Pay Data Reporting, Changes to Paid Sick Leave Use, and Other New Employment Laws

Posted: October 15, 2020 | News

The Legislature passed a number of bills that Governor Newsom signed into law at the end of last month, including additional employment-related bills. Below is a summary highlighting a few of those new employment laws. A more comprehensive list of the new laws can be found here:

SB 973: Employers Annual Report on Pay Data

SB 973 requires certain employers with 100 or more employees to submit pay data information on or before March 31, 2021, and on or before March 31 each year thereafter. Private employers with 100 or more employees who are required to file an annual Employer Information Report under federal law must submit this pay data report to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”). The report must contain, among other things, information regarding employees’ race, ethnicity, and sex in each of the following job categories: (a) executive or senior level officials and managers; (b) first or mid-level officials and managers; (c) professionals; (d) technicians; (e) sales workers; (f) administrative support workers; (g) craft workers; (h) operatives; (i) laborers and helpers; and (j) service workers.

The law also requires the information be made available in a prescribed format and authorizes the DFEH to seek an order requiring the employer to comply if the report is not received. The DFEH is required to maintain the pay data reports for a minimum of 10 years. The law also requires the Employment Development Department to provide the DFEH with the names and addresses of all businesses with 100 or more employees upon request.

AB 2017: Sick Leave/Kin Care

Existing law requires employers to permit an employee to use paid sick leave to attend to the illness of a family member and prohibits an employer from denying an employee the right to use paid sick leave or take discriminatory action against an employee for using, or attempting to use sick leave to attend to such an illness.

AB 2017, which amends Section 233 of the Labor Code, provides that the designation of paid sick leave is now at the sole discretion of the employee. This new law clarifies that the employee may designate which type of sick leave is used when taking a sick day. Employers are encouraged to revisit their paid sick leave policies to ensure that they are updated to include this clarification.

AB 1947: Expands DLSE Complaints Statute of Limitations/Provides for Whistleblower Attorneys’ Fees

Existing law generally authorizes people who believe that they have been discharged or otherwise discriminated against in violation of any law enforced by the Labor Commissioner to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) within six months after the occurrence of the violation. AB 1947, which amends Section 98.7 of the Labor Code, extends the period of time from six months to one year after the violation.

AB 1947 also amends Labor Code section 1102.5 to authorize courts to award reasonable attorney’s fees to a plaintiff who brings a successful whistleblower action, as specified under the statute.

Employers should familiarize themselves with these new laws and if further assistance is needed, the employment attorneys at Ferruzzo & Ferruzzo, LLP are available to provide guidance.
This blog is not meant to provide specific legal advice. For advice specific to your business, please contact any of the employment attorneys in our Employment Practices Group who are ready to assist you.

Alison C. Gibbs

Alison C. Gibbs, Esq. is a Senior Associate of the firm's Employment Practice Group.  Alison represents employers in a wide-range of employment-related litigation, including wage and hour defense, and defense of discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims.  Alison also regularly advises employers before litigation ever occurs, handling employment disputes and managing day-to-day employee issues, including reviewing employee handbooks policies, wage and hour compliance, leave issues, internal investigations, lay-offs, disciplinary action, terminations, severance negotiations, and other employment practices