California is on the verge of implementing a series of labor laws that promise to reshape the landscape for workers in the state. Signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, these laws focus on key aspects of employment, from wages to employee rights. Let’s delve into the details of these new regulations in 2024:
Statewide Minimum Wage Increase
Starting January 1, 2024, the statewide minimum wage will see a significant increase, reaching $16 per hour. Applicable to all employers, regardless of size, this represents a 50-cent per hour increase for most workers. However, it’s essential to note that some cities have even higher minimum wages, with a minimum hourly rate of $16.90 implemented since July 1, 2023.
Health Sector Salaries: New Standard
Workers in the California health sector will experience a minimum wage increase to $23 per hour. This provision applies exclusively to those employed in covered healthcare facilities and will take effect from June 1, 2024.
Paid Sick Leave: A Right for All
Starting January 1, 2024, workers who have been with the same employer for 30 days or more within their first year will be entitled to paid sick leave. The law stipulates that an employee must accrue at least 40 hours or five days of paid sick leave by the 200th day of the work calendar, or within each 12 months.
Reproductive Leave: New Rights and Protections
Employers must now offer reproductive leave under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. This legislation prohibits denying employee requests for up to five days following the loss of a family member. Reproductive leave can be requested within three months of the event, using other available leave balances. However, an employer may deny leave for more than one reproductive loss in 12 months. This measure will be in effect from January 1, 2024.
Remote Work Changes: Mandatory Advance Notifications
Starting January 1, 2024, SB 731 requires employers to provide written notice 30 days in advance before requiring remote employees to return to an in-person setting. This notice must also explain the employee’s right to remain remote as an accommodation, if applicable, to their disabilities.
Cannabis and Employment: New Protections for Applicants
SB 700 prohibits discrimination against job applicants based on prior cannabis use, information that may be obtained from a criminal record.
H-2A Visa Notice: Transparent Information for Workers
Starting March 15, employers must provide written notice to employees about the federal H-2A visa, either in English or Spanish, upon the employee’s request. Other languages may be included, and the Labor Commissioner will create a template meeting these requirements.
With these new California employment laws, the labor landscape adapts to the changing needs of workers and establishes fairer standards for all.