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Key Changes to California Employment Law for 2023

by Gayle M. Athanacio, Joshua M. Deitz, Dennis C. Huie, Sharon Ongerth Rossi, Aaron M. Scolari, Emily A. Murphy, Virginia K. Young and Ruby Zapien

Every new year brings changes to the laws applicable to California employers, and this year is no exception. Notable legal developments in California employment laws coming in 2023 include requirements for expanded rights under both the California Family Rights Act and the Paid Sick Leave law, and new obligations relating to pay transparency, including a requirement for most employers to detail pay scales in job postings and provide pay scale information to employees upon request. Employers will also continue to face extensive requirements regarding COVID-19 prevention under both the Cal. Labor Code and newly adopted Cal/OSHA COVID-19 prevention regulations which will replace the expiring Emergency Temporary Standards.

What follows is a summary of the most significant new laws affecting California employers in 2023 and beyond. We strongly encourage everyone with employees performing services in California to familiarize themselves with these developments. Unless otherwise noted, each new law or amendment mentioned below is effective January 1, 2023.


Equal Employment Opportunity

Bill No./Law.


SB 1162: Modifies existing laws mandating disclosure of pay scales and reporting of pay data information

Labor Code section 432.3 and Government Code section 12999

Pay Scale Disclosure Requirements: SB 1162 amends Labor Code § 432.3 which, under existing law, requires employers to provide “pay scale” information to applicants for employment who request such information. “Pay scale” is defined as the “salary or hourly wage range that the employer reasonably expects to pay for the position.” (Emphasis added.) As a result of the amended law, employers with 15 or more employees must now list the pay scale in any job posting, including those where the employer uses a third party to announce, post, publish, or otherwise make known a job posting.

Under the amended law, existing employees will have the right to request pay scale information for the position in which they are currently employed.

In addition, all employers are now required to maintain records of job title and wage rate history for each employee for the duration of their employment, plus three years, and these records shall be “open to Labor Commissioner inspection to determine if there is “still” a pattern of wage discrepancy.”

Under the amended law, any person who claims to be aggrieved by a violation of Labor Code § 423.3 can now bring a civil action for injunctive relief “or any other relief that the court deems appropriate,” or a complaint with the Labor Commissioner. Previous law only provided aggrieved individuals the right to bring a complaint with the Labor Commissioner.

Failure to maintain the records required by the law creates a rebuttable presumption of a violation.

The Labor Commissioner may order an employer to pay between $100 up to $10,000 per violation. First time violators of the job posting requirement will not be assessed any penalty if the posting has been updated to correctly include pay scale.

Pay Data Reporting: SB 1162 modifies California’s existing pay data reporting law (Gov’t Code § 12999) and mandates employers with 100 or more employees to file a pay data report with the California Civil Rights Department (formerly known as the Cal. Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing). Under the amended law, reports (for the prior calendar year) are now due annually on the second Wednesday of May, with the first report due May 10, 2023. Employers with 100 or more employees hired through labor contractors must also file a separate pay data report covering these employees. Under the law, the term “labor contractor” is defined to mean “an individual or entity that supplies, either with or without a contract, a client employer with workers to perform labor within the client employer’s usual course of business.”

The amended law no longer allows employers to submit their federal EEO-1 reports to satisfy California’s pay data reporting requirement but also drops the requirement that these employers file a consolidated report of all establishments. As of 2023, employers with multiple establishments must submit a report “covering each establishment” only.

The pay data reports under the new law must not only detail the number of employees by race, ethnicity, and sex for each specified job category whose annual earnings fall within pay bands used by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but also must identify the median and mean hourly rate for “each combination of race, ethnicity and sex” for each specified job category.

As before, if an employer does not submit the required reports, the Department may seek a Court order requiring compliance. Under SB 1162, courts may impose civil penalties of no more than $100 per employee and up to $200 per employee for any subsequent failure to file the required report. These penalties can be apportioned against labor contractors who are found responsible for the employer’s failure to submit the report.

