Mid-way through 2017 and the California legislature is busy and, as expected, there are a number of employment law bills making their way through the legislature. This Friday’s Five reviews five bills that could have a major impact upon California employers if passed:
1. AB 168 – Prohibition of asking salary history when hiring employees.
This bill prohibits employers from seeking salary history information from applicants and requires employers to set pay scale for positions and to provide this information to applicants.
2. AB 1008 – Statewide “Ban the Box” (limiting any questions by employers about criminal histories on applications).
Los Angeles and San Francisco have already passed regulations prohibiting employers for asking about criminal histories before a job is offered to employee. This bill would apply similar requirements on employers state-wide.
3. AB 1565 – Increasing the required salary threshold to $47,472 annually ($3,965/month) for white collar exempt employees.
To qualify as an executive, administrative, or professional employee exemption, employers bear the burden of establishing that the employee is paid a salary the equivalent of two times the state minimum wage and that the employee spends more than 50% of their time on exempt duties. With the state minimum wage at $10.50 per hour for large employers as of January 1, 2017 the currant salary level that must be paid in order to qualify for the white collar exemptions is $43,680/year. On January 1, 2018, the state minimum wage increases to $11 per hour for large employers, raising the salary required for exempt employees to $45,760/year. This bill proposes to increase the salary required to be paid to employees to meet the white collar exemptions since the Department of Labor’s attempt to do this on a federal level stalled at the end of last year.
4. AB 1209 – Internet publication of wages based on gender. This bill would require employers to publish information about “pay gender differentials” on a website open to the public.
The bill would apply to employers who are required to file a statement of information with the Secretary of State and who have 250 or more employees to collect specified information on gender pay differentials. The bill would require an employer to annually update, publish, and submit the information.
5. SB 63 – Require small businesses to provide parental leave.
Currently, employers with 50 or more employees are required to comply with the California Family Rights Act and provide parental leave of up to 12 weeks to bond with a new child within one year of the birth. This bill would lower the number of employees for covered businesses to 20 employees in a 75-mile radius. The bill would also prohibit an employer from refusing to maintain and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an employee who takes this leave.