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California Employment Law Changes for 2022

A new year brings excitement about what’s ahead for many individuals. And when 2022 begins, employees in California are under new regulations that they need to be aware of to ensure that they are being properly compensated and treated fairly by employers.

If your employer is not following new regulations laid out by state legislators, then you have the right to seek out legal counsel to take corrective action. The team at Cohelan Khoury & Singer is ready to help you — reach out for a free consultation.

Minimum Wage

A significant change many California workers need to keep in mind is that the minimum wage for the state increases on January 1, 2022. At the start of 2022, the state’s minimum wage will be $14 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and $15 per hour for 26 or more employees.

Yearly minimum wage increases have been happening since 2017. By 2023, all California employers will be required to pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour. However, many cities have ordinances that require the minimum wage to be higher than the state’s minimum wage. If a city’s minimum wage is higher than the state’s, employers must pay employees a higher minimum wage.

Rules Regarding CFRA

CFRA, or the California Family Rights Act, was created to allow employees time off work to care for family members without the fear that they would lose their job. Before Assembly Bill 1033 was passed, “family members” were defined as someone’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or domestic partner. Now, legislators have expanded CFRA to include parents-in-law.

The CFRA does not protect every employee. If an employee has not worked at their job for a year and worked at least 1,250 hours, their employer is not required to provide protected leave. Additionally, if an employee works for a private company with fewer than five workers, the employer does not have to provide protected leave.

Transparency Regarding Delivery Fees

Another law going into effect on January 1 requires delivery companies to disclose to both customers and restaurants a cost breakdown for each transaction. As the pandemic continues, this was proposed as more individuals choose to order from delivery services, particularly food delivery.

However, many customers are unaware of price hikes or extra fees many food delivery companies tack on to each transaction. In fact, a New York Times article found that some services have marked up transactions as much as 91% more compared to if individuals were to get their meal directly from a restaurant.

Additionally, the new law requires food delivery companies to guarantee their employees receive any tips or gratuity that was designated for the employee. This means that individuals who deliver others’ meals will receive the entire tip designated to them without having to give back money to the delivery company.

Wage Theft Consequences

It’s against the law for any employer to intentionally take compensation of any sort from their employees. When Assembly Bill 1003 goes into effect, an employer committing this type of action could face grand theft charges. In particular, the new law states that an employer would intentionally take $950 or more from one employee or $2,350 or more from two or more employees during a consecutive 12-month period.

This law also defines an “employee” as someone who works for a company and independent contractors. This means that this law protects more workers.

Additional Laws for Employees

The laws listed above are only some of the new laws employees and employers can expect in 2022. What’s critical for employees to know, though, is that if their employer violates any laws or regulations, the employee has the right to seek justice.

That’s where Cohelan Khoury & Singer can help. Our dedicated employment lawyers are ready to help employees who have been mistreated or wronged by their employers. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars in settlements for more than one million workers, and we want to help you. Get started with a free consultation by calling (800) 724-4157 or reaching out to us online.