Employers have plenty to think about as the year wraps up, from hosting safe employee holiday parties to managing year-end payroll. However, California employers should also take some time to make sure they'll be in compliance with all the new state employment laws that will go into effect in the beginning of 2018. Here are five things to pay attention to.
- Job applications: As we discussed in recent blog posts, new laws prevent employers from asking about salary history and criminal history on job applications. Now is a good time to review any job application templates to make sure you are not asking applicants to provide this information.
- Minimum wage and overtime exemptions: For California businesses that employ at least 26 people, the minimum wage will soon increase to $11 per hour from $10.50. The salary threshold for exempting employees from overtime is also increasing, from $43,680 to $45,760.
- Employee headcount: If you are planning to increase your staff next year, you should be aware of the employee count thresholds at which certain new laws apply. For example, California's newly expanded parental leave law now applies to businesses that employ at least 20 people.
- Workplace postings: Make sure you have the most current version of workplace postings to reflect updates to the minimum wage and other laws by visiting the Department of Industrial Relations website, where you may download current versions of required postings.
- Harassment training: Many employers across the country have already been evaluating their sexual harassment trainings in recent months. In California, businesses with at least 50 employees must providing harassment prevention training to supervisors at least every two years. A new law requires that these businesses ensure that their training also includes harassment based on gender identity, sexual orientation and gender expression.
If you're uncertain whether your workplace needs to make changes to comply with updates in California law, an employment lawyer can provide guidance on the above laws as well as others that may apply to your business. All of the new laws mentioned above go into effect January 1, 2018.