Steven E. Springer
AMENDED EMPLOYMENT LAWS IN CALIFORNIA
This year, a series of new employment laws were implemented in California. Among the most significant are new regulations on the proper reporting of safety concerns, guidelines to address arbitration as an alternative form of dispute resolution, and instructions on how data breaches should be handled.
These new laws substantially change some of the most important practices and procedures in employment law.
One of two arbitration bills passed this year, Assembly Bill 2617, prohibits employers from requiring an applicant or an employee to agree to arbitrate discrimination claims. The second arbitration bill signed into law this year, Assembly Bill 802, requires major arbitration administrators to publish quarterly reports with detailed information concerning any arbitrations they have overseen or handled. The reports must include:
- The name of non-consumer parties to the arbitration (the name of the employer);
- The nature of the dispute (generally relating to employment);
- Whether the employer or the responding party initiated the arbitration;
- The annual wage earned by the employee;
- The amount of the claim, which party was successful, and the award amount, including attorneys’ fees;
- Whether the employee was represented by an attorney;
- The name of the arbitrator and the amount of fees paid; and
- The total number of times the employer had been a party in arbitration before the mediator.
Employer Responsibility for Data Breaches
A new privacy law, Assembly Bill 1710, requires businesses that maintain personal information about California residents to also maintain reasonable security procedures to protect such personal information from destruction, disclosure or modification. If a breach occurs and an individual’s personal information is released, the business must provide identity theft prevention to the person at no cost, for no less than 12 months.
In the event of a computerized data breach that exposes personal information that could lead to unauthorized access to an email account, Senate Bill 46 requires further disclosure requirements by the business.
Reporting Serious Injuries
Under the old law, employers were required to report any major occupational illness or injury to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) via telephone. After the passage of Assembly Bill 326, however, employers are permitted to report to DOSH by email.
Statute of Limitations for Recovery of Wages
After the passage of Assembly Bill 2074, an individual seeking to recover damages for minimum wage violations now has three years to bring the claim before it is barred by the statute of limitations. This contrasts with the standard one-year statute of limitations.
If you are an employer or an employee and want to know how California’s newly implemented employment laws will affect your rights, please contact us or call 408-779-4700 for a free 20-minute consultation with an experienced Morgan Hill, CA business law attorney at The Law Offices of Steven E. Springer, in Morgan Hill, San Jose or Fremont.