Susan George: Labor Law update and Business Essentials Workshop |

Susan George: Labor Law update and Business Essentials Workshop

Susan George

On Thursday, Mike Letizia, senior human resource professional consultant, presented the 2018 Labor Law Update and Business Essentials Workshop. The workshop delivered an exceptionally comprehensive overview of California Labor Laws.

An important take-away was the knowledge that the 2017 California legislative session ended with Governor Jerry Brown signing into law a number of bills affecting California employers:

Increases California’s minimum wage to $11 in January 2018 and to $15 by 2022 (SB 3)

Exceptions to Calif. minimum wage: Learner minimum wage (85 percent), apprentice and/or disabled, living wage (selected municipalities) and sheepherders.

Prohibits employers from inquiring about salary history during the hiring process (AB 168).

Precludes employers from inquiring about an applicant’s conviction history until after a conditional offer of employment; and

Imposes new limitations upon and disclosure requirements for considering conviction history information (AB 1008).

Requires employers with between 20 to 49 employees to provide up to 12 workweeks of “parental leave” (SB 63).

Prohibits employers from allowing federal immigration agencies access to worksites unless certain conditions are met (AB 450).

Requires that the currently mandated sexual harassment training for supervisors be expanded to include gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation (SB 396); and

Expands the Labor Commissioner’s powers when investigating retaliation complaints, including allowing pre-determination injunctive relief (i.e., temporary restraining orders) (SF 3j06).

Public Employers Subject to Equal Pay Act Violations (AB 46).

Hostile work Environment Protections for Military Service Members (AB 1710).

Safety first

Cal/OSHA covers almost every employer in California. The few exceptions that exist include the federal government, some federal contractors, shipside long shore activity, railroad workers working railways and certain employers of household domestic help. Even an employer with just one employee is covered.

The employer responsibilities under Cal/OSHA dictate that every employer must “furnish … place of employment that is safe and healthful” and do everything “reasonably necessary to protect life, safety, and health of employers.”

The following is a list of the most important employer responsibilities: Injury and illness prevention programs, workplace inspections, lockout and tag out, personal protective equipment, blood borne pathogens, emergency action plans, first aid, fire prevention plans, storage of materials, hazard communication, general housekeeping, machine guarding, safe work surfaces, aisles and walkways, safety/health program and janitorial protections.

This information was provided by Michael Letizia of Letizia HR Solutions, Inc. Letizia is an accomplished, certified, senior human resource executive with over 33 years of experience in the full scope of all Human Resource functional areas.

He is considered a subject matter expert in California employment law and is the author and developer of, “California Employment Law Essentials for Business”. Letizia has also collaborated with the Society for Human Resource Management in the development of education courses focused on California employment law. Learn more at

The workshop was presented by the Nevada County Regional Chambers of Commerce, Business and Career Network, and Sierra Human Resources Association. Sponsors of the workshop were The Union, KNCO Radio, Nevada County Association of Realtors and the Nevada County Contractors Association.

Susan George is a co-founder of The Nevada County Regional Chambers of Commerce. She can be reached at

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