The New Year brings new laws and regulations, and is a good time for employers to review their company handbook and employment practices. Below is a short summary of a few areas in particular employers should review:
- Minimum Wage: California, along with several other states, has implemented a minimum wage increase in 2018. California’s minimum wage is now $10.50. Be aware of any locality differences, however. San Diego, for example, increased its minimum wage to $11.50 on January 1, 2018.
- Update Labor Law Postings: Many of the new laws enacted in 2018 require an updated labor law posting. California has new poster requirements and employers should be sure their postings are up to date. Failure to post the updated posters can lead to fines under some laws.
- New Mileage Rate: As of January 1, 2018, the IRS mileage reimbursement rate for the use of a car for business travel has been raised to 54.5 cents per mile.
- Anti-Harassment Policies: Companies should review their anti-harassment policy to ensure the policy is compliant with federal, state, and local laws by including at least two methods to report complaints. Similarly, ensure your policy covers all forms of potential harassment and discrimination against protected classes. Training records should also be reviewed to determine whether all required persons have timely completed them with the appropriate frequency.
- New Parent Leave: SB 63, which took effect on January 1, 2018, provides 12 weeks of job-protected maternity and paternity leave to California parents who work for smaller companies with 20 to 49 employees. Previously, protected leave only applied to employers with 50 or more employees. Smaller employers should ensure they update their leave policies if they fall within the expanded employer group.
The above are just a few areas that employers should consider when conducting a policy and procedure review. Taking the time to update your policies and procedures now allows employers to focus on business in the New Year. For additional areas to review or additional information, contact Samantha Panosyan in LGC’s San Diego office.