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New 2019 Employment Laws

Posted December 2018 by S. Ward Heinrichs

New 2019 Employment Laws

Minimum Wage-For California employers with 25 or fewer employees, the minimum wage will be $11 per hour starting on January 1, 2019. For employers with more than 25 employees, the minimum wage will increase to $12 per hour. In the City of San Diego, the minimum wage for all employees will be $12 per hour.

Sexual Harassment training-SB 1343 requires employers who employ 5 or more employees to provide 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisors and provide 1 hour of training to all employees within six months of hire or promotion and every two years thereafter. Temporary employees, including seasonal employees, must receive 1 hour of training within 30 days or 100 hours of work.

Salary History-AB* 2282 fixes some problems with last year’s new law that prevented employers from asking about past salary history and required employers to give pay scales when requested (Labor Code §432.3). The clean-up legislation allows employers to ask what wages an applicant expects to make, only requires employers to give wage scales to applicants who are not presently employed by that employer, and allows employers to provide only salary or hourly wage ranges when an applicant asks for a pay scale.

Harassment Defamation Protection-A person accused of harassment may file a defamation claim against his or her accuser. Now, the law makes the defamation case of the accused more difficult to prove by: 1) a defamation claim cannot be maintained when the harassment accusation is based on credible evidence and was made without malice; 2) employers may not be sued for revealing in a job reference that an employee is not eligible for rehire because the employer found that the employee had committed sexual harassment; 3) the communications between an employer and a harassment accuser or witness are protected. (AB 2770)

Settlement Confidentiality Clause-When settling a sexual harassment, discrimination, or assault claim, the settlement agreement cannot contain a confidentiality provision that prevents the disclosure of the facts of the claim. (SB* 820)

Discrimination Claim Waivers-Employers may not require employees to waive their rights to sue for harassment or discrimination in exchange for receiving a bonus or a raise, or as a condition of employment. Similarly, employers may not require a nondisclosure provision that prevents disclosure of unlawful acts in the work place in exchange for a bonus or raise, or as a condition of employment.

Waiver of Right to Testify-AB 3109 does not allow employment contracts or settlement agreements to prevent employees from testifying about criminal conduct or sexual harassment when a court, legislative body, or administrative agency has requested such testimony for a proceeding by subpoena, court order, or lawful request.

Gender Representation on Board of Directors-all publicly traded companies with a principal executive office in California must have at least one female on the board of directors by December 31, 2019.

Sexual Harassment Guidelines for Talent Agencies-Talent agencies must give educational materials about sexual harassment reporting, retaliation, and prevention to their adult clients. They must also provide materials on eating disorders and nutrition. They must provide sexual harassment training to clients who are between 14-17 and to their parents.


*AB means California Assembly Bill and SB means California Senate Bill

S. Ward Heinrichs, Esq.
Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs
4565 Ruffner Street, Suite 207
San Diego, CA 92111
858-292-0792
(858) 408-7543 (fax)

Employment Law Office of WARD HEINRICHS

4565 Ruffner St. Suite 207 San Diego 92111

858-292-0792

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