Employment Law Changes in 2021

Employment Law Changes in 2021As we settle into the new year, several new labor laws in California are now in effect. The majority of new legislation has to do with employee wellness and equity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a statewide raise to the minimum raise. Following is an overview of employment law changes for 2021.

Board diversity requirements

A diversity initiative aimed at corporations, Assembly Bill 979 requires boards have at least one non-white member by the end of the year. Further by the end of 2022:

  • Boards with five to eight members are mandated to have two from underrepresented groups
  • Corporations with nine or more directors must have at least three from underrepresented groups

This legislation is meant to build on previous laws that provided similar laws to address gender inequity.

COVID-19 workplace hazards

Assembly Bill 685 states that employers are required to notify their workers if any employee has contracted or been exposed to the coronavirus. This would mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19 on the job. This bill is set to repeal on January 1, 2023.

Minimum wage and unpaid leave

As the state continues working toward raising the minimum wage to $15/hour, January 1st saw businesses with 25 or fewer employees raising minimum pay to $13/hour. Workplaces with 26 or more employees must pay at least $14/hour.

California is also extending its employee unpaid leave program. Senate Bill 1383 states that any business with five or more employees must offer up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for taking care of a newborn or ill family member.

Pay data equity reporting

Senate Bill 973 calls for all employers with 100 or more workers to submit a pay data report annually. This report will include the number of employees broken down by race, gender, ethnicity, job category, and pay band data. The pay data requirement will help employers identify and address any issues with diversity and pay equity in their organizations.

Employers and businesses have until the end of the year to make most of these changes. However, for bigger changes, like board members and director, this can take some time.

For more details on California employment law changes in 2021, check out this article in the National Law Review.

The employment attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas are here to protect your rights on the job. We advocate for you when your legal rights are violated or when you experience discrimination at work. To schedule your free case evaluation with an experienced Los Angeles attorney at McNicholas & McNicholas, call 310-474-1582, or reach out to us through our contact page to tell us your story.

Please note that this blog is not to be construed as legal advice. Because every case is fact-specific, you should consult directly with an attorney to obtain legal advice specific to your situation.