AB 2188: Protections for off-duty use of cannabis

Government Code section 12954

Starting January 1, 2024, employers will be prohibited from discriminating against or otherwise penalizing a person for the person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace. This includes applicants and employees. AB 2188 further prohibits employers from discriminating against or otherwise penalizing a person who is found to have non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their hair, blood, urine, or other bodily fluids pursuant to an employer-required screening test. The law does not prohibit employers from enforcing rules against the use or possession of cannabis or impairment at work.

Notably, AB 2188 does not apply to “employees in the building and construction trades” nor does it apply to applicants or employees hired for positions that require a federal government background investigation or security clearance.

SB 523: Contraceptive Equity Act of 2022

Government Codes sections 12920, 12926, 12931, 12940, 12944, 12993, 22853.3, 22853.4

SB 523, the Contraceptive Equity Act of 2022, amends the Cal. Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to add “reproductive health decision-making” to the list of classes protected from discrimination by employers. “Reproductive health decision-making” as defined “includes, but is not limited to, a decision to use or access a particular drug, device, product, or medical service for reproductive health.”

This new law also makes it unlawful for an employer to require an applicant or employee to disclose reproductive health decision-making information as a condition of employment, continued employment, or to obtain a benefit of employment.


Time Off Benefits

Bill No./Law.


AB 1041: Paid Sick Time and CFRA Leave to Care For a “Designated Person”

Labor Code section 245.5 and Government Code section 12945.2

AB 1041 amends California’s Paid Sick Leave (PSL) and Family Rights Act (CFRA) laws to allow employees to use their time to tend to the medical needs of a “designated person.” Under both laws, employees are limited to one “designated person” each 12-month period (beginning from the first date the employee takes time off to care for such person).

CFRA currently allows eligible employees to use their 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a spouse, domestic partner, child, grandchild, parent, grandparent, or sibling. The PSL law has a similar list.

Under AB 1041, the CFRA is revised to provide that a “designated person” includes “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship and may be identified at the time the employee requests CFRA leave.”

The term “designated person,” as used in the context of PSL is defined to mean “a person identified by the employee at the time the employee requests paid sick days.”

AB 1949: Unpaid Bereavement Leave

Government Code sections 12945.21, 19859.3, 12945.7

AB 1949 requires employers with five or more employees to provide employees (who have been employed for at least 30 days) up to five days of unpaid bereavement leave for the death of a family member. Under the law, “family member” means a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law. This bereavement leave is separate from any other right to leave the employee may have under CFRA, and the employee need not take the five days consecutively. However, the leave must be completed within three months of the death of the family member. Employers have the right to request documentation of the family member’s death.

Employees may use existing vacation, personal leave, and accrued and available paid sick leave to compensate for unpaid bereavement leave. For employers with an existing paid bereavement leave policy of fewer than five days, the employee remains entitled to receive pay pursuant to the employer’s existing policy and may take the remaining days (up to five) as unpaid time off.

This bill exempts certain employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement.

SB 951: Changes to SDI and PFL Benefit Formulas

Unemployment Insurance Code sections 985, 2655 and 3301

SB 951 increases wage replacement rates for lower income workers under California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Paid Family leave (PFL) programs. Beginning in 2025, workers who currently would earn 70% or less than the state’s average rate will be eligible to receive 90% of their regular wages under these programs. SDI and PFL are funded through employee contributions which are deducted from their wages.


Safety and Health: COVID-19

Bill No./Law.


Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Non-Emergency Regulations Approved


In its meeting on December 15, Cal/OSHA’s Standards Board approved COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations. Once approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), the Non-Emergency Regulations will remain in effect for two years, with recordkeeping requirements in place for an additional year. OAL has 30 working days to approve the Non-Emergency Regulations but can do so earlier. The current Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) will remain effective during OAL’s review.

The COVID-19 Non-Emergency Regulations are similar to current ETS requirements, with some notable differences: Employers will no longer be required to continue pay for employees who are excluded from the workplace due to COVID-19. Employers will still need to comply with state and local sick leave laws, and any applicable collective bargaining agreements. Employers will also be required to report “major outbreaks” to Cal/OSHA.

