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January 2018 California HR Regulatory Updates

Jill Schaefer /


Disability & Leave Laws in Effect
Three California leave laws are now in effect. They are parental leave, city-specific sick leaves, and a statewide domestic violence leave notice. If you haven’t already, review and update applicable time off policies and procedures ASAP.

California Parental Leave — Now applies to any employer with 20+ employees. Employees may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave and can use it to bond with a newborn, an adopted child, or a foster care child. Eligible employees must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12-month period preceding the use of leave, and work at a worksite within a 75-mile radius.

Local Sick Leave LawsCalifornia’s Paid Sick Leave Law went into effect in 2015 and since then several other California counties and cities have passed their own versions of the law. Employers must comply with these local laws above and beyond the state law. Whenever there is a discrepancy between the two laws, the stricter one applies.

San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, and Santa Monica all have their own sick leave laws.

Domestic Violence Leave Notice — Employers with 25+ employees need to provide a written notice to employees informing them about their rights to take protected leave if they or a family member were the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Are Your Hiring Practices Updated?
California laws (AB 168 and AB 1008) banning pay history inquiries and criminal history from the hiring process require employers to modify their hiring practices and update their job applications and handbooks. Furthermore, you’ll need to provide written guidelines to any recruiters, hiring managers, or other employees who interview or screen candidates. There are new protocols to follow and documents that must be signed. Certainly, during an interview, no one can ask applicants about their salary history or whether they have a criminal record.

Things are one step easier with KPA. All of the release forms, applicant letters, and job applications associated with these new laws are already updated.

Additional Resource
KPA’s Webinar “What’s New in California Employment Law: Criminal Background Checks & Salary History”


Sexual Harassment Training Update
Businesses with 50+ employees were previously required to provide sexual harassment training to supervisors every two years. Starting in 2018, employers must also ensure that information about gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation harassment prevention is also part of this training.

If you’re a KPA client, you have the reassurance that this training is already up-to-date and available!

Wage & Hour Enforcement
Under S.B. 306, the California Labor Commissioner can now initiate investigations into employers that potentially retaliated against employees who violated meal and rest break rules for nonexempt employees. Time and payroll records can be audited to ensure that you are using KPA’s new pay calculators and that your policies and processes are compliant.

Additional Resources

San Francisco: Lactation in the Workplace Ordinance
Effective January 1, 2018, San Francisco employers must provide employees with lactation rooms that are safe, clean, free of hazardous materials, and that contain a surface to place a breast pump and personal items, have a place to sit and have access to a refrigerator, sink, and electricity. A written lactation accommodation policy is also required.

Additional Resource
City & County of San Francisco Lactation in the Workplace page


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