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The California minimum wage will increase by $0.50/hr to $11.00 on January 1, 2018! It is slowly climbing towards $15.00 per hour in year 2022. But there are other key changes affecting the legal rights of employees in California. Here’s a brief summary. Our firm also wants remind everyone that we are committed to people being able to access our qualified, compassionate and ethical legal services. In almost all of our cases, our legal fees and the court costs will be 100% paid by the other side, and that we seek to maximize the client’s total recovery. We also will never charge for a consultation or case evaluation from a prospective client.
Employers may no longer ask a job applicant for his or her previous salary, thanks to AB 168. The Legislative goal will be to help all applicants get the same salary offers and reduce all forms of discrimination, but in particular the gender gap in payroll. The only exception to this is where the salary history is available to the public, which includes many city, state and federal workers.
Looking for a job, but worried about your past? Employers having at least five employees, will be more limited in conducting background checks and asking about past criminal convictions starting January 1, 2018, which amends the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Except for health facilities in which the employee will have regular access to patients or medications/pharma and criminal justice agencies, no more may a prospective employer ask for a list of criminal convictions on their employment application or before making a conditional offer of employment. Consult an attorney immediately if you experience any violations of this new law.
Training against harassment goes into effect this year, thanks to SB 396. Employers must now train at least every other year supervisors with companies having at least 50 employees. Also, the training must include gender identity and sexual orientation. We also expect that employers will be having their lawyers update their employe handbook. If you experience any form of discrimination from your employer, contact an attorney. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. We need to end all forms of discrimination, so we have a diverse work force throughout the Country.
On the Federal side, there have been several changes which have rolled back important employee protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Most important of those changes on the Federal side have been to reduce protections against discrimination of transgender workers and workers based on sexual orientation. The courts are evaluating many of those challenges and we expect further clarification in the coming months and years. Thankfully, many of these federal changes will not reduce protections for employees working in California receive. Dispite many public statements that the ACA is dead, many of the mandates under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on employers remain in place, even with the latest Federal budget passed just before Congress’s 2017 holiday recess.
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