching job titles. Users can then click on the search results to preview the job description, and then download the full job deception in MS Word (.docx) file format.

The new free tool can be accessed via this link, or by going to and clicking on the Job Description Maker link.

Should you have questions about these or any other workplace law, please contact me at

The materials contained herein are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For advice about a particular problem or situation, please contact an attorney.


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