New Employment Laws for 2023: What California Employers Need to Know

2023 saw more people engaged with in-person, positive community as COVID-19 infections and serious cases declined. Yet, last year in our state was also marked with difficult impacts of politics, social media, the economy, divergent weather, wildfires and water scarcity. And, almost as sure as the sun rises each day, regulation of California employers increased too. More than 580 bills introduced in the last California legislative session mention “employer,” compared to about 330 bills in 2021.

While most bills did not pass the legislature, many were signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, bringing more rules and risks for employers dealing with workplace safety, privacy, leaves of absence, anti-discrimination, wages, benefits and working conditions.

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New Guidance Released for SB 1162 – California’s Pay Scale Disclosure Requirements

As part of California’s ongoing efforts to promote workplace pay transparency, Senate Bill 1162, which amends Labor Code section 432.3 and Government Code section 12999, went into effect on January 1, 2023. On December 27, 2022, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office released FAQs on the new pay scale disclosure requirements. This blog discusses the guidance provided by those FAQs, and provides takeaways for employers faced with the implications of SB 1162 as we ring in 2023.

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Summary of Cal/OSHA’s Non-Emergency COVID-19 Prevention Regulations

On December 31, 2022, the Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), as previously summarized, expire after being in place since November 2020. On December 15, 2022, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards (Cal/OSHA) Board voted to adopt non-emergency COVID-19 regulations to replace the ETS.

The new regulations are set to take effect in January 2023 after the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) completes its review. Once finalized, the new regulations will remain in effect for two years (but the recordkeeping requirements will remain in effect for three years).

The non-emergency regulations contain some of the same requirements as the ETS, but they also include new provisions. According to Cal/OSHA’s updated Fact Sheet, the new provisions are intended to be easier for employers to follow and allow for greater flexibility if changes are made pursuant to California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance.

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Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreements (California) – 2022

Los Angeles partner Mark Terman and associate Maria Cho have provided an annual update to a Practical Law article, entitled “Confidentiality and Nondisclosure Agreements (California).” In their article, Mark and Maria discuss how companies can protect their information, including the use of confidentiality agreements and related practices, under California law. They also outline practical tips on developing internal systems and contract provisions designed to protect a company’s sensitive information, including its business assets and relationships, data security and trade secrets.

Practical Law™, a division of West Publishing Corporation, provides legal know-how for business lawyers. It also acts as secretariat for the GC100 group of general counsel and company secretaries.

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New California Laws for 2023 and Beyond: What Employers Should Know

In 2022, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed many laws impacting California employers. Some of the new laws became effective immediately and others, including some that were signed into law just weeks ago, take effect January 1, 2023, or later. These new laws address several topics, including supplemental paid sick leave, pay transparency, leaves of absence and fast-food restaurant employment standards.

As a reminder, the minimum wage in California is increasing to $15.50 per hour on January 1, 2023, for all employers — regardless of the number of workers employed by an employer. Also, many cities and local governments in California have enacted minimum wage ordinances exceeding the state minimum wage.

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State & Local Employment Law Developments: Q3 2022

The trend of increasing workplace regulations by state and local governments continued throughout the third quarter of 2022. Although it is not possible to discuss all state and local laws, this update provides an overview of recent and upcoming legislative developments to help you and your organization stay in compliance. (Please note that developments related to issues such as minimum wage rates and COVID-19 are not included.)

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