New Employment Laws Sept. 2018

The following are summaries of new employment laws passed by the California legislature, and signed by the Governor, at the end of September, 2018.

SB 1343 — Employers with 5 or more employees, including part time, temporary and seasonal employees, must give anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training to all of their employees (supervisory and non-supervisory) shortly after they are hired and every 2 years thereafter. 

SB 1300 – It is an unlawful practice to give an employee a raise or bonus as consideration for their signature (i) on a release of their claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (e.g., discrimination, harassment, retaliation, etc.); or (ii) on a non-disparagement agreement that would prevent disclosure of unlawful acts in the workplace. 

SB 820 – Confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions in settlement agreements of sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits are void, unless such provisions are included at the request of the claimant to protect the claimant’s identity. 

AB 2770 – Adds to the list of communications that are privileged, and thus not subject to defamation liability, statements to a potential new employer of a former employee, made without malice, regarding whether or the employer would not rehire the former employee because the employer determined such employee was involved in sexual harassment.   

AB 2282 – Clarifies that employers may ask applicants for their “salary expectation” for the position for which they are applying.  Also, clarifies that employers may make salary decisions so long as the differential in salary between workers of different genders or different races are justified by specified business factors, including a seniority system, a merit system or their education, training or experience.

AB 1976 – Employers must reasonably accommodate lactating employees by providing a private room other than a bathroom (former law required a private area other than a toilet stall). 

–Adam K. Treiger, Esq.