Employers must address COVID-19 as a workplace hazard, either in their Illness and Injury Prevention Plan or a separate document, train employees on COVID-19 prevention, and respond to COVID-19 cases and “outbreaks” in the workplace.

Employers must also continue to stay abreast of the California Dept. of Public Health’s (CDPH) ever-changing position on COVID-19. The Non-Emergency Regulations adopt the CDPH’s current definitions of a “close contact” and “infectious period,” but any subsequent CDPH orders or regulations will control these definitions, as well as the definition of an “outbreak,” and when employers must require employees to wear face coverings. Employers must also look to current CDPH guidance to determine when to exclude “close contacts” from work.

Employers should carefully review the requirements of the semi-permanent standard and ensure their existing COVID-19 Prevention Programs, policies and practices are compliant. Cal/OSHA’s Non-Emergency Regulations page contains a Fact Sheet about the Non-Emergency Regulations and indicates that FAQs and a model program are coming soon.

AB 1751: Workers’ Compensation Reporting and Presumption

Labor Code sections 3212.86-3212.88

AB 1751 extends the workers’ compensation presumption and reporting requirements established in 2020 by SB 1159 until January 1, 2024. As previously reported, SB 1159 created a presumption for workers’ compensation purposes that a COVID-19 infection is work-related when there are a specified number of cases in the workplace within a 14-day period. The law requires employers to report employee infections to their workers’ compensation carriers with specified time frames.
AB 2693: Notice of Potential Exposure

Labor Code section 6409.6

AB 2693 extends the requirement that employers provide notice of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace until January 1, 2024. Under the law, notice of exposure must be provided within one business day to employees at the worksite during the infectious period. Notice is also required to the bargaining unit representative and employers of subcontracted employees.

AB 2693 also amends the law to allow employers to satisfy the notice requirements by displaying a notice of potential exposure in a place where workplace rules are customarily posted. The notice must contain the dates the COVID-19 case was at the worksite during the infectious period, the location (department, floor, building, or other area), and the contact information to obtain any cleaning or disinfection the employer is implementing. The notice must remain displayed for 15 days.

AB 152 Extension of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave through December 31, 2022

Labor Code sections 246.6, 248.7

As previously reported, California’s Supplemental Paid Sick leave law requires employers of 26 or more employees to provide to up to 80 hours of Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) for certain COVID-19 related reasons. SPSL is in addition to other employer provided leave, with limited credits available. The SPSL law was set to expire on September 30, 2022; however, on September 29, 2022, the Governor signed AB 152, to allow employees to use any existing SPSL hours through December 31, 2022. Employers should note that if an employee is taking this leave when the law expires on December 31, the employee can finish taking the full amount of leave. AB 152 also established a small business and non-profit relief grant program to assist qualifying businesses incurring costs relating to SPSL. Businesses should continue to be mindful of their SPSL obligations in the coming weeks.


Safety and Health: Other Notable Changes for 2023

New safety and health related laws, not related to COVID-19, include the following:

Bill No./Law.


SB 1044: Protections for workers who leave or refuse to report to work under certain “emergency conditions.”

Labor Code section 1139

SB 1044 creates a new law prohibiting employers from taking or threatening to take adverse action against an employee for refusing to report to a workplace, or leaving a workplace, in the event of an “emergency condition.” The employee must have a reasonable belief that the workplace is unsafe. The law defines “emergency condition” as a disaster or extreme peril caused by natural forces or a criminal act or orders to evacuate a workplace or school of a worker’s child due to a natural disaster or criminal act. Notably, the definition of an “emergency condition” specifically excludes a health pandemic.

Several occupations are exempt from this provision, including, but not limited to, first responders, disaster service workers, health care facility workers, and employees working on a military base or in the defense industrial base sector.

SB 1044 further prohibits employers from preventing most employees from accessing their mobile device or communication device during an “emergency condition.”

