- Employers are now generally prohibited from using consumer credit reports to screen candidates for employment. Exceptions exists for employees with access to trade secrets or $10,000+ of cash of the employer, or to confidential information or $10,000+ of cash of others, executive employees, etc.
- Genetric discrimination is now prohibited.
- Upon hire, an employer must now provide the employee with a written notice specifying certain information about the employer and the employee's job, including workers' compensation insurance carrier information.
- Penalties for wilfully misclassifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees are increased (a new civil penalty of $5,000 to $15,000 per violation is added to existing penalties).
- The minimimum salary for exempt computer professionals increases, as does the minimum hourly rate for physicians paid hourly.
- Employers covered by the pregnancy disability leave law must maintain and pay for group health insurance during the leave, up to 4 months in a 12-month period.
- Moving in the opposite direction from much of the nation, California now prohibits state and local governments in most instances from requiring employers to use the federal E-Verify system to ensure candidates are legally permitted to work in the United States. (Effective today, Georgia, Lousiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina joined a minority of other states already mandating the use of E-Verify. While other states were cracking down on illegal immigrants, California has now enacted the Dream Act, allowing in-state tuition to some illegal immigrants.) California employers may voluntarily choose to use E-verify, however, and must do so if it's a condition of federal law or the receipt of federal funds. The new law appeared to be aimed at a number of conservative-leaning Califoria cities who had already, or who were considering passing, local mandatory E-Verify laws.
- San Francisco becomes the first city in the nation mandating a minimum wage greater than $10 per hour. While the wage rate is new, the law was actually passed years ago, but requires adjustements each year to keep pace with inflation. The minimum wage for most California cities without a higher local rate remains at $8.00 per hour for 2012.
- As is common, some required work place posters have been updated.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
2012 New California Employment Laws
Among the new employment laws in California for 2012 are: