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New Year, New Laws

I know you’re excited for this one...you’re all like, “YAY! I can’t wait for things to become even more difficult for me as a business owner this year!” <- said sarcastically, of course.

Well I’ve got good news...it’s not that bad.

Here’s the lowdown on CA law changes that you can read in two minutes tops.

Minimum Wage: It’s going up but you already knew that. Employers with 25 or less it’s $11.00 and 26 or more $12.00. There are SEVERAL local municipalities that have higher increases: Cupertino, El Cerrito, Los Altos, Mountain View, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale.

Exempt Employees Salary Basis Test: When minimum wage goes up it means the salary basis test for exempt workers in CA goes up, too. Exempt employees need to make at minimum $49,920 annually to be classified as exempt. BUT, that’s not the only test...after that is they need to pass the executive, administrative or professionals exemption test.

Computer Software Employees Exemption: This profession has an even higher salary basis test of $45.41 or $7,883.62 per month or $94,603.25 annually. They don’t pass this test they’re not exempt.

CA Sexual Harassment Training: Employers with five or more employees must provide two hours supervisory training and one hour non supervisory training for employees within six months of hire. Temporary or seasonal employees’ employers, if they work less than 6 months you’ll need to provide the training within 30 days. You have till the end of 2019 to comply. I can do this for you. 🙂

Asking for Salary History: In 2018 it was made illegal to ask salary history. 2019 they are clarifying a few terms: payscale, reasonable request and what an applicant is. Best way to comply...just don’t ask someone what they made previously.

De Minimis Doctrine (Troester v. Starbucks): Long case short, make sure you are paying your employees for the work performed even if it’s only a few minutes AND make sure they aren’t working off the clock.

Lactation Accommodation: Again they are clarifying the law here because this has been law for years. Best way to comply, make sure you have a private space that is not a bathroom or bathroom stall for ladies to express milk.

Sexual Harassment Defamation Protections: This protects workers from being sued for defamation when they accuse someone of inappropriate behavior, as long as they do so in good faith. The measure also protects employers from litigation if they say during a reference check that a former employee engaged in sexual harassment. BUT...only let trained HR professionals handle these reference checks.

Legal Documents Needing Updating:

  • Confidentiality Clauses in Settlement Agreements

  • Arbitration Agreements

  • Confidentiality and Non-Solicitation Agreements

Stuff like this we refer to attorneys. Let the pros handle it. Let me know if you need a referral to a stellar attorney.

Training on Human Trafficking Awareness: This is specific to industries that human trafficking can possibly effect: hotels, B&Bs, urgent care centers, massage services, night clubs, strip clubs, etc. Training, information and posters requirements must be completed by 2020.

Expanded Paid Family Leave Benefits: Now those on “qualifying exigency leave”” can apply (employees whose spouse, registered domestic partners, child or parent is a member of the US Armed Forces).

FCRA New Form: If you run background checks make sure you provide this notice to whomever you run it on. Here it is: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/bcfp_consumer-rights-summary_2018-09.docx

Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention: Sounds exactly how it is...a program for Hotel workers to keep them free from injury.

Poster Updates: You’re gonna need new ones. Minimum wage went up and there were changes to Paid Family Leave. Message me if you want me to purchase them for you. Best priced ones are here: https://www.allinoneposters.com/California-Federal-Combo-Poster

I-9 Compliance: Not a new law but I just want to be sure you’re compliant. Make sure ALL your I-9s are done in compliance with the law.

Finally do you have 1099s/independent contractors? The government is going to crack down on this. If you are not sure if your IC’s are classified properly ask me or someone. Please. The case last April changed the environment for classifying ICs D R A S T I C A L L Y. Seriously.

Of course I gave you the cliff notes version...there are more to these changes. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Gotta keep our HR butts outta’ trouble, right?!

On another note: I hope you all are enjoying this holiday season. Cheers to a wonderful 2018 and looking forward to seeing you all be successful and joyous in 2019!

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