Violation of this section of the Labor Code is designated as one that employers may “cure” before a Private Attorney General’s Act (PAGA) claim can proceed.

San Francisco’s Public Health Emergency Leave (PHELO)

Effective October 1, 2022

Under the PHELO, employers with 100 or more employees (located anywhere) must provide 80 hours of supplemental sick leave for specified public health emergency purposes to employees who work in the City and County of San Francisco. Exceptions exist for certain non-profits. PHELO leave is in addition to other paid time off, including paid sick leave under the SF Sick Leave Ordinance. The City provides extensive information about PHELO and its requirements here.


Wage and Hour

Bill No./Law.


State Minimum Wage Increase On January 1, 2023, California’s minimum wage will increase to $15.50 per hour and apply to all employers, including those with 25 or fewer employees. Minimum salaries for California’s white-collar exemptions, which must be equivalent to “no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment”, will also increase. Employers should also check local minimum wage laws as many require higher hourly rates.
SB 1477: Changes to Wage Garnishment Limits

Labor Code section 706.050

Beginning September 1, 2023, the maximum amount of disposable earnings subject to levy under an order withholding earnings will be reduced to the lesser of 20% of the individual’s earnings from that week or 40% of the amount by which the individual’s disposable earnings for that week exceed 48 times the state minimum hourly wage (or local minimum wage if higher).
SB 1126: Expansion of CalSavers Program

Government Code sections 100000, 100032

State law currently requires employers of five or more employees who do not maintain their own qualifying retirement plan to facilitate the CalSavers Program by offering a payroll deposit retirement savings arrangement so that employees can contribute to the CalSavers Program.

Under SB 1126, this requirement will apply to employers of one to four employees, excluding sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and business entities that do not employ any individuals other than the owners. Employers will have until December 31, 2025, to register with CalSavers. Employers should consult the CalSavers website for more information.

City of Los Angeles Fair Work Week Ordinance The Los Angeles City Council recently voted in favor of the Los Angeles Fair Work Week Ordinance, which, beginning April 1,2023, will impose predictive scheduling requirements on retail businesses (under the North American Industry Classification System) with 300 or more employees globally, including temporary/staffing agency employees. The requirements will apply to employees who work at least two hours per week within the City of Los Angeles and are entitled to a minimum wage under state law.

Requirements of the ordinance include, but are not limited to, giving new employees a good faith estimate of their schedule; giving employees their schedules 14 days in advance; obtaining written consent of an employee for schedule changes that occur after the 14-day notice; paying “predictability pay” in certain circumstances; obtaining written consent for a shift that begins fewer than 10 hours from the prior shift; and offering additional work to existing covered employees before hiring or using a temporary employee or contractor (unless overtime would result.)

Employees may file a complaint with the Office of Wage Standards or bring a civil action for violations. However, prior to any filing, the employee must give the employer notice of the violations and a 15-day opportunity to cure the violations.


Sectoral and Collective Bargaining/Worker Cooperatives

Bill No./Law.


AB 257: Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST)

Labor Code sections 96 and Part 4.5.5

AB 257, known as the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (or FAST Recovery Act), establishes a Fast Food Council (“Council”) which will remain intact until January 1, 2029. The Council is made up of representatives from the Department of Industrial Relations, fast food restaurant franchisees and franchisors, fast food restaurant employees, and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.

Covered Entities: Any establishment in California that is part of a fast food chain that, in its regular business operations primarily provides food or beverages in the following manner: (1) provides food or beverages for immediate consumption to customers; (2) who order or select items and pay before eating; (3) items are prepared in advance or with items prepared or heated quickly; and (4) with limited or no table service. Fast food chain means a set of restaurants consisting of 100 or more establishments nationally sharing a common brand or characterized by standardized options for décor, marketing, packaging, products, and services.

However, restaurants located within a grocery establishment and the grocery establishment employer who employs the individuals working in the restaurant are not covered by AB 257. Nor are establishments with bakeries that produce bread (as defined in 21 CFR Part 136) for sale at the establishment as a stand-alone menu item.

