In our previous edition of Compliance Matters (click here), we focused on the new laws surrounding the #MeToo movement. This edition of Compliance Matters summarizes the additional new laws for California Employers in 2019 that are set to take effect January 1, 2019.

Salary History: AB 2282

On January 1, 2018, AB 168 went into effect, preventing employers from asking about or relying on an applicant’s salary history information when making hiring decisions.  To clarify some of the ambiguities from AB 168, AB 2282 was recently signed into law.  AB 2282 will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

The new law clarifies the terms used in the statute, as follows:

AB 168 states that an “employer, upon reasonable request, shall provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant applying for employment.” The new law clarifies that the term “pay scale” means “a salary or hourly wage range” and the term “reasonable request,” means a “request made after an applicant has completed an initial interview with the employer.”

Additionally, the new law clarifies that the term “applicant” means an individual who is seeking employment with the employer and is not currently employed with that employer in any capacity or position.  The new law also clarifies that nothing prohibits an employer from asking an applicant about their salary expectation.

Finally, the new law amends the Labor Code to provide that an employer may not have a disparity in pay between the sexes unless the disparity is justified by one of the following four factors: (1) a seniority system; (2) a merit system (3) a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (4) a bona fide factor other than sex.

Meal Periods for Truck Drivers: AB 2610

Existing law prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to work more than five hours per day without providing a meal period of no less than 30 minutes. AB 2610 creates a new exemption to this rule for truck drivers who transport nutrients and byproducts from a commercial feed manufacturer to a customer located in a “remote, rural area.” Specifically, the law permits drivers to take a meal period after the sixth hour of work if their regular rate of pay is at least one and a half times the state minimum wage and the driver receives overtime pay.

Board of Directors: SB 826

SB 826 adds Section 301.3 to the Corporations Code.  It requires a publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive offices are located in California to have a minimum of one female director on its board by no later than the end of 2019.  By the close of 2021, a publicly held domestic or foreign corporation whose principal executive offices are located in California shall: (1) If its number of directors is 6 or more, have a minimum of 3 female directors; (2) If its number of directors is 5, have a minimum of 2 female directors; and (3) If its number of directors is 4 or fewer, have a minimum of 1 female director.  The Secretary of State may impose significant fines (starting at $100,000) for violations of this Section including failing to timely file board member information.  A corporation may increase the number of directors on its board to comply with this Section.  A female director having held a seat for at least a portion of the year shall not be a violation.  “Female” means an individual who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.

Paid Family Leave Insurance Program: AB 2587

AB 2587 amends Section 3303.1 of the Unemployment Insurance Code.  Existing law establishes, within the state disability insurance program (also known as the paid family leave program), wage replacement benefits to employees who take time off to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a minor child within one year of birth or placement.  This bill removes the 7-day waiting time period to receive family temporary disability benefits if the individual is unable to perform his/her regular or customary work.  As a condition of an employee’s initial receipt of such benefits, an employer can still require an employee to take up to 2 weeks of earned but unused vacation leave prior to the employee’s receipt of these benefits.

If you have any questions about the matters discussed in this issue of Compliance Matters, please call your firm contact at (818) 508-3700, or visit us online at www.brgslaw.com.

Sincerely,
Katherine A. Hren
Richard S. Rosenberg
Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP