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The new year is well underway. If you want your small business to be successful, it’s essential that you are not only aware of some new laws for 2021 but also that you act accordingly. California businesses of nearly any size will need to comply with these laws as soon as possible. Many involve reporting, paid family leave, and COVID-19 related issues.

COVID-19 Hazard, Exposure, and Violations (Assembly Bill 685): Consists of new notice and reporting mandates for employers and employees concerning COVID-19 infections. By allowing hazard-related closures and citations for severe violations, it expands infection prevention requirements.

Workers’ Compensation Presumption (Senate Bill 1159): Allows workers’ compensation benefits for employees who get COVID-19 within two weeks of working at their place of employment. It also creates a disputable presumption that the injury (COVID-19 infection) resulted from and in the course of the employment.

Exapansion of the California Family Leave Rights Act (CFRA) (Senate Bill 1383): Previously, employers with at least 50 employees were legally required to offer unpaid protected family leave for up to 12 weeks for employees to care for themselves, a parent, a child, grandparent, spouse, or partner, or sibling. Now, this law increases its reach by applying to employers with at least five employees.

Kin Care (Assembly Bill 2017): This legislation allows employees to use their sick leave at their sole discretion for whatever reason they determine necessary.

Unemployment Insurance and Work Share (Assembly Bill 1731): To avoid layoffs, this bill gives companies the choice of providing partial unemployment insurance payments while reducing employee hours to cut the costs of an economic downturn. However, the employer must submit an application to the Employment Development Department (EDD) to be eligible for the Work Share Program.

Annual Pay Reporting (Senate Bill 973): Private employers with at least 100 employees must file a yearly Employer Information Report to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) starting on March 31, 2021. The report contains information on employees’ race, gender, and wages. Its purpose is to help find out if minorities are facing pay discrimination.

Rest Periods for Security Officers (Assembly Bill 1512): With this legislation’s enactment, some unionized private security officers can stay on the premises and on-call during their break times. Also, if the security officer’s break period is interrupted, they must be permitted to resume the rest period as soon as feasible.

Complaint Reporting (Assembly Bill 1947): Allows individuals double the time (six months to now one year) to report violation complaints with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).

Kalia Law P.C. Can Help

At Kalia Law P.C., we encourage local businesses to learn all they can about the new 2021 business laws and to contact us with any questions. We can help ensure that your business complies so that it can be a successful year without any undue worries. Schedule a consultation with us today by calling (650) 701-7617 or through our online contact form.

- Claire Kalia

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