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New California Laws Affecting the Workplace in 2022: What you need to know - Part 2

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

New California Laws Affecting the Workplace in 2022: What you need to know - Part 2

As with every new year, California rolled out new laws affecting the workplace beginning January 1, 2022. Check out part 2 of this month's series with some of the most relevant changes that may affect your business.

5. Personnel Records Retention

This bill extends the current personnel records retention requirement from two to four years from the date of creation, date of termination, or date of non-hire for an applicant. If a complaint has been filed with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), then the employer must retain the at-issue personnel records until the employer is notified that the action has been fully resolved or the first date after the statute of limitations for filing a civil action (or related appeal) has expired. SB 807 makes several procedure modifications to the DFEH’s enforcement rules, such as authorizing the use of electronic service for administrative complaints, extending the time for the DFEH to complete its investigation of group or class discrimination claims to two years before issuing a right-to-sue letter, and permitting group or class discrimination claims to be filed in any county within California.

6. Criminalization of Wage Theft

This bill creates Penal Code § 487m and makes the intentional theft of wages, including gratuities, in an amount greater than $950 from any one employee, or $2,350 in the aggregate from two or more employees, by an employer in any consecutive 12-month period punishable as grand theft and imprisonment for up to 3 years. Because this bill includes independent contractors within the meaning of employee, the misclassification of a service provider bears a significantly greater risk.

7. Recall Obligations for COVID-19 Layoffs

While not new to 2022, this bill went into effect on April 16, 2021 and expires on December 31, 2024. It requires certain employers to rehire employees who were laid off due to COVID-19 if they worked at least six months prior to their layoff. Employers under SB 93 include the following employers: (1) hotels with 50 or more guest rooms; (2) private clubs with 50 guest rooms for overnight lodging; (3) event centers with 50,000 square feet or 1,000 seats; (4) airport hospitality operations and service providers; and (5) office services, e.g., janitorial and security services. Reopened positions must be offered to laid-off employees within 5 business days of the opening.

8. CAL-OSHA Presumption Creation

This bill creates a rebuttable presumption that a workplace safety violation committed by an employer with multiple worksites is enterprise-wide if the employer has a written policy or procedure that violates certain health and safety regulations, or Cal-OSHA finds evidence of a pattern or practice of safety violations at more than one of the employer’s worksites. Additionally, the bill adds a definition of “egregious violation” which carries added penalties and expands Cal-OSHA’s enforcement power to issue and enforce a subpoena if an employer fails to promptly provide requested information.

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EPIA inc. is a private Insurance Agency with no ties with legal entities. The information contained in this article is based on information provided by the Official Website. Consumer questions on how to proceed with the new guidelines must consult official governmental sources or labor and employment attorneys.

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