New 2021 California Laws that Impact Businesses and Employers

It is no secret that 2020 has been a year of monumental changes. If you are a business owner, you may feel overwhelmed trying to keep up with everything that affects you. Not only do you have to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and political issues but there is also an onslaught of new California laws going into effect next year. Don’t worry, though, once you are familiar with the new California laws for 2021 you will be able to adapt to them. Here are a few of the most important changes to California employment law.

New 2021 California Laws that Impact Businesses and Employers

AB 685: COVID-19 Exposure Notice

Beginning on January 1, 2020 when employers learn of a potential exposure to COVID-19, they have one day to provide written notice to all employees and subcontractors who were on the premises during the “infectious period.” This notice must explain:

  1. All COVID-19-related benefits the employee may be eligible for under state, local, and federal laws
  2. The steps the employer plans to take to ensure the workspace is disinfected before the employees return to work

Unless extended, AB 685 will expire on January 1st, 2023. 

AB 2017: Kin Care

California’s original “Kin Care” law stated that employees could use half of the employer-provided sick leave they accrue each year to take time off for the care of an ill family member. In 2014, the allowable reasons for using “Kin Care” were expanded but the law allowed employers to determine how to apply the sick leave.

Under AB 2017, employees now have “sole discretion” to designate the reason for using their sick leave.

SB 1383: California Family Rights Act

SB 1383 repeals the current California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the California New Parent Leave Act (NPLA) and replaces them with a new CFRA.

The law grants employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, protected leave during a 12-month period for any of the following reasons:

  • Bonding with the employee’s new child
  • Caring for themselves
  • Caring for a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, spouse, sibling, or domestic partner

In addition, the law also grants the same leave for qualifying issues related to covered active duty of the employee or the employee’s spouse, child, parent, or domestic partner.

This new law applies to all employers with five or more employees. It does, however, limit eligibility to employees with at least 1250 hours of service during the previous 12-month period.

Concerned About New California Laws? We Can Help

Successful business owners know how important it is to be proactive and remain flexible. You can easily adapt to the new California laws, with a bit of help.

Attorney Lisa Wills, Law Office of Lisa Wills, a Professional Law Corporation specializes in helping business owners with a wide variety of legal issues. If you have questions about how some of the new California laws affect your business – or any other business-related legal questions – we are happy to assist you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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