Welcome to 2023 – Employment Law Update

By: Caleb Miller, 

2022 was a huge year for the expansion of Employee rights in California and it is important that you are aware of all the new changes which take effect January 1, 2023. We have taken the time to pull out the key changes that may affect your business.

California Assembly Bill 1041: The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is the State version of the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). California’s CFRA has expanded the rights that workers have as it relates to leave to care for themselves and others. Beginning January 1, 2023, the State has expanded the definition of a “family member” to include a “designated person.” Employees will be able to identify a designated person for whom they want to use leave when they request unpaid CFRA. The “designated person” is defined as “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship,” and the employee may elect this designated person at the time they are requesting their leave. However, the employer is authorized to limit the employee to a single designated person per 12-month period, so we do not suspect a large abuse by employees of this change in the rule. If the employee is requesting leave under the CFRA, keep a detailed file for your employees and maintain these files in their personnel record.

California Assembly Bill 1720: For Employers involved in Home Healthcare services, California’s AB 1720 has removed the requirement for specified individuals connected with Home Healthcare facilities to sign a declaration regarding prior criminal convictions. The existing law requires the Department of Social Services to obtain a criminal history record for all applicants for licenses for these facilities and individuals connected with these facilities. This includes employees, volunteers, and officers. Moving forward, this criminal history requirement may be exempted for an applicant if certain criteria is met. The following individuals may qualify for an exemption: (1) A medical professional; (2) Third party repair person; (3) Employees of a licensed home health agency contracted with a client or resident of the facility; (4) Clergy and other spiritual caregivers; (5) Members of fraternal, service, or similar organizations who conduct group activities and others. To determine if your employees or contractors qualify, please contact our firm to discuss.

California Assembly Bill 1751: COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation and the rebuttable presumption that an employee’s illness resulting from COVID-19 was sustained in the course of employment has been extended to January 1, 2024.

California Assembly Bill 1949: California has additionally amended the CFRA to require 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.

California Assembly Bill 2068: California is now requiring further workplace posters and notices regarding certain health and safety matters related to COVID-19 to be posted in additional languages.

California Assembly Bill 2282: The definition of “hate crime” has been expanded in places of employment to also include a “display of hate imagery.”

California Assembly Bill 2693: California Labor Code section 6409.6 provides the duties of an employer when notified of potential exposure to COVID-19 and these duties have been extended to January 1, 2024.

California Assembly Bill 2960: The Fair Employment and Housing Act has been amended to toll the Statute of Limitations during mandatory or voluntary dispute resolution proceedings to receive a right to sue notice.

California Senate Bill 523: The Fair Employment and Housing Act has been amended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of an individual’s reproductive health decision making and expands required health plan coverage to include contraceptives.

California Senate Bill 1162: The Wage Transparency Bill requires employers of 100 or more contracted employees to submit separate annual pay date reports regarding its contracted employees to California’s Civil Rights Department on or before the second Wednesday of May 2023; and requires employers of fifteen or more employees that engage a third party to announce, post, publish, or otherwise make known a job posting to provide the pay scale to the third party and would require the third party to include the pay scale in the job posting. Violations of these provisions are statutorily imposed and could be devastating for employers.

If you have questions regarding any of the above updates, please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss how our employment team can assist your business.