FAST Recovery Act: Not so FAST! By December 5, pro-restaurant groups collected one million signatures to place the FAST Recovery Act on the 2024 ballot. Assuming most of the signatures are valid, that means all eligible California voters will have a say in whether the Act becomes law. In the meantime, the Act will not go into effect, even though it was originally slated to start on January 1, 2023.
The FAST Recovery Act, if passed in 2024, will setup a council of ten members that will regulate the fast-food Industry. The council will even have the power to increase minimum wage to $22 per hour for all fast-food workers who work in restaurant chains that have at least 100 stores nationwide.
Pay Data and Job Posting Requirements: SB* 1162 requires employers, who employ 15 or more employees, to include pay scales with job posts looking for applicants. Additionally, employers must give pay scale information to employees who request it for the position in which they are working. Employers must also maintain records of each employee’s history of job titles and wages.
Employers, who employ at least 100 employees, must report how many employees of each race, sex, and ethnicity are in 10 broad job categories tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, those employers must also report the mean and median hourly rates for each race, sex, and ethnicity in each job category. If the employer also hires at least 100 employees through a service that provides laborers, the employer must submit separate reports for those workers. The reports are due by the second Wednesday of May.
California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA): The CPRA was passed by the voters in 2020, but employers were exempt from most of its requirement until January 1, 2023. Now, employers covered by the law must give their employees access to the personal information collected during employment. Further, with some exceptions, the employees will have the right to correct and delete that information.
AB 1949-Bereavement Leave: AB* 1949 gives employees the right to take 5 days of unpaid bereavement leave for the death of a: child, grandchild, sibling, parent, grandparent, parent in-law, spouse, and domestic partner. The employee must be employed at least 30 days. All public employers, and private employers who employ at least 5 employees, must provide bereavement leave, and they can ask for documentation proving death.
Other Changes to Leaves of Absence Rules: AB 1041 changed two laws that governed employment related leaves of absence, the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the California paid sick leave law. It allows an employee to take unpaid CFRA leave or paid sick leave to help a “designated person” with health issues covered under each act. That expands the list of persons employees have a right to help, which was previously limited to the following: child, grandchild, sibling, parent, grandparent, parent in-law, spouse, and domestic partner.
Employee Rights in Emergency Situation (SB 1044): During emergency situations, employers may not threaten, or take, an adverse employment action against an employee who leaves or fails to show up to a workplace. An emergency is when natural forces or criminal acts create conditions of disaster or extreme peril or cause evacuation orders of a workplace, worker’s home, or school of a worker’s child. The employee must have a reasonable belief that the workplace, home, or school is unsafe.
Minimum Wage & Salary: The minimum wage for all California employers will be $15.50 per hour. The minimum salary for an employee to qualify as an exempt employee is twice the state minimum wage. On January 1, 2023, the minimum salary will increase to $64,480 (2 x $15.50/hour x 2080 hours/year).
Many local governments in California have minimum wages that are higher than the California minimum. For instance, in the City of San Diego, the minimum wage for all employees will be $16.30 per hour. The local minimum wage requirements do not affect the minimum salary requirement for exempt employees.
*AB means California Assembly Bill, and SB means California Senate Bill.
Based in San Diego, California the Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs represents both employers and employees in almost all areas of labor law. He and his firm litigate cases that have been filed in many different parts of California. Visit www.BestEmploymentAttorneySanDiego.com
Employment Law Office of Ward Heinrichs
4565 Ruffner Street, Suite 207
San Diego, CA 92111