Council Powers: The Council will promulgate minimum employment standards for fast food restaurants such as standards on wages, working conditions, and training. Rules promulgated by the Council will supersede rules promulgated by other state agencies when applied to fast food restaurant workers, franchisees, and franchisors. The Council cannot exercise its powers until the Director of Industrial Relations receives a petition signed by at least 10,000 fast food restaurant employees approving the creation of the Council.

Limitation on Powers: The Council cannot require a minimum wage exceeding $22 for 2023. Increases for 2024 and beyond are further limited by 3.5% or rate of change in averages for the U.S. Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, whichever is lower. The powers of the Council are expressly limited when it comes to matters falling within the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB). However, the Council may petition OSHSB to adopt, amend, or repeal any occupational safety and health standard. The Council also cannot promulgate regulations regarding predictable scheduling, and new time off benefits such as paid sick leave or vacation. However, the language of AB 257 suggests the Council may create new regulations regarding paid rest periods and reporting time pay. The Council cannot create or amend statutes or alter or amend requirements in the California Retail Food Code.

Local Fast Food Council: AB257 allows local jurisdictions with a population of at least 200,000 to create their own Local Fast Food Council which can provide recommendations to the Council. Local jurisdictions may also exercise their police powers to establish more protective local standards.

Non-Retaliation: AB257 creates a new anti-retaliation provision for employees covered by the Act who engage in protected conduct (complaining, disclosing information, participating in proceedings, etc.) regarding employee or public health or safety. Remedies include reinstatement, treble damages for lost wages and work benefits, attorney’s fees and costs.

Enforcement: The Labor Commissioner will enforce violations of Council regulations.

AB 2183: Agricultural Labor Relations

Labor Code sections 1156.35, 1156.36 and 1156.37, 1160.10, 1162

AB 2183 establishes alternatives to the “polling place” election for certifying collective bargaining representatives of agricultural employees. Under the amended law, a labor union can be certified as the bargaining unit through a labor-peace election or a non-labor peace election, depending on whether the employer agrees to a “labor peace compact.”

An employer who agrees to a “labor peace compact” will be required to maintain a neutral position regarding unions in certain communications.

If the employer signs a “labor peace compact,” a union can be certified through a mail-in ballot process. If the employer does not sign a “labor peace compact,” a union may be certified through a “card-check” process, in which a majority of employees sign cards indicating support of representation.

Employers have the option to agree to these “labor peace contracts” every year beginning in January 2023. These provisions are scheduled to sunset on January 1, 2028.

AB 2849: The Promote Ownership by Workers for Economic Recovery Act

Labor Code sections 10000-10010

AB 2849, the Promote Ownership by Workers for Economic Recovery Act, establishes a panel to conduct a study regarding the creation of an Association of Cooperative Labor Contractors for the purpose of facilitating the growth of democratically run, high-road cooperative labor contractors. The panel must engage in a stakeholder process by which it consults with organized labor, worker cooperatives, and business groups that can assess the opportunities and challenges associated with expanding workplace democracy. The panel is to complete the study and make it publicly available on the internet by June 30, 2024.

Employee Privacy

Bill No./Law.


The California Consumer Privacy Act: exemption for employee personnel information expires as of January 1, 2023.

Civ. Code Section 1798.145(h)(1),(4)

Currently, employers covered by California Consumer Privacy Act are required to provide notice to employees when collecting their personal information.

Beginning January 1, 2023, a temporary reprieve under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) that exempted employer-employee relationships from most rights and obligations under the CCPA will come to an end and California employees will have the six full rights under the law. These rights include the right to: (1) request a list of what personal information is being collected (by their employer); (2) correct any collected personal information; (3) request that some or all of the information be deleted; (4) opt out of the sale or sharing of their personal information; (5) restrict the use of “sensitive” personal information; and (6) not be retaliated against for exercising any of the other rights afforded under the CCPA. These rights are subject to certain exceptions for legal compliance and necessary business functions.

