California passed a number of new laws that take effect 2018. Here are a few employee handbook updates employers will need to make:
Employment Handbook Updates for 2018
Parental Leave Act
California’s New Parent Leave Act requires employers with 20 to 49 employees to provide unpaid, job-protected leave for purposes of bonding with a new child. This is similar to FMLA and CFRA, with some important differences. Employers may want to adjust their vacation policies to address the new leave act and Employers with 50 or more employees may need to adjust their FMLA/CFRA policies.
New IRS Mileage Rate
Employers must reimburse employees for all expenses incurred in the discharge of their duties. This includes mileage reimbursement. The simplest method is to pay the IRS mileage rate. January 1, 2018, the IRS mileage reimbursement rate increases to 54.5 cents. If you state a specific rate in your policies–rather than just referring to the IRS mileage rate–you’ll want to update your policy.
Now that lactation accommodations are part of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and can constitute a type of gender discrimination, it is important to review your lactation accommodation policies. Employers may need to update policies to address differences between California and federal law.
Paid Family Leave
Paid Family Leave is available to some employees. Although not a “protected” leave of absence, employers must provide information regarding Paid Family Leave to all employees. A change to California law eliminates the seven-day waiting period before PFL benefits begin. This change should be noted in the handbook.
Two new laws change how employers interview and hire employees:
- Employers cannot ask applicants about their salary history.
- Employers further limits what and when you can ask about criminal history information.
San Francisco Specific Changes
Three of the more notable changes to San Francisco’s laws will require handbook updates:
- The City and County Paid Parental Leave Ordinance.
- San Francisco Lactation Accommodation Ordinance
- San Francisco Paid Sick Leave Ordinance has changed, allowing more flexibility for employers.
Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman of Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.
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