California employers should be aware of these new employment laws

Several new laws have been introduced that California employers must come into compliance with by January 1, 2018.

If you’re an employer in California, take note.

These laws focus on regulating the hiring and recruiting process, expanding parental leave rights, requiring changes to mandated harassment training, and limiting employers’ ability to cooperate with federal immigration agencies.

AB 168: Limits on Salary History Information in Hiring Process

AB 168 is a new measure designed to close the gender pay gap. It prohibits employers from inquiring into or considering an applicant’s salary history information in deciding whether to offer that applicant employment and what salary to offer a successful applicant.

Additionally, AB 168 requires employers to disclose the “pay scale” associated with a position to any applicant “upon reasonable request.”

AB 1008: Limits on Criminal History Information in Hiring Process

AB 1008 expands California’s 2013 ‘ban the box’ legislation to include private industry, limiting when employers may ask about criminal history, limiting how they can use criminal history, and imposing due process requirements when disqualifying an applicant due to criminal history.

SB 63: Expansion of New Parent Leave Eligibility

SB 63 expands the coverage of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)’s new parent leave provisions to employees who work for employers of 20 or more employees within a 75-mile radius. Except for the lowered employee threshold, SB 63’s provisions mirror CFRA’s provisions for other leaves: employees qualify by working at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months preceding a leave request and are entitled to 12 weeks of leave annually.

SB 396: Expanded Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

SB 396 expands the sexual harassment training that employers must provide, requiring employers subject to FEHA’s sexual harassment training requirements to address, as part of that training, harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

AB 450: Immigrant Worker Protection Act

AB 450 legislates that an employer may not consent to an immigration enforcement agent’s entrance into nonpublic areas of a workplace and may not comply with an immigration enforcement agency’s request to access employee files absent a subpoena or judicial warrant.

AB 450 does not prohibit an employer from complying with a Notice of Inspection issued by an immigration enforcement agency, but does require the employer to notify its employees that it has received a Notice of Inspection within 72 hours of receipt of the Notice.

SB 306: Expanded Labor Commission Authority To Address Retaliation Claims

SB 306 provides the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) with the authority to initiate investigations into employer retaliation against employees who cooperate with an existing DLSE investigation whenever the DLSE “suspects” retaliation, even where the agency has not received a complaint that the employer has engaged in retaliation, and empowers both the agency and private actors to seek injunctive relief in connection with retaliation claims.

AB 1701: Expanded Liability for Construction Contractors

AB 1701 expands contractor liability for wage claims brought against subcontractors, which has been the rule in public contracting, into the realm of private projects. To compensate for this expanded liability, AB 1701 empowers direct contractors to obtain payroll records and contract award information from subcontractors.

These insights were originally shared by Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP.

Firearm background checks hit new record on Black Friday

Posted in background check

The FBI received more than 200,000 requests for background checks to own a firearm on Black Friday, overtaking last year’s single-day record.

Prospective gun owners filed 203,086 requests to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Because the FBI may turn down some buyers and a single buyer may purchase multiple firearms, these requests aren’t a perfect representation of gun sales, but they are suggestive of demand.

Black Friday had previously set records for the most background checks in both 2015 and 2016.

Last week, the US Justice Department ordered a full review of the database. Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the November 5 shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, as proof that “relevant information may not be getting reported to the NICS.” The gunman was charged with assault in 2012 according to Air Force records, yet this was never submitted to the NICS database.

Overall, US retailers generated a record $7.9 billion in online sales on Black Friday and Thanksgiving last week, up a massive 17.9% from 2016.

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