New HR Laws of 2018 and how to remain complaint…

HR Laws

HR Laws of 2018…

As the new year approaches, businesses understand that it is important to stay abreast of any changes to HR Laws to remain compliant. Below are six changes to HR Laws that California employers must make by January 1st, 2018.

New Parent Leave Act:

On October 12th, 2017, the Parent Leave Act was signed by Governor Brown which will require employers with over 20 employees, within a 75-mile radius, to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave. This will provide parents the right to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement.  Prior to this new law, employers with 50 or more employees, within a 75-mile radius, were required to provide baby bonding leave under federal FMLA (Federal Family Medical Leave Act) and state CFRA (California Family Rights Act).

To qualify for this new benefit, an employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months with at least 1,250 hours of service in the last 12 months.

Minimum pay requirements for Computer Software Professionals exempt employees will increase in 2018:

  • Annual salary: $88,231.36 to $90,790.07
  • Monthly salary: $7,352.62 to $7,565.85
  • Hourly rate: $42.35 to $43.58

The state non-exempt minimum wage will increase as well in 2018:

  • January 1, 2018: $11.00/hr.
  • January 1, 2019: $12.00/hr.
  • January 1, 2020: $13.00/hr.
  • January 1, 2021: $14.00/hr.
  • January 1, 2022: $15.00/hr.

Note: Employers with 25 employees or less, may see a 1 year delay

There are also non- exempt minimum wage changes based on city/county Ordinances:

  • Berkeley: from $13.75/hr. to $15/hr. on October 1, 2018
  • Cupertino: from $12/hr. to $13.50/hr. on January 1, 2018
  • El Cerrito: from $12.25/hr. to $13.60/hr. on January 1, 2018
  • Emeryville: from $14/hr. to $15/hr. on July 1, 2018 (55 or

fewer employees); from $15.20/hr. to $15.60/hr. (est.) on July 1, 2018 (56+ employees)

  • Los Altos: from $12/hr. to $13.50/hr. on January 1, 2018
  • Los Angeles (City): from $12/hr. to $13.25/hr. on July 1, 2018

(Unincorporated LA County for 26 employees or more)

  • Malibu: from $12/hr. to $13.25/hr. on July 1, 2018
  • Milpitas: from $12/hr. to $13.50/hr. on July 1, 2018
  • Mountain View: from $13/hr. to $15/hr. on January 1, 2018
  • Oakland: currently $12.86/hr.; increase TBD
  • Palo Alto: from $12/hr. to $13.50/hr. on January 1, 2018
  • Pasadena: from $12/hr. to $13.25/hr. on July 1, 2018 (26 employees or more)
  • Richmond: from $12.30/hr. to $13.41/hr. on January 1,2018
  • Sacramento: from $10.50/hr. to $11/hr. on January 1, 2018 (for employers with more than 100 employees)
  • San Diego: currently $11.50/hr.
  • San Francisco: from $14/hr. to $15/hr. on July 1, 2018
  • San Jose: from $12/hr. to $13.50/hr. on January 1, 2018
  • San Leandro: from $12/hr. to $13/hr. on July 1, 2018
  • San Mateo: from $12/hr. to $13.50/hr. on January 1, 2018 ($12/hr. for non-profits)
  • Santa Clara: from $11.10/hr. to $13/hr. on January 1,2018
  • Santa Monica: from $12/hr. to $13.25/hr. on July 1, 2018 (26 employees or more)
  • Sunnyvale: from $13/hr. to $15/hr. on January 1, 2018


The federal non-exempt minimum wage is currently $7.25/hr.

Ban the Box on Prior Salary Inquires (A.B. 168):

This new law bans employers from asking and relying on an applicant’s pay history and benefits to determine the salary for the offered position. Employers will need to provide a pay scale of their positions to an applicant if requested. Applicants may voluntarily disclose their salary history but employers still may not violate the Fair Pay Act by requiring this information either directly or through a third party. Also, employers may ask candidates for their salary expectations and requirements but should be cautious in using this information should there be any disparity in compensation.

Other states/locations banning salary history:

  • Oregon (effective January 2019)
  • New York City (effective October 2017)
  • Delaware (effective December 2017)
  • Massachusetts (effective July 2018)
  • New Orleans (city workers and contractors only)
  • Philadelphia (On Hold)
  • Pittsburgh (city workers only)
  • Puerto Rico (effective March 2018)

San Francisco Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance:

This law is requiring employers to provide employees breaks and a private workspace for purpose of lactation. The break time may be unpaid for non-exempt workers.

Below are the key requirements for employers to follow.

Lactation space must: Be safe, clean and free of toxic materials

  • Be located near work area
  • Be private/shielded room
  • Contain a place to sit and a surface to place a breast pump and personal items
  • Have access to electricity and refrigerator
  • Have access to a sink with running water


California “Ban the Box” Law (A.B. 1008):

This law will take effect January 1st, 2018 which will prohibit employers with five or more employees from including questions that seek the disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history on employment applications or on any other forms of pre-employment questionnaires. Once a conditional employment offer has been made, employers may conduct a background check in accordance with applicable state and local laws. The law further provides that the employer cannot deny an applicant a position solely or in part because of conviction history until the employer performs an individualized assessment. Remember that the assessment must consider:

  • The nature and gravity of the offense
  • The time that has passed since the offense and completion of the sentence
  • The nature of the job held or sought


Pre-Adverse Action Requirements

Employers may not make any final determinations based on conviction history during the five-day period after the preliminary employment decision has been made. Instead, to the following must occur:

  • Employers must provide a written notice to the applicant if they are rejected based on their criminal history
  • Employers must include a copy of the report
  • Employers must provide a clear explanation that the applicant has the right to challenge the decision within a reasonable timeframe; five business days is recommended

HR Law2

Pre-2018 HR Laws Changes you might have missed:

  • Mandatory notice regarding rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking (7/1/17)
  • San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (7/1/17)
  • San Jose Opportunity to Work Ordinance (3/17/17)
  • AB 1732: Single-user bathroom signage (3/1/17)
  • Confidentiality agreement disclaimer required by the Federal Defense of Trade Secrets Act (5/12/16)
  • Harassment, Discrimination & Retaliation Prevention Policy requirement (4/1/16)
  • New Pregnancy Disability Rights notice (4/1/16)
  • New CFRA Medical Certification form (7/1/15)
  • Personal mobile phone use reimbursement (2014)
  • Signed commission pay contracts (2013)
  • Non-exempt new hire wage notices (2012)


HR Laws are changing and it is important to stay on top of it. You can find more information on the Department of Labor.