California Labor Laws 2019: October

There have been several changes to California Labor Laws this October. These include:

  • Six city updates to California Minimum Wage.
  • Eleven Worker Protection Bills
  • Five Consumer Privacy Act Amendments
  • Seven additional employment law updates, legislation and assembly bills including updates to: AB5, Wage Payments, Leave of Absence, Data Breeches, Settlement Agreements and more. 
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California Employment Law Update 1:

6 City Specific Minimum Wage Increases & Official Posters

Six Cities in California have updated their minimum wage beginning January 1, 2020.  

San Diego Minimum Wage Update:

On September 26, 2019, the City of San Diego Treasurer announced that the city’s minimum wage rate will increase to $13 per hour effective January 1, 2020. All employers must pay each employee no less than the minimum wage for each hour worked within the geographic boundaries of the city. Employers must post the city’s official minimum wage notice where employees can easily see it. Failure to post it subjects employers to penalties. Download San Diego’s Official Wage Poster.

San Jose Minimum Wage Update:

In September 2019, the San Jose Office of the City Manager announced that the city’s minimum wage will increase to $15.25 per hour effective January 1, 2020. Employers are required to pay their employees a minimum hourly wage for work performed within the City of San José. Download San Jose’s Official Wage Poster.

El Cerrito Minimum Wage Update:

Beginning January 1, 2020, an employee who performs at least two hours of work in a particular workweek within the geographic limits of the City of El Cerrito must be paid no less than $15.37 per hour. This minimum wage rate applies equally to all employees, regardless of employer size. Download El Cerrito Official Wage Poster.

Mountain View Minimum Wage Update:

Beginning January 1, 2020, employers that are subject to the Mountain View Business License Tax or that maintain a facility in Mountain View must pay each employee who performs at least two hours of work per week in Mountain View, minimum wages of no less than $16.05 per hour. The minimum wage requirement applies to adult and minor employees who work two or more hours per week (tips not included). Download Mountain View’s Official Wage Poster.

Redwood City Minimum Wage Update:

In September 2019, the Redwood City Manager announced the city’s local minimum wage rate increases to $15.38 per hour effective on January 1, 2020. All businesses operating within the geographic boundaries of the city are required to pay at least the minimum wage rate for all employees working two or more hours per week. Download Redwood City’s Official Wage Poster.

San Mateo Minimum Wage Update:

Starting January 1, 2020, the minimum wage for the City of San Mateo will increase to $15.38 per hour for all employees. Employers are required to post the city’s official notice where employees may easily read it. Failure to post this notice subjects employers to penalties. Download San Mateo’s Official Wage Poster.



Here’s a helpful HR Tool from our Compliance Database.

California Employment Law Update 2:

California Consumer Privacy Act Amendments

The following Assembly Bills clarifies personal information, opt outs, business websites and authorizations.  

On October 11, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the following five bills that amend the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA):

  1. CA A.B. 25: Authorizes businesses to require authentication of a consumer if it is reasonable, in light of the nature of the personal information requested, in order to make a verifiable consumer request; authorizes a consumer to bring a private civil action against a business that violates its duty to implement reasonable security procedures and practices, if that failure results in a consumer’s personal information being subject to unauthorized access and exfiltration, or theft; and until January 1, 2021, provides businesses with exemptions from the CCPA for personal information that is collected from applicants (employee and human resources information) for employment, emergency contact information, and information that is necessary for the business to retain to administer workplace.
  2. CA A.B. 874: Clarifies that personal information under the CCPA does not include publicly available information, which is information that is lawfully made available from federal, state, or local government records but is not biometric information collected by a business about a consumer without the consumer’s knowledge. Also clarifies that personal information under the act does not include consumer information that is deidentified or aggregate consumer information.
  3. CA A.B. 1146: Excepts from the CCPA the right to opt out vehicle information or ownership information retained or shared between a new motor vehicle dealer and the vehicle’s manufacturer, if the information is shared for vehicle repair that is covered by a vehicle warranty or a recall.
  4. CA A.B. 1355: Until January 1, 2021, the law provides a business-to-business exemption for personal information a business collects about an employee, owner, director, officer, or contractor of a business when collected as part of business-to-business transactions; consumers may institute a civil action when non-encrypted and non-redacted personal information is subject to unauthorized access; consumer reporting agencies have an exemption for the collection, maintenance, disclosure, sale, communication, or use of personal information covered by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  5. CA A.B. 1564: Exclusively-online businesses with a direct relationship with a consumer from whom they collect personal information are only required to provide an email address for submitting requests for information required to be disclosed; if the business maintains a website, then the website must be available to consumers to submit requests for information that the business is required to disclose.

These laws are effective January 1, 2020



California Employment Law Update 3:

Settlement Agreements

New legislation regarding restrictions of settlement agreements.

On October 12, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the A.B. 749 legislation regarding settlement agreements. Specifically, the law states that an agreement to settle an employment dispute may not contain a provision prohibiting, preventing, or otherwise restricting a settling party that is an aggrieved person from obtaining future employment with the employer against which the aggrieved person has filed a claim, or any parent company, subsidiary, division, affiliate, or contractor of the employer. A provision in an agreement entered into on or after January 1, 2020 that violates this law is void as a matter of law and against public policy.

