3 New California Employment Laws in 2013
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3 New California Employment Laws in 2013

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As we head further into the year 2013, California employment law continues to confound even the most savvy employers. Employers should familiarize themselves with these new guidelines, and be certain ...

As we head further into the year 2013, California employment law continues to confound even the most savvy employers. Employers should familiarize themselves with these new guidelines, and be certain to review and update their practices are avoiding any potential pitfalls. Here are three of the most significant laws that went into effect in California on January 1.

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    3 New California Employment Laws in 2013 3 New California Employment Laws in 2013 Document Transcript

    • 2013 California Employment Law: Three Updates in the LawAs we head further into the year 2013, California employment law continues to confound even the mostsavvy employers. Employers should familiarize themselves with these new guidelines, and be certain toreview and update their practicesare avoiding any potential pitfalls. Below are three of the mostsignificant laws that went into effect in California on January 1.Social Media PoliciesAs lines between business and personal lives continue to blur, social media is pushing to the forefront ofnew regulations. In California, employers are now prohibited from requestingor requiringdisclosure ofpersonal social media usernames or passwords. This law applies to both current employees andpotential applicants.An employer considering a potential applicant for hire or a current employee for a promotion may runinto trouble if they’ve perused the personal social media of the potential employee. If the employerelects not to hire or promote, they are liable to be accused of discrimination. For example, if anemployer viewed a potential employee’s Facebook account stating that they are pregnant or of aparticular religion, the employer may accused of not hiring based on the information they read, whichcould be regarded as discriminatory.An employer in this situation should take care to provide clear non-discriminatory reasons for deciding not to hire. For example, they can maintain that the person inquestiondoes not possess particular technical knowledge or skills that are required for the job.In general, negative comments about employers posted by their employees are considered a protectedclass and are not liable for investigation. The one exceptionto this law is the investigation of employer-issued electronic devices.Fixed Salaries and OvertimeEmployers can no longer create wage agreements for fixed sum payments for overtime. Fixed salariesmay only be set for an employee’s regular hours of,for example, 40 hours per week. In light of thisamendment, employers should ensure that all employees fill out time sheets and receive overtime payfor any hours beyond the normal work week.Personnel RecordsThe year 2013 has ushered in a substantial change to employee’s rights to access personnel records. Thefollowing list summarizes thechanges: 1. Former employees are now allowed to inspect their personnel records 2. Both former and current employees may both inspect and copy their personnel records 3. The request for inspection must be in writing 4. Employers must arrange for access within 30 days of the request 5. Employers are obligated to maintain records for a minimum of three years following the employee’s termination
    • 6. Former employees may only request their records one time per year. Employers must submit to up to 50 requests per month by current employees 7. Prior to inspection or copying of personnel records, employers may remove the names of nonsupervisory employees 8. Breaching this amended labor code may result in liability for a $750 penalty, injunctive relief and attorney’s feesKeeping abreast of the new changes to California employment law and implementing necessarymodifications in the workplace will help employers maintain ancompliant and successful workplace.