With the new year comes the implementation of new laws. Some of the new employment laws taking effect as of January 1:
Military and veterans have been added to the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, which also includes race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, and sexual orientation.
Employers will also be prohibited from discharging or discriminating, or retaliating against an employee who is a victim of stalking, sexual assault, or domestic violence for taking time off from work to appear in court.
California has expanded an employee’s entitlement to breaks throughout the workday to cover “heat illness recovery periods.” A “heat illness recovery period is defined as a “cool-down period afforded an employee to prevent heat illness.” An employee who is not provided with a recovery period will be entitled to an additional hour of pay each workday that a recovery period is not provided.
And as of July 1, the minimum wage will increase to $9 per hour, and $10 per hour on January 1, 2016.
Also as of July 1, the Paid Family Leave program will be expanded to allow employees to take time off work to care for a seriously ill sibling, grandparent, grandchild, or mother- or father-in-law.