Minimum wage increases to $9 and other new laws for California July 1, 2014

A host of new laws go into effect today.

1.       Minimum wage goes up to $9 in California. In 2016, the wage will go up to $10 an hour: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_minimumwage.htm

Employers must post the applicable California Department of Industrial Relations Wage Orders, including new MW-2014, which has been updated to reflect the new minimum wage. There are 17 industry or occupation-specific Wage Orders, copies of which are available from the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, as well as from employer trade associations.

A less-advertised consequence of this increase is the impact it will have on the salary test for preserving an employee's exempt status. Under California law, a supervisor classified as exempt must be paid a monthly salary that is no less than two times the wages paid to a full-time minimum wage employee. After July 1, 2014, the minimum monthly salary to preserve exempt status under California Labor Code section 515, will rise to $3,120 per month, annualized to $37,440. In addition, the penalties available for minimum wage violations will now include “liquidated damages.”

2.       State and local governments can no longer ask job applicants about past criminal convictions (with exceptions):

                http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB218

3.       All battery-operated smoke alarms in rental units must contain a non-replaceable, non-removable 10-year battery: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB745

4.       Property sellers must disclose lawsuits and claims on property:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB652

5.       Prime contractors required to disclose the CSLB license numbers of subcontractors on public works projects: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0001-0050/ab_44_bill_20130909_chaptered.htm

6.       Paid family leave expanded to include grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and parents-in-law: http://www.edd.ca.gov/disability/paid_family_leave.htm

7.       Transgender Californians can now easily change their names and identity:

http://transgenderlawcenter.org/archives/9027

8.       Energy savings measures:

http://www.faegrebd.com/21201

9.   AB161: Domestic Violence restraining orders can now prevent one party from changing insurance coverage.

10.   AB176: Gives Domestic Violence victims greater protection by allowing police to follow the toughest protective order when there are multiple or conflicting orders.

11.   AB93, SB90: 4.2% Sales and Use tax exemptions for manufacturers, researchers and developers.

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