2020 Labor Law Updates

2020 Labor Law Updates

I hope 2020 is off to a great start for you all! Below are a few new laws or changes to laws for 2020 to take note of. Item’s #1 and #2 will likely require changes to your existing policies in your employee handbooks.

  1. AB 1223 – Organ Doner Leave: Adds 30 days unpaid leave for a total of 60 days of protected leave for organ donation. Employers are not required to maintain the employee’s health insurance coverage during the additional 30-day leave period. Handbooks should be updated.
  2. SB 142 – Lactation Accommodations: SB 142 amends the Labor Code to require employers to provide a safe and clean lactation room and access to a sink and refrigerator in close proximity to the employee’s workspace. The new law applies to all employers; however, employers with fewer than 50 employees may seek an exemption from the requirements. Handbooks should be updated.
  3.  AB 51—Arbitration Agreements: Prohibits employers from requiring that new and existing employees agree to arbitrate any claim under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or the Labor Code as a condition of employment. The new law does not affect arbitration agreements that were executed prior to January 1, 2020. Arbitration agreements should be reviewed, and employees cannot be required to sign one as a condition of employment.
  4. SB 188—Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair Act (Crown Act): Senate Bill (SB) 188 amends Section 12926 of the Government Code, relating to discrimination, by defining “race” to include “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” The new law defines protective hairstyles to include braids, dreadlocks, twists, and other unspecified hairstyles associated with race. Dress code and discrimination policies should be reviewed.

Other items to note that are new for 2020:

  1. SB 778 & 530 – Extended deadlines for employees & temps for harassment training until 1/1/2021:

    SB 778 extends the deadline for all employers to complete the training to January 1, 2021. Employers that completed the required training in 2019 do not have to retrain employees in 2020.

    SB 530 now requires that employers with seasonal/temporary workforces provide harassment training to their workforce by January 1, 2021 (this changes the original 1/1/2020 date).

  2. AB 5 – ABC Test for Independent Contractors. You should review the ABC Test if you currently have independent contractors in your workforce.
  3. The DFEH has updated its Discrimination poster for 2020, which can be found here: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/publications/