Employers will need to have a system in place to respond to employee requests, including a system to verify the identity of the person making the request.

“Covered employers” subject to this law include for-profit businesses that meet any of the following criteria (or control or are controlled by, and share common branding with, an entity that does): (1) gross annual revenues exceeding $25 million; (2) buy, sell, or share personal information of 50,000 or more consumers; or (3) derive 50% or more of annual revenue from selling personal information.


Public Works/Construction

Bill No./Law.


AB 1851: Hauling as “public works”

Labor Code section 1720.3

AB 1851 amends Labor Code section 1720.3 to expand the definition of “public works” for which prevailing wages must be paid to include the “hauling of refuse” from a public works site to an outside disposal location, and the hauling of materials used for paving, grading, and fill onto a public works site if the individual driver’s work is integrated into the flow process of construction. “Hauling of refuse” excludes the hauling of recyclable metals such as copper, steel, and aluminum that have been separated from other materials at the jobsite prior to transportation and that are to be sold at fair market value to a bona fide purchaser.
SB 216: Changes to Workers Compensation Certificate Filing Requirements for Licensed Contractors

Business and Professions Code section 7125

Under the current Contractor’s State License Law, licensed contractors must have on file with the Contractors State Licensing board (CSLB) a current and valid Certificate of Workers’ Compensation Insurance or Certification of Self-Insurance (collectively “Certificate of Insurance”), in their business name, unless they file a certificate of exemption certifying that they have no employees and are not required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. However, roofing contractors holding a C39 roofing classification must maintain a current and valid Certificate of Insurance even if they have no employees. Non-compliance results in removal of a classification from the contractor’s license and, if the contractor is found to have employees and not have a valid Certificate, suspension of a contractor’s license altogether.

SB 216 expands the list of contractors who must maintain a valid Certificate of Insurance even if they have no employees, adding concrete contractors (C-8), HVAC contractors (C-20) asbestos abatement contractors (C-22), tree service contractors (D-49 n) and HVAC contractors (C-20), to the list. Removal of licenses/classifications and suspensions, as described above, apply beginning July 1, 2023.

Beginning January 1, 2026, all licensed contractors must have on file at all times a current and valid Certificate of Insurance. Willful or intentional disregard and violation of the workers’ compensation laws constitute cause for disciplinary action by the registrar of contractors.

Some exceptions to the law apply to joint venture license holders who do not have employees.

AB 2463: Volunteers working on public works

Labor Code section 1720.4

Prevailing wages are required for workers on “public works.” Exemptions to this requirement existed for “volunteers”, volunteer coordinators, and members of the California Conservation Corps or a community conservation corps. These exemptions were set to expire on January 1, 2024. AB 2483 extends the exemptions until January 1, 2031.
SB 954: Certified Payroll Records: Electronic Database

Labor Code section 1771.4

SB 954 requires the Director of Industrial Relations to establish by July 1, 2024, an online database of certified payroll records accessible by multi-employer Taft-Hartley trust funds and joint labor management committees.


Layoffs (WARN ACT)

Bill No./Law.


AB 1601: Cal/WARN Notice: Call Centers

Labor Code sections 1400 et seq.

Under AB 1601, the Cal/WARN notice requirements—which mandates that employers provide 60-days’ notice to affected employees before a plant closing or mass layoff, relocation, or termination of operations— have been expanded to provide additional protection to employees in call centers.

Cal/WARN currently requires industrial and commercial operations that employ or have employed 75 or more persons (within the 12-month preceding period), to provide such notice when “all or substantially all of the industrial or commercial operations” of a covered establishment is relocated.

Starting January 1, 2023, under the amended law, WARN notices must be provided to call center employees when an employer relocates units comprising of at least 30 percent of its total volume (when measured against the average call volume for the previous 12 months) to a foreign country. Such relocations will result in the call center’s ineligibility to be awarded or have renewed any direct or indirect state grants or state-guaranteed loans or to claim, and to claim tax credits, for five years, unless the agency that administers the relevant direct or indirect state grants, state-guaranteed loans, or tax credits, after receiving a written request from a call center, waives the ineligibility for good cause, which may include job loss or adverse impact on the state.


