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The new year welcomes new labor laws

As you welcome in the new year, you look forward to a fresh start. You will likely set new goals for yourself, resolving to better your body or financial situation in the months ahead. And, as an employee, you may aim to increase your production or develop a new skill. At the same time, you probably hope your employer examines their policies and strives to improve your working environment.

The good news for California employees is that in 2019, new laws will go into effect starting January 1. If you’re one of those affected by these changes, you may see this as a step in the right direction to benefit you.

What are the new employer requirements?

Among mandatory increased female representation on a public corporation’s board of directors, some 1099 workers may no longer classify as independent contractors.

As far as the other changes in labor law on the horizon, new laws include:

  • Minimum wage increase. For businesses with 25 employees or less, the new minimum wage is set at $11 per hour; $12 for organizations with a staff of at least 26 employees.
  • Increased sexual harassment training. In addition to required harassment training for supervisory staff, at least one hour of training is required by all employees every two years, for businesses with at least five employees.
  • Overtime changes for agricultural workers. For agricultural employees working for a company employing 26 or more employees, after 55 hours per week or 9.5 hours each day, agricultural workers will become eligible to get paid time-and-a-half.
  • Lactation accommodation. New laws require employers to provide a place for nursing mothers to pump breast milk.

While employers in California are responsible for adhering to the new guidelines and sticking to the law, it doesn’t hurt employees to be aware of the changes and be on the lookout for deviations from the law. In the end, being cognizant of these 2019 changes could go a long way to catching an employment law violation before it becomes a major issue.