New Labor Laws Taking Effect on July 1

2014 Law Poster

Employers need to take note of several laws that are changing as of July 1, 2014.  These laws will impact many businesses, and in order to stay compliant with the changes, you need to confirm your CA & Federal Employment Poster is up to date.  The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce offers the posters at a discounted rate to our members.

Paid Family Leave Benefits:  Under current law, employees may seek wage replacement benefits under the family temporary disability program (also referred to as paid family leave or PFL) for taking time off to care for certain seriously ill family members.  Effective July 1, SB 770 expands PFL benefits for employees to include benefits for time taken off to care for a seriously ill grandparent, grandchild, sibling or parent-in-law. PFL does not create the right to a leave of absence, but provides California workers with some financial compensation/wage replacement during a qualifying absence.  Because of SB 770, the Employment Development Department revised the Paid Family Leave pamphlet to add the new “family member” definitions. These pamphlets must be given to new hires and to employees who take a leave of absence for a covered reason. English or Spanish versions can be ordered from the Santa Clara Chamber.

Background Checks:  Effective July 1, AB 218 prohibits a state or local agency from asking an applicant to disclose information regarding a criminal conviction until after the agency determines the applicant meets minimum employment qualifications. There are specified exceptions, such as where a criminal history background check is otherwise required by law for the position.

Workers’ Compensation Predesignation of Physician:  Workers’ compensation regulations concerning predesignation of personal physicians also become effective July 1.  These regulations conform to workers’ compensation reform legislation (SB 863), which was passed in 2012. Some provisions from SB 863 took effect January 1, 2013; but many of the law’s provisions required administrative/regulatory action before implementation.  SB 863 made substantive changes with respect to the way that medical treatment is provided and paid for when an employee sustains a work related injury.  A revised workers’ compensation pamphlet (English or Spanish) is also available through the Santa Clara Chamber.

Work Sharing Plans:  The California Employment Development Department (EDD) uses a special work sharing program to help companies avoid mass layoffs by sharing the available work among employees. AB 1392 changes the requirements for those work sharing plans that take effect on or after July 1, 2014.  The EDD’s director must still approve plans. For more information about the work sharing program, visit EDD’s work sharing webpage.

Minimum Wage:  Minimum wage increases from $8.00 to $9.00 per hour as of July 1st.

If you ordered a new CA & Federal Employment Poster in January of this year, then your poster includes the minimum wage updates as well as updated language.  However, the pamphlets for both Workers’ Comp and Paid Family Leave will need to be ordered.  You can order your discounted compliance products through the Santa Clara Chamber.  Included with this mailing is the order form.

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