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New Year New Laws

January 10, 2023 | Employment Law

Gov. Newsom signed 997 bills into law and some older laws are just taking effect in 2023.


Due to inflation, on Jan. 1 California’s minimum wage increased to $15.50. Many California cities or counties have ordinances that set the minimum wage even higher. Gov. Jerry Brown signed the multiyear minimum wage increase into law in 2016. Around 3 million workers who earn minimum wage in California will receive an increase of 50 cents per hour. California’s minimum wage is the third highest in the country.


Assembly Bill 1041 expands California’s paid family leave law to allow employees to add to the list one extended family member or a person they consider to be family. And employees are now eligible for five days of job-protected bereavement leave if a close family member dies. Assembly Bill 1949


Companies with 15 or more employees in California will be required to list salary ranges for all job postings. Senate Bill 1162 builds on previous legislation, SB 973, signed in 2020, which requires companies with more than 100 employees to submit wage data to the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing.


In times of emergency, employers will be barred from taking or threatening adverse action against any worker for refusing to report to or leaving a workplace because the employee has a reasonable belief that the work site is unsafe. Senate Bill 1044


It will now be easier for agricultural laborers to join unions. The new law expands voting options for farmworkers by allowing them to vote by mail or drop off a ballot card at the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board. Under Assembly Bill 2183, farmworkers can also receive assistance filling out their ballots.


A law that split criminal justice reformers and law enforcement advocates allows the criminal convictions of some Californians to be sealed if they maintain a clear record.


The new year will bring new state holidays. Under Assembly Bill 2596, January 22, the Lunar New Year, becomes an official state holiday. State workers can receive “eight hours of holiday credit” for that day; June 19, Juneteenth; April 24, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day or Native American Day.


Some laws set to take effect in 2023 are in limbo due to challenges, both in court and potentially at the ballot box. Businesses and restaurant trade groups said this month that they had submitted enough voter signatures for a ballot measure to overturn a landmark California law that could open the door to workers’ wages being raised to $22 an hour. 


The experienced attorneys at Lavi & Ebrahimian are available to evaluate your wage and employment concerns. Contact us today for a free consultation.