New Laws for 2018 – Legislative Update

Dec 2017 06 | Posted by liz.smith

Employers take note - there are several new laws on the horizon for 2018 that potentially impact your operations.  Below is a summary of the new laws. Please review each of these laws in greater detail to determine the impact for your organization. 

Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sexual Orientation (AB 396)

Beginning in 2018 anti-harassment training must now include “practical examples inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation, and shall be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in those areas.”  This bill also requires employers to prominently display a poster regarding transgender rights in an accessible location in the workplace and distribute an information sheet on sexual harassment.  Below are links to the full text of the law, as well as the new poster and information sheet. Stay tuned for details on GSRMA’s Annual Harassment Training, which will include revised content to comply with the new law. – Full text of the law. - Transgender Poster - Sexual Harassment Information Sheet


Ban Inquiries Regarding Criminal Convictions - Government Code § 12952

California employers with five or more employees (including state or local government employers) are prohibited from (1) asking orally or in writing for an applicant's criminal conviction history prior to a conditional offer of employment to the applicant; and (2) considering, distributing, or disseminating information about any of the following while conducting a background check following a conditional offer of employment:

·         An arrest not followed by a conviction, except that employers at health facilities may ask applicants for positions with regular access to patients to disclose an arrest under the Sex Offender Registration Act, and may ask applicants seeking positions with access to drugs and medication to disclose an arrest under certain sections of the California Health and Safety Code.

·         Referral to or participation in a pre-trial or post-trial diversion program. 

Convictions that have been sealed, dismissed, expunged, or statutorily eradicated pursuant to law. –Full text of the law.


Ban Inquiries Regarding Salary History - Labor Code § 432.3

California employers (including state and local government employers) are prohibited from (1) asking orally or in writing, personally or through an agent, for an applicant's salary history information; and (2) relying on an applicant's salary history information as a factor in determining whether to offer them employment or what salary to offer them.  An applicant is not prohibited from voluntarily disclosing this information (without prompting by the prospective employer), in which case the prospective employer is not prohibited from considering and relying on that information in determining the salary for the applicant. Consistent with Labor Code section 1197.5, the employer cannot use an applicant's prior salary, by itself, to justify any disparity in compensation. Upon reasonable request, an employer must provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant. -Full text of the law.


Minimum Wage Increase

The California state minimum wage increases to $11 per hour for businesses with 26 or more employees, and $10.50 per hour for those with 25 or fewer employees.  Note, many cities have their own minimum wage requirements


California Family Rights Act

The New Parent Leave Act, S.B. 63, amends the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) to allow employees who work for an employer with at least 20 employees who work within a 75 mile radius to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave. The new law is a significant expansion of the California Family Rights Act, which currently only applies to employers with 50 or more employees.


We hope you find this information both useful and timely.  If you have questions regarding how any of the above impacts your organization AND you are a member of GSRMA, we encourage you to contact our HR Hotline for more information.  The HR Hotline is a service of GSRMA by which member agencies can get FREE advice on human resources issues.  The HR Hotline number is 877-780-7099.