New California Employment Laws in 2021

Although 2020 is now behind us, there are several new employment laws in California that went into effect at the start of the new year. 

The following are several employment laws in California that are effective as of January 1, 2021: 

  • Reporting requirements for COVID-19 infections – Employers must provide written notice within one business day of receiving “a notice of potential COVID-19 exposure” to all employees and subcontracted employees who are assigned to a worksite with such potential exposure. Furthermore, employers need to also inform local public health agencies within 48 hours of all outbreaks in the workplace, which means at least three positive COVID-19 cases within a two-week period. If an employer violates this rule, then the entire worksite could be shut down. 

  • CRFA medical leave expansion – SB 1383 substantially expands family and medical leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). Now, any company or public agency with at least five employees must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for any employee – or a qualifying family member – who suffers from a serious medical condition. In addition, the legislation expands the list of qualifying members to include siblings, grandchildren, and grandparents. 

  • Expanded leave for crime and abuse victims – AB 2992 expands termination protections to a victim of any crime resulting in physical or mental injury – or threat of such injuries – in order to seek medical care. Previously, employers with at least 25 employees were prohibited from firing a victim of certain crimes, such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Additionally, victims may now obtain mental health counseling and services, rather than only medical attention. 

  • Employees given six more months to file a DLSE complaint – AB 1947 gives employees a full year to file a complaint against an employer with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Previously, the deadline only lasted six months. In addition, if an employee wins a whistleblower claim, employers must pay for the worker’s employment fees. 

  • Mandated abuse reports – AB 1963 expands the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Laws to include HR employees in businesses with at least five employees that also employs minors, as well as front-line supervisors of companies with a minimum of five employees that works with minors. The law requires such parties to report any suspected child abuse to the police. 

If you are dealing with an employment issue in California, do not hesitate to contact Polaris Law Group today at (888) 796-4010. Serving wronged employees for more than two decades.