As is often the case, the coming new year brings a slate of new requirements for California employers to grapple with. Employers should have these developments on their radar to ensure compliance in 2015 and beyond.

California has enacted a law requiring most employers to provide 3 days of paid sick leave to employees.  The amount of sick leave available to an employee must be reflected on the employee’s wage statement (or accompanying document) each pay period.  These requirements go into effect on July 1, 2015. Employers should review their policies to ensure they comply with the new law and start now to work with their payroll provider to make sure their California wage statements are compliant. 

The DLSE also has published a new poster template and notice form for employers to notify employees of their paid sick leave rights.  While the paid sick leave accrual doesn’t begin until July 1, 2015, this new notice must be posted in the workplace by January 1, 2015.

California requires employers with 50 or more employees nationwide to provide two hours of training to all California supervisors on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.  The training must occur every 2 years. As of January 1, 2015, employers will be required to include prevention of abusive conduct (a/k/a “anti-bullying”) as a component of their harassment training.  Employers should review their training procedures and materials and updated them to reflect this new training requirement.

Companies using contract or temporary workers in California now may share liability with the labor contractor providing those workers if the labor contractor fails to properly pay wages or fails to secure worker’s compensation coverage. This could include not only traditional temporary workers, but may also include contract labor service providers.  The law does not apply to employers who use five or fewer temporary workers at any given time. Indemnification agreements with the labor contractor against liabilities arising from the statute are permitted.  In light of this, employers should review their contracts with staffing and other contract labor agencies and consider whether to include or revise existing indemnification provisions in those agreements.  Companies also should consider whether to require its business partners who provide contract or temporary labor to implement arbitration agreements with class action waivers (making the company a third party beneficiary) and/or whether to enter into arbitration agreements with class action waivers with any temporary or contract workers that perform work at their California locations.

For more information about these and seven other developments in California employment law that employers doing business in California should be aware of, see our recent bulletin.  As always, companies that have questions about compliance with these new laws and regulations should consult legal counsel experienced in California employment law for advice.