Developments in Employment Law
New Laws from the 2022 Legislative Cycle

Gender Pay Equity, Discrimination, Leave Policies, and Fast Food

Quite a few employment law developments from the California Legislature in 2022! Important moves in closing the gender pay gap and cannabis-use discrimination. Family and disability leave benefits were boosted for lower- and middle-income employees and “family” leave can now be taken for chosen family. Several protections were put in place specifically for those in the fast-food industry.

Wage and Workplace Protections for Fast-Food Workers

AB 257 authorizes the creation of a Fast Food Council that would set minimum standards for fast food workers’ wages, health and safety conditions, workplace security, leave policies, and discrimination and harassment protections.

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California Adopts A Chosen Family Leave Standard

AB 1041 amended the California Family Rights Act (Gov. Code, § 12945.2) (CFRA) and the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (Lab. Code, §§ 245–249) (HWHFA) to expand its definition of “family” under the Acts, for which an eligible employee can take family care and medical leave or paid sick leave, to include a designated person (or chosen family) by the employee.

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Expanded Employee Access to Family and Disability Leave

SB 951 boosts family and disability leave benefits amounts for lower- and middle-income employees. AB 152 extends the COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave that was set to expire last month to December 31, 2022. AB 1751 extends workers’ compensation provisions with respect to COVID-19 until January 1, 2024. AB 1949 makes it unlawful for an employer to refuse to grant an eligible employee’s request to take up to five days of bereavement leave.

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AB 2188: Employment Discrimination for Off-Work Cannabis Use

Cannabis legislation earlier reported by CEB included AB 2188, which amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act to make it unlawful to discriminate against an applicant or employee for lawful use of cannabis outside of work. Further, employers cannot discriminate on the basis of drug-screening tests for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites, not reflective of impairment.

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Pay Scales in Job Postings and Enhanced Wage and Salary Transparency

Under SB 1162, employers of 15 or more workers must disclose salary ranges in all job posts, and employers of 100 or more workers must submit annual pay data reports. All employers must, upon reasonable request, provide a pay scale to current employees for their positions and must satisfy certain recordkeeping requirements with respect to wage history.

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