Important Information for California Business Owners in 2021

A new year has arrived, and so have many new California laws which took effect on January 1. In order to comply with these laws, businesses both large and small should consider these changes immediately, to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

The minimum wage has been raised. In 2015, the state passed a law ordering incremental pay raises each year. As of January 1, 2021, the minimum wage in California is $14 per hour.

Family leave for certain employees has been extended. Previously, employees of all companies with 50 or more employees could take advantage of up to 12 weeks of family leave. Under Senate Bill 1383, that benefit has now been extended to workers of companies with at least five employees.

The law applies to both full- and part-time employees who work at least 24 hours per week and have been employed with their companies for at least one year. Family leave has also been expanded to cover siblings and grandparents, as well as children, spouses, domestic partners, and parents.

With regard to leave, Assembly Bill 2017 allows employees to decide whether time off from work to care for a sick family member will count toward their sick leave.

Employee notification of Covid-19 cases. Assembly Bill 685 requires employers to notify employees any time one of them tests positive for Covid-19, enforceable by a $10,000 fine for failure to notify.

This bill gave the California Department of Public Health authority to shut down businesses determined to be experiencing an outbreak. Employers must also establish procedures for disinfecting their workplaces.

Crime victims are granted time off work. Assembly Bill 2992 grants 12 weeks of leave to employees who need time off to attend judicial proceedings after becoming the victim of a crime. This law applies to employers with at least 5 workers.

For information on any of these changes, or others that might affect business operations, we urge you to contact our business planning attorneys. We can help you evaluate your procedures and ensure compliance with new employment laws.



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