Changes to California Employment Laws in 2022

African American business owner leaning over a counter and wearing an apron

When the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2022, new employment laws will be in place. These laws are meant to make the workplace better for everyone. That’s why it’s critical for employees to know what new rules will be enacted to ensure that workplaces are in compliance.

Minimum Wage

A major change that affects many employees is the minimum wage increase. For employers who have 26 or more employees, this means that the minimum wage will go up to $15 per hour. If an employer has 25 or fewer employees, the minimum wage will be $14 per hour. There are city ordinances for multiple California towns that will enact minimum wage laws higher than the state minimum wage, so employees should review whether they are impacted by the local law versus the state law. Either way, no employee in California should be paid less than the state minimum wage.

Warehouse Distribution Center Production Quotas

AB 701 defines the regulation that warehouse distribution centers must enforce to let employees know their expected quota. This means that employees must be told immediately once they are hired, or by the end of January 2022, what their expectations are when it comes to the quantitative expectations of their job. Additionally, employees must also be told the amount of time they’re expected to meet this quota and what potential consequences there are if they do not meet that required quota.

Unfortunately for employees, AB 701 does not clearly state what a warehouse distribution center constitutes. However, the law indicates that this legislation applies to employers who have 100 or more employees in a single distribution center or 1,000 or more employees at one or more distribution centers in California.

Additionally, this new legislation states that if an employee is not given their required meal break or another rest period, they are not obligated to meet the employer-imposed quota. According to the new laws, employees are also not entitled to meet their quota if their employer does not follow state and federal health and safety laws or if they were not previously made aware of their required quota. No employer is also allowed to take negative action upon the employee if they do not comply with these regulations, if the employer is not meeting their own requirements, according to AB 701.

Wage Theft By the Employer

It is common knowledge that any type of theft will have severe consequences. If an employer does this to an employee, that is exceptionally immoral. Thanks to AB 1003, if an employer purposely steals from their employee (more than $950 from a single employee or $2,350 from two or more employees during a consecutive 12-month period), that employer could be charged with grand theft.

Not only can the employer be subjected to this punishment for an employee or employees’ base pay, but it also includes any additional compensation any employee or employees would receive including tips.

The California Family Rights Act

An update was made to the California Family Rights Act when AB 1033 passed earlier this year. The revamped rules now state that workers can now take approved leave if they have parents-in-law who are listed as family members. This means that an employee has up to 12 weeks of paid leave to take care of a family member, now including a parent-in-law, without facing repercussions from their employer.

Additional New Laws for 2022

The above-listed legislation is just a handful of new rules enacted by California legislators. If you are aware of one of these laws or another law that your employer is not abiding by once the clock strikes midnight on January 1, then you have the right to pursue potential legal action.

The team at Strauss & Strauss, APC is ready to help you if you are considering taking legal action against your current or former employer. We have helped thousands recover compensation after they were wrongfully terminated or received unfair punishments. Whether you reach out to us online or by phone at (805) 303-8115, we’re here to help. Contact us today.

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