Four New Employment Laws Pending
Recouping Attorney fees
Senate Bill 462 will amend the Labor Code to state that an action brought for the non-payment of wages, fringe benefits or health and welfare or pension fund contributions, the prevailing employer may only be awarded attorney fees and costs if a court determines that the employee brought the action in bad faith. This bill has been passed by the California Senate and is currently pending in the Assembly.
Minimum Wage Clarification
Assembly Bill 10 would amend the California Labor Code to increase the minimum wage in California. There appears to be some confusion as to whether this bill has already cleared all of the hurdles. My understanding is that it has been passed in the Assembly and is pending in the Senate. However, if it does pass, the effective dates are as follows:
January 1 2014-$8.25
January 1, 2015-$8.75
January 1, 2016 $9.25
After 2016, any increases would be based on the California Consumer Price Index. In addition, and without any surprise, the Bill also includes a prohibition against any future “downward adjustments.”
Familial Status-A new protected category
Senate Bill 404 will amend the California Fair Employment & Housing Act to add “familial status” as a new protected category. The definition is basically any individual who provides “medical or supervisory” care to a family member (child parent, spouse, domestic partner, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild. This bill has passed the Senate but is pending before the Assembly. Another protected category! That’s all we need.
Another Pending Issue
I heard there is another pending issue that you should be aware of. The California Legislatures are now considering a “forced savings plan” for employee whereby 3% of their gross compensation will be taken out of their checks and put into a savings/pension fund that will be managed by the state (who couldn’t manage their own!). I have not received all of the information on this but keep an ear to the ground—it’s coming!