DEC 2017 – Employment Law Update

New California regulations took effect governing how employers can conduct criminal background checks and establishing protections to transgender individuals in employments. The California Supreme Court issued important rulings on rest break and “days of rest” requirements and then there are local ordinances, which continue to impose new and increasing requirements on employers.

California’s new criminal history regulations took effect July 1, 2017. The regulators reaffirm existing prohibitions on the use of criminal history information in employment and impose additional restrictions. If you conduct criminal background checks make sure that your policies comply with the new regulations.

Under new regulations, you can’t seek or use criminal history information in employment decisions if doing so would have an adverse impact on a protected class unless you can show that the information is job-related and consistent with business necessity.

In addition to existing notice requirements under federal and state law, the new regulations require you to notify individuals who are screened out because of criminal history and to give them an opportunity to provide information showing why they should not be excluded.

Wage and Hour

Employers should be aware of several changes to wage-and-hour laws.

With the passing of SB 3 last year California’s minimum wage will increase each year until it reaches $15/hour in 2022. The rate of increases depends on employer size – different rates apply depending on whether you have 26 or more employees or 25 or fewer employees. The Labor Commissioner issued guidance on how employers can determine whether they meet the 26 or more employee threshold, including which workers to count and what happens when the size of your business fluctuates.