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New California Laws affecting Small Business

new california laws affecting small businesses in 2021

To prepare for the year ahead, it is important to be aware of the latest labor and employment laws that can impact your business.

California companies large and small may find significant changes in the new laws for 2021. Some of these new laws pertain to paid family leave, COVID-19, and reporting.

We encourage our community and local businesses to learn more about the new 2020 business laws and call Merrill, Arnone & Jones with any questions at (707) 528 -2882.

2021 California Laws affecting Small Business

Senate Bill 1159: Workers’ Compensation Presumption

This law provides a rebuttable presumption of a work-related illness and expands workers’ compensation coverage for employees who contract COVID-19 within 14 days after working at their place of employment. This law expires on January 1, 2023.

Assembly Bill 685: COVID-19 Hazard, Exposure, and Violations

This bill creates new notice and reporting requirements for employers and employees regarding COVID-19. It enhances infection prevention requirements by allowing hazard related shutdowns and citations for serious violations.

Senate Bill 1383: California Family Leave Rights Act (CFRA) Expansion

Employers with 5 or more employees (previously 50 employees) are now required to provide unpaid protected family leave for up to 12 weeks for employees to care for themselves, a child, parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse, or partner, as specified.

Senate Bill 973 – Annual Pay Reporting

Beginning March 31, 2021, a private employer that has 100 or more employees is required to file an annual Employer Information Report to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) that contains information about race, gender, and wages. This law will help determine whether minorities are being discriminated against in pay.

Assembly Bill 1512: Security Officer Rest Periods

This law requires certain unionized private security officers to remain on the premises and on-call during rest periods. Additionally, if the rest period is interrupted, the employer must allow the security officer to restart a rest period as soon as practicable.

Assembly Bill 2017: Kin Care

With this new law, employees now have the power to use their sick leave at their sole discretion for whatever reason they deem necessary of sick leave.

Assembly Bill 1731: Unemployment Insurance and Work Share

In exchange for avoiding layoffs, AB 1731 allows employers the option of providing partial unemployment insurance payments while reducing hours and cutting costs during an economic downturn. An application plan must be submitted to the Employment Development Department (EDD) for the Work Share Program.

Assembly Bill 1947: Complaint Reporting

This bill doubles the period of time from 6 months to a year for individuals to file violation complaints with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

Assembly Bill 2992: Protections for Crime Victims

Expanding prohibition on discrimination against employees who are victims of crime or abuse to take time off to handle judicial proceedings without repercussions.

Minimum Wage Increase

On January 1st, 2021 minimum wage for employers with 25 employees or less will increase to $13.00 per hour, and for employers with 26 or more employees, the minimum wage will increase to $14.00 per hour. However, some local minimum wages may be higher depending on the city.

To stay up-to-date on small business laws affecting local businesses, bookmark this page.

Want to learn more about new laws affecting your county in California? Find your county below to visit their local website, or message them on their official Facebook page.


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