New labor laws will affect California businesses big and small

in People

A number of new California laws set to hit the books Jan. 1 will impact business owners both large and small, from increased minimum wage to COVID-related requirements.

First, most employees must be paid the minimum wage of $14 an hour come Jan. 1 under state law signed by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015. The legislation launched a wage progression each year starting in 2017, adding 50 cents annually to the former $10-per-hour standard. From the beginning of 2019, the wage has gone up by a dollar and currently stands at $13.

More than 20 new labor and employment bills were signed into state law by Gov. Gavin Newsom this year, many of which will go into effect with the new year. Some were written by California legislators in response to the coronavirus pandemic, while others are meant to provide employees with more time and resources.

Assembly Bill 685 establishes strict COVID-19 reporting and recording requirements when an employer receives notice of a potential exposure within the workplace. The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, will require an employer to provide varying notices to different groups of employees within 24 hours after receiving notice of a potential COVID-29 exposure, among other things. In addition, an employer must also notify their local public health department within 48 hours if an outbreak occurs at the worksite.

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