Five new laws to know before they come into force on January 1, 2022 | Payne and the fears

Gov. Gavin Newsom closed California’s 2020-2021 legislative session with a flurry of bill signatures, many of which created and / or updated employment laws. A few of these bills were “emergency bills” that went into effect immediately (such as the right of rehiring laws and COVID-related sick pay laws), while others did not. come into force on January 1, 2022. Employers must ensure that their policies, procedures and systems comply with these new and updated laws.

California quota regulations in warehouse distribution centers

On September 22, 2021, Governor Newsom promulgated AB 701, aimed at regulating quotas in warehouse distribution centers. Effective January 1, 2022, employers with 100 or more employees in a single warehouse distribution center or 1,000 or more employees in one or more state warehouse distribution centers must provide each non-exempt employee , when hired or before January 31. 2022, a written description of each quota to which the employee is subject. This bill also establishes certain standards for what constitutes an enforceable quota and for the employer’s obligation to respond to requests for information.

Employers should carefully review their quota systems to first determine whether quotas are necessary and, if so, ensure compliance with this new law by preparing clear written descriptions for each quota. A more in-depth discussion of the provisions of AB 701 can be found here.

California bans quotas at chain pharmacies

On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed SB 362, which prohibits a community pharmacy chain from setting a quota to measure or assess the performance of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. The law defines “quota” as “a fixed number or formula related to the functions for which a pharmacist or pharmacy technician license is required, against which the chain community pharmacy or its agent measures or assesses the number of time an individual pharmacist or pharmacy the technician performs tasks or provides services while on duty, ”and understands fixed numbers or formulas related to prescriptions filled, services rendered to patients, programs offered to patients. patients and income obtained. The law also provides examples of measures and assessments that do not constitute a prohibited quota.

Employers who operate community pharmacy chains should review this law to ensure they remove any measures or quotas that violate this new law before it is enacted on January 1, 2022.

Silenced No More law expands restrictions on settlement and separation agreements

On October 7, 2021, Governor Newsom signed into law SB 331, or “Silenced No More Act,” which updates existing laws to place new restrictions on nondisclosure and nondisclosure provisions in agreements with employees and former employees. The Silenced No More Act clarifies and expands existing laws that prohibit nondisclosure provisions that prevent the disclosure of allegations of harassment and discrimination in settlement and employment-related agreements. While previously limited to the prevention of sex-based allegations, the revised laws now prohibit such non-disclosure provisions if they have the effect of preventing the disclosure of any allegations of harassment or discrimination, not just those based on sex. This law also adds a new ban on such provisions in separation agreements and identifies specific language and notification requirements that must be contained in the agreements.

It is important that employers update their agreements now so that they are in compliance when the law takes effect on January 1, 2022. A more in-depth discussion of the law’s provisions can be found here.

California’s family rights law extended to include medical leave to care for a step-parent

On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed AB 1033, which extends the protections provided by the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”). Specifically, employees eligible for protected family and medical leave under the CFRA will be able to use that leave to care for a step-parent, defined as the parent of a spouse or domestic partner, effective January 1, 2022.

Employers should ensure that their human resources departments and leave administrators are aware of this expanded right.

OSHA Gains Increased Enforcement Power Over Workplace Safety

On September 27, 2021, Governor Newsom signed SB 606, significantly increasing the enforcement authority of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“CAL / OSHA”) in workplaces in California. This new law creates a rebuttable presumption that an employer with many construction sites who has committed an offense, has committed that offense “on a company-wide basis” if certain circumstances are present. If the employer does not rebut this presumption, the new law allows CAL / OSHA to issue a company-wide citation demanding a company-wide reduction at every employer location in California. . In addition, CAL / OSHA will now be able to issue a citation for a “flagrant violation” for each willful and flagrant violation determined by CAL / OSHA and each case of an employee exposed to that violation will be considered a separate violation for the purposes of the violation. ‘fines and penalties. Finally, CAL / OSHA can now, in the process of investigating an employer’s policies, issue a subpoena if the employer does not promptly provide the requested information, and enforce the subpoena if the employer does not provide the required information. information requested within a reasonable time. . CAL / OSHA can now also seek an injunction restricting certain operations at a workplace simply on the basis that it has grounds to issue a citation, thus expanding CAL / OSHA’s existing power to seek an injunction.

Employers should ensure they are in compliance with all relevant CAL / OSHA regulations and, if cited, act quickly to remedy identified violations.

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