2013 Human Resources Updates for California Employers

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Businesses across the nation have been struggling with a difficult economy, fiscal uncertainty, and the passing of Health Care Reform.
While 2013 looks to bring more unknowns, California employers have even more to be concerned about.
Many new California employment bills affecting human resources administration and compliance were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown earlier this year.
These laws touch upon virtually all aspects of employment, such as wages, social media in the workplace, religious dress and behavior, breastfeeding, and wage and hour laws.
Here is a brief outline of six new 2013 California HR laws: 1.
AB 1775- Wage Garnishments: Exempt Earnings.
Federal law currently limits the amount of earnings that are subject to garnishment to a maximum of 25% of an individual's weekly disposable earning.
This bill defines "disposable earnings" as the portion of an individual's earnings that remains after deducting all amounts required to be withheld by law.
2.
AB 1844 - Social Media Password Restrictions.
Prohibits an employer from requiring or requesting an employee or applicant for employment to disclose a username or password for the purpose of accessing personal social media, to access personal social media in the presence of the employer, or to divulge any personal social media.
3.
AB 1964 - Protection of Religious Dress and Behavior.
An extension of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), this bill includes religious dress or religious grooming practices as a belief or observance covered by the protections against religious discrimination.
It specifies an accommodation of an individual's religious dress or grooming practice that would require that person to be segregated from other employees is not considered a reasonable accommodation.
4.
AB 2103 - Wage and Hour Overtime Laws.
Prohibits paying a salary to non-exempt employees that includes compensation for overtime hours (this law was designed to overturn a 2011 court decision).
5.
AB 2386 - Breastfeeding in the Workplace.
This new law expands the definition of 'sex' under FEHA, which currently prohibits discriminatory practices relating to gender, pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth as protected under 'Sex'.
The new law includes breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding.
6.
AB 2396 - Employment of infants in the entertainment industry.
This bill extends the current law which restricts the employment of infants in the entertainment industry, by requiring the completion and submission of a medical certification and approval before a temporary permit for the employment of the infant may be issued.
While some of these 2013 California human resourceslaws are new, many are updates or changes to existing legislation.
Employers must be careful to familiarize themselves with the new laws to ensure compliance.
It is advisable to contact a California HR firm who can provide advice and direction on the various guidelines.
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