California is renowned for its progressive labor laws, and with a new year on the horizon, significant changes are taking effect that employers need to be aware of to maintain compliance and protect their businesses. Our team of experienced attorneys delves into these critical updates, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the legal landscape of 2024.
Expanded Paid Family Leave
Effective January 1, 2024, California will expand eligibility for the Paid Family Leave (PFL) program to include individuals who take time off to care for a “designated person” who “is the equivalent of a family relationship.” This change extends PFL benefits beyond the traditional family circle, allowing employees to care for close friends, partners, or other individuals who play a significant role in their lives.
Broadened Paid Sick Leave
Starting January 1, 2024, California employers will be required to provide employees with five days (or 40 hours) of paid sick leave per year, an increase from the current three days (or 24 hours). This expansion ensures that employees have adequate time to recover from illness or other health-related issues without facing financial hardship.
New Leave for Reproductive Loss
In a groundbreaking step, California will recognize the emotional and physical impact of reproductive loss events by providing employees with up to five days of paid leave for a “reproductive loss event,” such as a miscarriage, failed surrogacy, stillbirth, unsuccessful assisted reproduction, or failed adoption. This leave will apply to private employers with five or more employees and public employers of any size.
Enhanced Workplace Violence Protections
California is committed to protecting employees from workplace violence by strengthening existing regulations. SB 428 will allow employers to seek temporary restraining orders (TROs) to protect themselves from harassment, in addition to the current provision for protecting employees from violence or credible threats of violence.
In a parallel effort, SB 553 will mandate that covered employers establish a workplace violence prevention program and impose specific recordkeeping and training requirements. These measures aim to create a safer and more secure work environment for all employees.
Unenforceable Noncompete Agreements
California is taking a firm stance against noncompete agreements, which typically prohibit employees from working for competitors after leaving a company. SB 699 reinforces the state’s prohibition on such agreements and prohibits employers from entering into or enforcing any noncompete agreements. This change protects employee mobility and encourages fair competition in the labor market.
In line with SB 699, AB 1076 makes it unlawful to include a noncompete clause in an employment contract and requires employers to notify any employees who previously signed a noncompete agreement that the agreement is void. This ensures that employees are aware of their rights and protects them from potential legal disputes.
Navigating California’s evolving employment landscape can be a complex and time-consuming task, especially amidst the ever-changing laws and regulations. At the Law Office of Parag L. Amin P.C., we understand the challenges and uncertainties businesses face in ensuring compliance and protecting their interests.
We are committed to helping businesses understand their rights and obligations under California’s employment laws. We provide proactive guidance and strategic advice to help employers prevent legal disputes and protect their interests. Whether you are facing an employment-related issue or simply seeking to ensure compliance, our attorneys are here to assist you.
Please note that this is for informational purposes only, and reading this information does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. If you have any questions about upcoming legal changes in California or if you need legal support for your business contact us to discuss representation. Together, we can navigate the complexities of California’s employment law landscape and ensure your business thrives.