California’s 2024 Labor Law Changes Demand Your Immediate Attention – Here’s Why!

We are dedicated to protecting your interests and helping you avoid employment lawsuits, we serve as your trusted advisors in Human Resources law, understanding the challenges you face in navigating the constantly changing legal landscape. That’s why we’re here to provide you with the knowledge and expertise you need to stay ahead of the curve.

In this blog post, we’re diving deep into the latest updates on California labor and employment laws for 2024. These changes are not just legal nuances; they have real implications for your business’s bottom line and reputation. Ignorance of these laws is not an excuse; it can leave you vulnerable to costly lawsuits and damages.

Scroll down to learn more about these NEW California  Employment Laws! 


Here is an overview of the new California Employment Law

Minimum Wage Increases:

  • Effective Jan. 1, 2024, California’s minimum wage rises to $16 per hour for all employers.
  • Exempt employees must now receive a minimum annual salary of $66,560.
  • Specific wage ordinances may apply in certain locales within the state.
  • Computer professional employees must earn a minimum of $55.58 per hour or $115,763.35 annually.
  • Fast food restaurant employers see an increase on April 1, 2024, and healthcare facility employers on June 1, 2024.

Enhanced California Paid Sick Leave Benefits – SB 616

  • SB 616 expands paid sick leave benefits significantly, requiring employers to frontload 40 hours (five days) of paid sick leave annually for employees.
  • Alternatively, employers can adopt an accrual system, where one hour of paid sick leave is accrued for every 30 hours worked, capped at 80 hours (10 days) with certain usage limitations.
  • Employees must have a minimum of 24 hours of paid sick leave by their 120th day of employment and 40 hours by the 200th calendar day of each calendar year.
  • The law prohibits retaliation against employees who exercise their right to take sick leave and does not necessitate any paperwork from employees.

New Employee Leave Entitlement for Reproductive Loss – SB 848

  • SB 848 mandates employers with five or more employees to offer up to five days of protected leave to employees experiencing reproductive loss events.
  • Reproductive loss events include failed adoptions, surrogacies, miscarriages, stillbirths, or unsuccessful assisted reproduction.
  • Employees have up to three months to take this leave, and employers must ensure confidentiality and refrain from retaliating against employees who avail themselves of this leave.

California’s New Nationwide Focus on Noncompetition Agreements – SB 699/AB 1076 

  • SB 699 and AB 1076 prohibit noncompetition agreements in California, regardless of where or when the contract was signed or the employment maintained.
  • Employers must notify employees about invalid non-competition clauses or agreements.
  • Employees have the right to enforce the law, and penalties apply for noncompliance.

Protections for Off-Site, Off-Duty Marijuana Use – AB 2188/SB 700 

  • Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on off-site, off-duty marijuana use.
  • Exceptions exist for certain industries like building and construction trades.
  • Employers cannot inquire about prior cannabis use unless permitted by state or federal law.

Updated Wage Theft Prevention Notice – AB 636

  • Employers must provide an updated Wage Theft Prevention Notice to employees, including information about local emergencies or disasters.
  • The California Labor Commissioner has published an updated template for employer use.

New Requirement to Develop and Implement a Workplace Violence Prevention Plan – SB 553 

  • Employers must establish and maintain a workplace violence prevention plan by July 1, 2024.
  • The plan must involve employee participation, incident response procedures, and regular review and updates.

New 90-Day Rebuttable Presumption for Workplace Retaliation – SB 497

  • Adverse actions within 90 days of protected activity create a presumption of retaliation.
  • Employers bear the burden of justifying any adverse actions.
  • Civil penalties may be awarded to employees who suffer violations of this law.

Elimination of Automatic Stay of Litigation Pending Arbitration Appeal – SB 365 

  • Trial court proceedings won’t automatically stay during arbitration appeals.
  • Employers may need to litigate underlying claims during arbitration appeals unless the court orders a stay.
  • Legal challenges may arise due to conflicts with existing laws and precedents.

Changes to California Labor Code Permits Public Prosecutors to Prosecute Actions for Wage-Hour Violations – AB 594

  • Public prosecutors can initiate civil or criminal actions for wage violations and misclassifications.
  • Arbitration agreements do not hinder enforcement by public prosecutors or the Labor Commissioner.
  • Recovered wages prioritize affected workers, and civil penalties are directed to California’s General Fund.

Your Business Deserves Peace of Mind!

Don’t let the complexities of new employment laws leave your business exposed to potential legal risks. Your peace of mind matters, and ensuring compliance with these intricate regulations is paramount for protecting your business’s future. 

Book a call with us today and take the first step toward safeguarding your business against lawsuits and penalties.