2013 New California Employment Laws

By January 21, 2013Articles

Happy New Year!

Below are a number of new employment laws that came into effect at the start of 2013. Please contact Mike Daly at 619-525-7000 or at daly@dalylawfirm.co or Judy Hartwig at judith@dalylawfirm.co if you have any questions or are in need of assistance.

1. Social Media Access Restrictions (Assembly Bill 1844). Employers are prohibited from requiring or requesting that employees or applicants (1) disclose user names or passwords to access personal social media (such as a Face Book Account); (2) Access personal social media in the presence of an employer, supervisor, manager or employment representative, such as legal counsel; or (3) produce any social media postings. The exception is that an employer is permitted by law to require existing employees to reveal their passwords and usernames if this information is needed to properly investigate employee misconduct or legal violations.

2. New Disclosure Requirement for Criminal History Information (AB 2343). As of January 1, 2013, Assembly Bill 2343 requires any employer that receives criminal history information, including arrests from the California Department of Justice to immediately provide a copy of the information to the person or employee to who it relates, if the information is a basis for an adverse employment (discharge, demotion), licensing or certification decision.

3. Inspection and Copying of Personnel Records (AB 2674). Assembly Bill 2674 alters current law by requiring employers to maintain personnel records and files for at least three years after the date of separation from employment. The law also requires employers to make personnel records available for inspection and copying by an employee within 30 days of the request or face a $750 fine.

4. Written Contracts for Commissioned Employees Required (AB 1396). Sales and other employees that are paid commissions must now receive a written agreement that specifically sets forth the formula for calculating or determining the commission(s) as well as the method of payment. Employers must also maintain a signed receipt of the contract for each employee.

5. Prohibition of Discrimination Based on Religious Dress and Grooming (SB 1038). The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) has been amended to provide protection against discrimination for any employee’s religious dress and grooming practices as covered under religious beliefs and observances. Religious grooming includes all forms of head, facial (beards and mustaches) or body hair related to a religious belief or observance.

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