Digital Licenses and Motor Vehicle Tracking
Pursuant to AB 984, the DMV will allow vehicle location technology on fleet vehicles. The bill, however, restricts employers from using tracking devices to monitor employees, except during work hours and only if “strictly necessary for the performance of an employee’s duties.” Employers that install the tracking devices on vehicles must provide notice of the monitoring that includes information about employees’ right to disable the devices during non-work hours.
CalSavers Retirement Savings Program
Earlier in 2022, the California Code of Regulations was amended to clarify the definition of “exempt employee” under CalSavers, the state-run employee retirement plan for employers that do not otherwise participate in a tax-qualified employee-retirement plan. Under the amended regulation, an “eligible employer” is a business with five or more employees that does not offer a retirement savings program.
SB 1126 expanded the definition of “eligible employer” to include businesses that do not participate in a retirement savings plan and have one or more eligible employees. Eligible employers must have a payroll deposit savings arrangement in place to allow employee participation in the program by December 31, 2025. The definition of “eligible employer” excludes sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, or other business entities that do not employ any individuals other than the owners of the business.
Pay Data Reporting Requirements
California law now requires employers with 100 or more employees to report, on an annual basis, data to the state’s Civil Rights Department, including the median and mean hourly rates within each job category by race, ethnicity and gender, and imposes penalties on employers for non-compliance. Employers with 100 or more employees hired through labor contractors must now also submit a separate report with the same data for those employees.
Employers with 15 or more employees must include the pay scale in all job postings for a position and to make pay scale information available to current employees in a position, upon their request. Employers are required to maintain job title and wage history records for each employee throughout their employment and for three years thereafter.
COVID Exposure Notice
AB 2693 amended California Labor Code section 6409.6 (Duties of employer when notified of potential exposure to COVID-19) to extend its provisions until January 1, 2024. Employers have the option to post a notice of potential COVID-19 exposure at the worksite (and on existing employee portals) instead of providing written notice.
Extension of Workers’ Compensation Provisions Related to COVID
AB 1751 extends the application of the rebuttable presumption that an employee’s illness resulting from COVID-19 was sustained in the course of employment for purposes of workers’ compensation benefits to January 1, 2024.
Amendment to California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
AB 1041 expands the categories of individuals for whom an employee may take leave under the CFRA to include a “designated person,” defined as “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship,” and includes domestic partners. An employer may limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period.
AB 1949 requires employers with five or more employees to provide up to five days of unpaid bereavement leave for an employee within three months of the death of a family member.
Time Period for Civil Rights Department to File Suit for Employment Discrimination
AB 2960 tolls those time period in which an employee may file suit following a complaint of employment discrimination with the Civil Rights Department during a pending dispute resolution proceeding.
The following bills related to reproductive and contraception rights applicable to employers as well as their healthcare insurance plans have been passed in 2022:
AB 2091 prohibits employers and healthcare plans from releasing information identifying or relating to a person seeking or obtaining an abortion except pursuant to a subpoena, unless the subpoena is based on another state’s laws that interfere with a person’s abortion rights.
AB 1242 prohibits California electronic communications or computer companies from complying with out-of-state warrants or other legal process seeking information or records for an investigation relating to a lawful California abortion.
AB 2223 prohibits a person from being subject to civil or criminal liability for exercising their reproductive rights or assisting someone who is exercising their reproductive rights.
AB 2134 applies to religious employers’ healthcare service plans and insurers that do not provide coverage for abortion and contraception. These plans and insurers will be required to provide insured employees with written information about free abortion and contraception benefits or services available through the California Reproductive Health Equity Program.
Beginning on January 1, 2024, SB 523 requires healthcare plans to cover over-the-counter contraceptives and prohibits plans from imposing deductibles, coinsurances, copayments, or any other cost-sharing requirements for vasectomies. The law also amends California civil rights law to prohibit employers from requiring disclosure of information relating to applicants’ or employees’ reproductive health decision-making, or taking adverse action based on such decision-making, defined as “a decision to use or access a particular drug, device, product, or medical service for reproductive health.”
SB 1477 reduces the maximum amount of wages that may be subject to garnishment.
Increased Unemployment and Family Temporary Disability Insurance Benefits
SB 951 increases the amount of unemployment and wage replacement benefits for low-wage employees under the family temporary disability insurance program, for disabilities or covered incidents occurring on or after January 1, 2025.