Anticipated changes ahead for Labor Laws in 2020 and 2021

2020 has been quite the roller coaster, especially for businesses and owners. There is so much we could say about it, but we will keep it simple. On this page we will review Assembly Bills that went into effect for 2020 and the ones that are coming down the pipeline. For any further questions or details on how your business will be impacted, please contact our HR Team.



• AB 5 — This law took effect January 1, 2020 and is used to determine if a worker is classified as an employee or an inde-pendent contractor. The ABC test replaced the former model and all conditions must be met to be declared a non-employee. Since this rule has been placed into effect, many exemptions have been given and more are on the way. AB 1850 is a new Assembly Bill used to modify AB 5 and has already been updated several times.

• AB 51 — This law also took effect January 1st of this year and states employers can no longer require applicants, employees, and independent contractors to waive any rights protected by the Fair Employment and Housing Act as condi-tion of employment. Though this law is in effect, it is currently being challenged as it also states employers cannot force ap-plicants to sign an arbitration clause in order to be hired. Federal Laws make allowance for this and AB 51 could be reversed.

• SB 1159 — This Senate Bill was enacted on September 17, 2020 and is designed to protect the health and safety of all employees by providing Worker Compensation benefits for Covid-19 related injuries. Employees claiming this must meet certain criteria and show they contracted coronavirus due to work related duties. This bill is in effect through January 1, 2023.

• AB 685 — Created as a result of the pandemic, this Assembly Bill mandates employers notify all employees and unions (if applicable) that potential exposure of COVID-19 has taken place. Reports must be made within one business day to staff and unions as well as Cal-OSHA and the CA Department of Public Health and local health agencies. This law goes into effect January 1, 2021 and will remain in effect until January 1, 2023.

• SB 1383 & AB 2992 — These new laws expand previous ones regarding leave. The California Family Rights Act has been around for a few years and guarantees employees can take up to 12 weeks absence without pay and return to the same wage and position within the company. SB 1383 opens up CFRA to employers with 5 or more employees. Categories for grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings (living in the household or not) are now eligible to have extended leaves of absences to care for them. AB 2992 gives allowance for employees that are victims of a crime to have the similar types of leave. Both of these laws take effect January 1, 2021


If you have follow up questions or want to make sure you are compliant, please contact us. Our passion is to help you build a firm foundation so you can thrive in your gifts and talents. You focus on the essentials and we will take care of the rest.

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