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New Year New Laws in California

January 3, 2024 | Employment Law

Every January hundreds of new laws take effect in California.

Here are a few that might actually affect your work life.

You can take time off for a reproductive loss: Senate Bill 848 mandates that companies with a minimum of five employees must allow workers to take at least five days off to grieve a “reproductive loss,” encompassing a miscarriage, stillbirth, failed adoption, failed surrogacy, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction (e.g., in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination). Workers are permitted to take up to 20 days off per year for reproductive bereavement leave, and both parents are eligible.

You might see an increase in your income: Effective January 1, the minimum wage in California rose by 50 cents to $16 per hour. Some cities, including Los Angeles, have minimum wages higher than the state, and several of them also increased on January 1. For instance, fast-food workers statewide will experience a wage increase to $20 per hour from April 1, 2024, as per Assembly Bill 1228. Additionally, employees at large hospitals and healthcare facilities will witness a minimum wage boost to $23 per hour starting June 1, 2024, according to Senate Bill 525.

You may receive more paid sick days: Workers will now be entitled to a minimum of five sick days under Senate Bill 616, an increase from the previous minimum of three paid sick days. Labor unions advocated strongly for this increase, while large employers opposed it, citing increased costs. Some cities, such as Los Angeles, already mandate more paid sick time, requiring employers to provide at least six paid days of sick leave.

Your employer cannot inquire about your cannabis use: According to Senate Bill 700, employers are prohibited from asking workers or job applicants about their past cannabis use, and any information derived from an applicant’s criminal record related to marijuana use cannot be used for discriminatory purposes. Additionally, under Assembly Bill 2188, employers cannot discriminate against workers for using cannabis while off duty and away from work. While employers can still prohibit workers from being under the influence on the job, this law does not apply to federal contractors or construction businesses.

If your employer hasn’t increased your minimum wage to $16, asks about your cannabis use, refuses to allow all your sick days, or threatens your job if you need time off for a reproductive loss,  contact us online, or call (310) 432-0000. Our team has over 20 years of experience in representing only employees in cases against their employers. We are confident trial lawyers who will not hesitate to aggressively represent you in court.