Public Accommodation

Bill No./Law.


AB 1632: Restroom accessibly for patrons with certain medical conditions

Health and Safety Code Article 6

AB 1632 requires businesses open to the general public to allow persons lawfully on the premises who have Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, other medical conditions that require immediate access to a toilet facility, and individuals who use an ostomy device, access to employee-only toilet facilities when a public restroom is not immediately accessible to the patron. This requirement applies only when three or more employees of the business are working onsite at the time the individual requests use of the employee facility.

Businesses may request that the patron provide reasonable evidence of their medical condition. Businesses need not make the employee-only toilet facility available to the patron if the employee toilet facility is located in an employee changing area, if providing access would create a health or safety risk to the patron, or if providing access would create an obvious security risk to the business.

Willful or grossly negligent violations of this statute subject businesses to a $100 civil penalty per violation.

AB 2917: Website Access Lawsuits

Civil Code section 55.32; Government Code section 14985.6

As a result of AB 2917, plaintiffs who file website access lawsuits will be required to send a copy of the complaint, along with information about the complaint, to the California Commission on Disability Access. The attorney filing the website disability access suit must also notify the California Commission on Disability Access of any judgment, settlement, or dismissal of the claims alleged in the complaint.

These requirements currently apply to construction-related accessibility claims.

AB 1788: Civil penalties For Hotels for Trafficking Activity

Civil Code section 52.65

AB 1788 subjects hotels to civil penalties when sex trafficking activity occurs at the hotel and a supervisory employee knows or recklessly disregards the activity and fails to inform law enforcement, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, or another appropriate victim service organization within 24 hours. Hotels are also subject to these penalties when an employee of the hotel, acting within the scope of their employment, knowingly benefited, financially or by receipt of anything of value, from participating in a venture that the employee knew (or acted in reckless disregard of) sex trafficking activity within the hotel.

AB 1788 defines “hotel” as a motel or any other operator or management company that offers and accepts payment for rooms, sleeping accommodations, or board and lodging, retains the right of access to and control of, a dwelling unit, and that is required to provide training and education regarding human trafficking awareness.

AB 1788 will also allow for a city, county, or city and county attorney to seek penalties against a hotel in violation of this section of $1,000 for the first violation, $3,000 for a second violation within the same year, and $5,000 for a third and any subsequent violation of sex trafficking within the same calendar year. Courts are authorized to increase the amount of the penalty issued up to $10,000 for any fourth or subsequent violation.

AB 1661: Human Trafficking Notice Posting Requirements

Civil Code section 52.6

California requires certain businesses to post a notice that contains information about slavery and human trafficking, including information regarding non-profit organizations and resources for a person to call for services or support in the event of slavery and human trafficking. AB 1661 adds barbering and cosmetology businesses, defined as “nail, hair, electrolysis, skincare, and other related businesses,” to businesses that must post notices.

A business that fails to post the required notices may be liable for a civil penalty of $500 for a first-time offense and $1,000 for every subsequent offense.


Rogers Joseph O’Donnell’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group is comprised of seasoned attorneys with extensive experience representing and advising businesses, government contractors, and public entity employers.

The depth and breadth of our employment law experience allows us to offer the same quality of representation usually expected from much larger law firms, while our relatively small size enables us to maintain highly competitive rates and a more direct and personal relationship with our clients.

Our labor and employment practice encompasses counseling and defending employers against single and multiple plaintiff litigation, class, collective, and PAGA actions. While we believe that early case evaluation and mediation are often advantageous ways to minimize the costs and disruption of protracted litigation, we are also skilled, trial-ready attorneys with a winning record in court, administrative hearings, and arbitration.

If you have questions about California labor and employment law, please contact the Rogers Joseph O’Donnell attorney you work with, or email us at

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