Employment Laws to Review for 2022

10.21.21Baylee Olsen

Employment Laws to Review for 2022

It may seem as if it was a ‘light’ year for new California employment laws crossing the Governor’s desk, however, there are still some things you will want to know to prepare for 2022.

SB 807

Employer Record Retention Requirement Increased From 3 to 4 Years

As you know, employee personnel files should be retained as long as the employee is employed with the company. Under this new law, employment files of separated employees must be kept for four years after the date of the employees’ separation.

Applications, resumes, interview notes and other related records for applicants must also be saved for four years after the employment decision was made about the applicant. 

In addition, there are other Federal and State requirements on the retention of certain employee records and documents. Contact SDHR Consulting for help if you are confused about the myriad retention requirements for your employee-related files.

SB 606

Expanded Enforcement Opportunities for CAL/OSHA

This law expands Cal/OSHA’s enforcement powers in several ways. It creates two new categories of violations, ‘enterprise-wide’ and ‘egregious’. 

An enterprise-wide violation makes the assumption that a violation is company-wide if one or more worksites does not have compliant written policies or procedures. An egregious violation occurs when the employer makes no reasonable effort to eliminate a known threat, a violation results in the death of an employee(s) or in a large number of injuries or illnesses, has an extensive history of prior violations, or has intentionally and in bad faith disregarded their health and safety responsibilities.

While the law does not specifically address COVID-19, the sponsors plainly stated this was one of the reasons they introduced the bill, to ensure workers are safe as the pandemic continues.

Companies need to ensure all their workplaces are in compliance and provide a safe environment for their employees. This not only includes a written Injury and Injury Prevention Program (IIPP) but also a written COVID Prevention Program (CPP). SDHR Consulting will customize and write these required compliance documents for your organization.

AB 1003

Increased Penalties for Wage Theft

California has some of the strictest laws in the nation regarding employee wages. AB 1003 makes the intentional theft of wages, including gratuities, in an amount greater than $950 from any one employee, or $2,350 in total from 2 or more employees, by an employer in any consecutive 12-month period punishable as grand theft. Intentional theft of wages can include not paying an employee’s regular wages on time or not paying a separating employee within the specific timeframe based on the circumstances of their leaving.

AB 1033

California Family Rights Act – Expanded to Cover a Parent-In-Law

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) was significantly expanded on January 1st, 2021 to cover small employers with five or more employees. CFRA provides employees who have over one year of employment and who have worked more than 1250 hours in the last 12 months with the right to take up to 12 weeks of protected leave. The leave is available to the employee for specified reasons such as their own or a family member’s illness or injury, birth, adoption or placement of a foster child, and a family member who is on covered active duty or has been called to active duty by the US Armed Forces.

Beginning on January 1, 2022, the covered family members have been expanded and an employee has the right to take CFRA when they need to care for a parent-in-law.

Have you updated your Employee Handbook in the last couple of years? If not, now is the time and SDHR Consulting can help!

AB 701

Productivity Quotas for Warehouse and Distribution Centers

This law requires warehouse and distribution center employers to provide each nonexempt employee upon hire, with a written description of each quota to which the employee is expected to meet including details on the number of tasks or materials to be produced. The written description must include any potential negative employment action that could result from failure to meet the quota. 

The employer is not allowed to take negative employment action against an employee who fails to meet a quota if it has not been disclosed in writing or if the quota does not allow an employee to comply with rest or meal breaks.

SB 657

Electronic Distribution of Documents

This law was intended to make it easier for employers to support their remote employees by distributing the information employees need concerning their wage, hour, and working conditions in California. An employer can now distribute the California minimum wage, sick leave, and Wage Order information to remote employees via email. Employers must continue to post this information at their workplace as they would do for their in-person/ onsite workforce.

Are your posters up to date?  SDHR Consulting can help ensure you have the latest and greatest posters at your workplace. This may seem like a small thing but fines can be up to $1000 per missing poster!

SB 331

Settlement and Non-Disparagement Agreements 

This law requires that employers who are implementing non-disparagement agreements as a condition of employment or who are offering a separating employee a severance agreement must include a provision stating the employee is allowed to discuss conduct by the company they believe to be unlawful in regards to all forms of workplace harassment or discrimination. Current law only required this provision if the employee wanted to disclose information they felt was unlawful on the basis of sex discrimination or harassment.

About the Author

Traci Hagan, “Treasure Trove”

Traci is an HR Consultant who has been with SDHRC for over 2 years but has over 32 years of experience in employee relations, conflict resolution benefits administration, training and development, workers’ comp and staffing! Traci is also a Professor who enjoys traveling and spending time with her 16-year-old “puppy”.