Summary of Key New California Laws for 2019 (and Beyond): What Employers Should Know

In 2018, Governor Brown signed several laws impacting California employers. A summary of some of the key new laws follows. The effective date of each new law is indicated in the heading of the Assembly Bill (AB) and/or Senate Bill (SB).1 The list below is in numerical order by AB or SB.

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California at Work: New Labor Laws for 2018

*Originally published by CalCPA in the January/February 2018 issue of California CPA — the original article can be found here.

You may not have expected that the California Legislature in 2017 designated an official state dinosaur (Augustynolophus morrisi) and four state nuts (almond, pecan, walnut and pistachio), which are technically seeds, but that’s a separate article. Less surprising is that employer regulation and employee rights continue to expand in our state, the sixth-largest economy of the world. The rate of expansion, however, seems to have taken another pendulum swing: 304 bills introduced in 2017 mention “employer,” compared to 569 bills in 2016 and 224 in 2015. Most of those bills did not pass, and of the ones that did, most were not signed into law by Gov. Brown. Essential elements of several bills that became law affecting private employers, effective Jan. 1, 2018, unless noted otherwise, follow.

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Key New California Laws for 2018: What Employers Should Know

Governor Jerry Brown signed several laws in 2017 that will impact California employers next year. A summary of some of the key new laws follows, in numerical order by Assembly Bill (AB) and/or Senate Bill (SB). All of the laws outlined below are effective beginning January 1, 2018.

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Laboring Under New Laws

*Originally published by CalCPA in the January/February 2017 issue of California CPA — the original article can be found here.

Few things in this world can be certain, except that the California Legislature will expand regulation of employers each year and the sun will come up tomorrow. In an apparent pendulum swing, 569 bills introduced in 2016 mention “employer,” compared to 224 in 2015 and 574 in 2014. Most of those bills did not pass, and of the ones that did, most were not signed into law by Gov. Brown. Essential elements of selected bills that became law affecting private employers, effective Jan. 1, 2017, unless otherwise mentioned and organized by Senate and Assembly bill number, follow.

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Summary of Key New California Laws for 2017: What Employers Should Know

Governor Brown has this year signed several new laws impacting California employers, some of which have already gone into effect and others that will be effective or operative in 2017 or later. A summary of key new laws follows. The effective date of the particular new law is indicated in the heading of the Assembly Bill (AB) and/or Senate Bill (SB).[1] The list below is in numerical order by the AB or SB.

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My House My Rules: California Reigns In Employers’ Use Of Forum-Selection and Choice-of-Law Clauses to Avoid California Law

Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1241 (“SB 1241”).  The new law (available here), which takes effect on January 1, 2017, adds section 925 to the California Labor Code (“Section 925”).  In general, Section 925 will prohibit employers from requiring California-based employees to enter into agreements requiring them to:  (1) adjudicate claims arising in California in a non-California forum; or (2) litigate their claims under the law of another jurisdiction, unless the employee was represented by counsel.  Section 925 represents a considerable limit on parties’ rights to contract and may be the end of forum-selection and choice of law provisions, currently common in employment agreements.

For years, employers based outside of California have incorporated forum-selection and/or choice-of-law provisions in agreements with their California employees.  Some employers used these provisions to create company-wide uniformity among their workforce.  Others used forum-selection and choice-of-law provisions to avoid some of California’s more rigid rules about restrictive covenants.  Whatever the motivation, forum-selection and choice-of-law provisions have become commonplace in employment and arbitration agreements.

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