As this year comes to an end, new policies and ordinances will take effect after
the ball drops. We will give a brief rundown of a few things to come, but there are 2 dozen new laws slated for the new year. If you need any HR help, we are here to serve.
AB 654 — COVID-19 Notifications of Exposure
• Taking effect October 5, 2021, this bill requires all employers to notify any
employees that were on premises at the same time as a symptomatic worker within the infectious
• Notifications must include possible COVID exposure, available benefits, and a
cleaning and disinfection plan.
• Home health industries and certain residential care facilities are not covered by AB
• Recommendation: Create a standard notification template to be sent out for each
SB — Right To Recall
• Any qualified employees laid off due to the pandemic will be given first rights to
be re-hired before employers
look for new staff. This is only for certain industries.
• Due process must be made to extend an offer of re-employment. Former employees have
5 days to respond to the offer and if several say yes, the employer must give it to the one with
the most seniority.
• Please note that certain cities in California have their own ordinances that must be
met on top of SB 93.
• Recommendation: Keep clear personnel records and check your city’s ordinances.
AB 1033 — California Family Rights Act Expansion
• Eligible employees are given 12 weeks per year of leave in order to care for family
members including parents. AB 1033 expands the definition of “parents” to include In-laws.
• The CFRA effects all businesses with 5 or more employees. AB 1867 also falls under
the new expansion and
helps streamline the process for small businesses with 5 to 19 employees to grant leave of
• Recommendation: If you’re a small business, familiarize yourself with the Mediation
SB 807 — Record Retention
• Current FEHA requires personnel records to be kept for 2 years. This new law now
lengthens that to 4 years.
• If current litigation is happening, records must be kept until the end of
litigations or when applicable statute runs out.
• Recommendation: Make it a practice to hold records for 5 or 7 years.
AB 1003 — Wage Theft is Now in the Penal Code
• “Grand Theft” now includes intentional theft of wages from employees or a group of
• If the wages held are in excess of $950 for one employee, or $2,350 for a group of
employees, the employer could face a misdemeanor or felony.
• Penalties for a misdemeanor could lead to 1 year in jail and up to 3 years for a
• Typically, a wage theft case would be handled under civil matters but now these
charges will be held as a criminal case.
• Recommendation: Make sure all employees receive missed break pay and all laws are
SB 606 — Cal/OSHA has 2 New Types of Violations
• “Enterprise Wide” violations are for employers with multiple worksites.
⇒ Policies, practices, and patterns will now be considered as a whole for such employers
for their various locations.
⇒ If Store 1 is found with a violation, OSHA could also cite Store 2, 3, and so on.
• “Egregious” violations are when employers intentionally/voluntarily break safety
policies or fail to take action to fix a problem.
⇒ This could include a violation resulting in a workplace fatality or catastrophe,
history of violations, and a disregard to health and safety practices.
⇒ Each employee exposed to a violation is a separate fine or penalty.
• Recommendation: Make sure you have enough Front Line Supervisors regulating safety