New Laws Impacting Human Resources - Effective 1/1/2018

There are new laws impacting Human Resources that become effective January 1, 2018. Below is a brief explanation of several that may impact your organization.

Prohibition on Salary History Inquiries (AB 168)
Employers are prohibited from relying on “salary history information” as a factor in deciding whether to make an offer of employment or to determine what salary to offer the applicant. As a result, employers cannot ask applicants about their salary history. This applies to questions on applications as well as during the interview process. The employer is also required to provide pay scale information for a position if the applicant makes a “reasonable” request for it. If an applicant voluntarily discloses salary history information without being prompted, an employer is permitted to consider the information in its salary offer for the position. The salary history information cannot be used to determine whether or not to hire an applicant.

Action items:

  1. Revise your application and related hiring documents to remove questions seeking salary history information.
  2. Revise your hiring policies and procedures to include a statement that your school does not request salary history information and will not use salary history information unless permitted by law.
  3. Have pay scales available for all of your positions, in the event an applicant makes a request for this information.
  4. Train those involved in the recruiting/hiring process to make sure that all parties understand these new employer restrictions and obligations.

Expanded Harassment Training for Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sexual Orientation (SB 396)

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act requires employers to provide anti-harassment training and education to all supervisory employees every 2 years, or within 6 months of assuming a supervisory position. This training is commonly referred to as AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Training. SB 396 expands AB 1825 training to include content about harassment based on 1) gender identity, 2) gender expression, and 3) sexual orientation. SB 396 also requires employers to have a new poster regarding transgender rights.

Action items:

  1. Verify that your AB 1825 training provider’s content includes the 3 new harassment provisions. CharterSAFE members receive a free subscription to SafeSchools online training for all employees. SafeSchools’ AB 1825 training material will be updated to reflect the new provisions.
  2. Verify that your 2018 employment posters contain the new language. CharterSAFE members receive free annual employment posters generated by the California Chamber of Commerce.

2018 New California Minimum Wage

On January 1, 2018 the new California minimum wage is increased to $11.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees. To be classified as exempt, salaried employees need to satisfy certain criteria including a “salary” test (earn a monthly salary equivalent to at least two times minimum wage). The new minimum salary threshold for exempt employees will be $45,760 annually (or $3,813.33 per month). For employers with 25 or fewer employees, the minimum wage effective January 1, 2018 is $10.50 per hour and the corresponding exempt salary test threshold will be $43,680 annually (or $3,640 per month).

It is important to note that certain cities and counties have adopted a minimum wage for employees working within their jurisdiction. This may result in different federal, state, or local minimum wage rates for an employee, and a local jurisdiction may have a higher minimum wage than the state level. An employer is required to pay the highest hourly rate applicable to an employee at a particular time. For informational purposes, the UC Berkeley Labor Center keeps a detailed national list of local minimum wage ordinances. Here is the link for reference purposes: UC Berkeley Labor Center Inventory of US City and County Minimum Wage Ordinances

Action items:

  1. Verify that your 2018 employment posters contain the new minimum wage. CharterSAFE members receive free annual employment posters generated by the California Chamber of Commerce.
  2. Review the annual salary for exempt employees to verify that these employees meet the “salary” test. If the employee doesn’t meet the salary test, you may need to change their classification to non-exempt (hourly).
  3. Check to see if your school is in a local jurisdiction that requires a minimum wage different than the state minimum wage, and if applicable, review your employee pay rates accordingly for adjustments.

Your labor attorney or human resource consultant will be able to assist you if you have questions about these changes.