As we approach the new year, it is time to look at some of the new California employment laws that will go into effect in 2024. Below is a brief summary of some of those new laws:
Workplace Violence Prevention
By July 1, 2024, almost all California employers will be required to develop and adopt a written workplace violence prevention plan and implement training as part of their existing Cal-OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Plan. Pursuant to Senate Bill 553, every California employer with at least one employee will be required to “establish, implement, and maintain, at all times in all work areas, an effective workplace violence prevention plan containing specified information.”
Expansion of Sick Leave Requirements
Effective January 1, 2024, California employers will need to increase their employee paid sick leave amounts. Pursuant to SB 616, the minimum amount of sick leave time eligible employees must accrue each year is expanded from 24 hours/three days to 40 hours/five days. Additionally, the bill expands the annual usage cap 24 hours/three days to 40 hours/five days. It also increases the total amount of paid sick leave that employers must allow employees to accrue over time and carry over from year to year, from 48 hours/six days to 80 hours/10 days.
Reproductive Loss Leave
Starting January 1, 2024, California will now require private employers with five or more employees to provide employees with up to five days of protected time off following a “reproductive loss event,” which is broadly defined to include a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth or unsuccessful assisted reproduction. Employees are eligible for this leave if they have been employed for at least 30 days prior to the need for leave. Further, employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee who takes reproductive loss leave or gives information or testimony regarding their own or another’s reproductive loss leave. Employers are also required to maintain employee confidentiality relating to requests for such leave.
Employment Discrimination: Cannabis Use
Beginning January 1, 2024, SB 700 makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against an employee’s or a prospective employee’s use of cannabis while off the job and away from the workplace. Additionally, it will be unlawful for employers to request applicant information regarding the person’s prior use of cannabis.