However, the law does not:

  • Preclude the employer and aggrieved person from making an agreement to end a current employment relationship or prohibit or otherwise restrict the settling aggrieved person from obtaining future employment with the settling employer, if the employer has made a good faith determination that the person engaged in sexual harassment or sexual assault; or
  • Require an employer to continue to employ or rehire a person if there is a legitimate nondiscriminatory or nonretaliatory reason for terminating the employment relationship or refusing to rehire the person.

The law is effective January 1, 2020.



California Employment Law Update 4:

Arbitration Fees

The National Labor Relations Board adopted the ‘Contract coverage’ standard to replace the previous ‘clear and unmistakable waiver’ standard. 

On October 13, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the legislation S.B. 707 regarding an employer’s failure to pay arbitration costs. Generally, under the law, an employer’s failure to pay arbitration fees under an employer-imposed mandatory arbitration agreement is a breach, waives the agreement, and the non-breaching party may bring a claim in court.

The law is effective January 1, 2020.



California Employment Law Update 5:

Gun Violence Restraining Orders

This legislation allows co-workers or employers to file a specific employment restraining order prohibiting the subject’s legal access to guns due to them displaying a potential and significant danger.

On October 11, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the legislation A.B. 61 allowing an employer or a co-worker to file a petition requesting that a court issue a gun violence restraining order prohibiting the subject of the petition (subject) from having in their custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm or ammunition for one to five years because:

  • The subject poses a significant danger, in the near future, of causing personal injury to themselves or another by having firearm; and
  • The restraining order is necessary to prevent personal injury to the subject or another because less restrictive alternatives either have been tried and found to be ineffective or are inadequate or inappropriate for the circumstances.

For a co-worker to apply for the restraining order they must have substantial and regular interactions with the subject for at least one year and also have received the employer’s approval to file the petition. An employer or co-worker may also request renewal of the restraining order three months prior to its expiration.

The law is effective January 1, 2020 and is operative September 1, 2020



California Employment Law Update 6:

Personal Information and Data Breaches

This legislation clarifies the definition of personal information under data breach provisions. 

On October 11, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the legislation A.B. 1130 clarifying the definition of personal information under the state’s data breach provisions to include:

  • A driver’s license number, California identification card number, tax identification number, passport number, military identification number, or other unique identification number issued on a government document commonly used to verify the identity of a specific individual; and
  • Unique biometric data generated from measurements or technical analysis of human body characteristics, such as a fingerprint, retina, or iris image, used to authenticate a specific individual. However, unique biometric data does not include a physical or digital photograph, unless used or stored for facial recognition purposes.

Additionally, under the law, in a business’s security breach notification where the breach involves biometric data, the notice may include instructions on how to notify other entities that use the same type of biometric data (that was subject to breach) as an authenticator to no longer rely on it for authentication purposes.

The law is effective January 1, 2020.



California Employment Law Update 7:

Worker Protection Bills

These bills address sexual harassment, wage and health protections for California’s workforce. 

On October 10, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the following bills aimed at increasing protections for California’s workforce, which includes legislation drafted in response to the #MeToo movement focused on sexual harassment prevention and accountability:

These bills are effective January 1, 2020.



California Employment Law Update 8:

AB5 Amendment

This legislation amends the Assembly Bill 5 regarding worker classification exemptions. 

On October 2, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the legislation A.B. 170 exempting both of the following from the Dynamex/California Assembly Bill 5 independent contractor provisions:

  • A newspaper distributor working under contract with a newspaper publisher; and
  • A newspaper carrier working under contract, either with a newspaper publisher or newspaper distributor.

The law is effective January 1, 2020.



California Employment Law Update 9:

Additional Leave of Absence Requirement for Living Organ Donators.

This legislation requires employers to provide a leave of absence for employees choosing to become a living tissue donor. 

On September 20, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the legislation A.B. 1223 modifying Cal. Lab. Code Ann. § 1510 and requiring private employers to provide leave of absences to:

An employee who is an organ donor, leave as follows:

  • Paid leave of absence for up to 30 business days in a one-year period to donate an organ to another person; and
  • Additional, unpaid leave of absence for up to 30 business days in a one-year period for the organ donation.

An employee who is a bone marrow donor, up to five business days in a one-year period to donate bone marrow to another person.

The law is effective January 1, 2020.



California Employment Law Update 10:

Print Shoot Employees and Wage Payment

This legislation enacts new laws for print shoot employees and their wage payment. 

On September 5, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the legislation  S.B. 671 enacting new laws for print shoot employees and their wage payment. A print shoot employee is hired for a limited time and supports a still image shoot, including film or digital photography, for use in print, digital, or internet media. Under the law:

  • Upon termination, print shoot employees are entitled to receive wages earned but not yet paid by the next regular payday that is an employer-designated day for wage payment during the payroll period when termination occurred.
  • Wages may be mailed to the employee or provided at a location as specified by the employer in the county where the employee was hired or performed labor.
  • Payment is deemed as made on the date wages are mailed or the date when provided at the employer-determined location, whichever is earlier.

 The law took effect September 5, 2019.



If these law alerts have you a bit overwhelmed and you find you have more questions than answers, our advisors can help your company navigate every new change, requirement, legislation, law and regulation. Give us a call to see how we can help streamline HR for professionals or office managers.

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