January 25, 2021
# 1 The California Family Rights Law expands its reach.
Only private sector employers with fifty or more employees were subject to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The Act, like the Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), required employers to provide employees with up to 12 weeks of protected leave from work every 12 months for health reasons, to care for specific family members facing medical problems, or to care for a child.
As of 2021, private sector employers of only five or more employees are subject to CFRA. Additionally, they will able to grant employees family leave to care for their sick grandparents, grandchildren, or siblings.
# 2 Damaged state and local minimum wage
Starting in 2021, the California minimum wage for employers with 25 or fewer employees increases from $12 to $13 per hour. The state minimum wage for employers with more than 25 employees increases from $13 to $14.
Also, the local minimum wage will increase in cities across the state. Starting in January 2021, the minimum wage increases to $15.65 per hour in Cupertino, Los Altos, Palo Alto, and Santa Clara. In San Jose to $15.45 per hour, in Oakland to $14.36, and in San Diego to $14.00 per hour. The local minimum wage will increase effective July 1, 2021, in locations that include the city and county of San Francisco, the city and county of Los Angeles, and Santa Monica.
# 3 Workers must notify all employees if they were with a person with COVID-19
Assembly Bill 685 (AB 685), effective January 1, 2021, requires employers to notify their employees every time a person with COVID-19 was in the workplace. This should happen when the employer learns that an employee has or had COVID-19, that an employee was exposed to a person (employed or not) in the workplace with COVID-19, or that a contract worker or another person with COVID-19 was at the site.
Employers must give notice within one business day after learning of the possible exposure. Additional information should be included in the notice.