San Diego Employment Law Blog

New California Labor Laws 2014

Created on Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The dust has settled.  Here is a first look at the new California labor laws for 2014.  Employees made significant gains and also took some lumps.    

Minimum Wage

The new law raises the $8.00 per hour minimum wage to $9.00 per hour starting July 1, 2014 and to $10 per hour starting January 1, 2016. 

Domestic Workers

The new law mandates overtime compensation for domestic workers in California who work over 9 hours in a day or 45 hours in a week. 

Attorneys’ Fees on Wage Claims

Labor Code Section 218.5 was amended so that non-employees will only get attorney’s fees and costs as the prevailing party if the employee brought the court action in bad faith.

Car Wash Worker Bond

Car washes must register and obtain a bond to fund an account for car wash workers who cannot collect their wages. 

Immigrant Workers’ Rights

The new law clarifies Labor Code Section 98.6 in stating that retaliation broadly includes any adverse actions (including threats of deportation).  Also, the bills clarify that workers do not have to file administrative complaints unless the code section they are suing under expressly requires it.  Finally, a new law makes it a crime for employers or their attorneys to use threats of deportation to exploit immigrant workers. 

Whistleblower Protection

Labor Code 1102.5 now covers workers who are preemptively fired before they can report any wrongdoing, making such conduct a wrongful termination. 

Family Care Leave Protections

New law expands the Paid Family Leave Program to provide wage replacement for workers taking care of seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and parents-in-law. 

Harassment and Discrimination

12940 saw some significant changes.  SB 400 not only prohibits discrimination against victims of domestic violence, it also requires employers to provide victims of domestic violence with reasonable accommodation.  SB 292 strengthens sexual harassment protections by clarifying that harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire. 

Criminal Convictions

The new law prohibits state and local agencies from asking an applicant to disclose information regarding a criminal conviction until after the agency has first determined whether the applicant meets minimum qualifications for the position. 

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