Employers in Los Angeles County and California will face a raft of new laws taking effect Jan. 1, and while smaller in number than recent years, they will have a broad impact. Among the most noteworthy:
- An increase in the statewide minimum wage to $10 an hour from the current $9. This is the final phase of a law passed in 2013. Since then, the minimum-wage landscape has changed. Earlier this year, the city and county of Los Angeles passed increases in the minimum wage – to $15 an hour by 2020. Others are likely to follow suit. The first phase of both the city and county’s minimum-wage hike – to $10.50 an hour – will kick in July 1.
- The gender equity pay law, which mandates that women at a workplace facility doing “substantially similar” work to men receive equal pay. The old standard had been “equal pay for equal work.” The law also prohibits employer retaliation against employees who inquire about salary levels of co-workers. This law had the support of the California Chamber of Commerce, but corporate defense attorneys and some business owners believe it will lead to more lawsuits. (See “Salary Equity Act May Equal Grief,” Oct. 12.)
- New protections for franchisees as they sign agreements with chain operators. Among the new protections in this “Franchisee Bill of Rights” law: a higher bar for franchisers seeking to terminate a franchisee and, if a franchise agreement is dissolved, the return of equity the franchisee invested upon signing the agreement.
- On the positive side for businesses, employers as of Jan. 1 will have the right to correct certain wage statement violations within 33 days before an employee can sue. “Employers have been hit with multimillion-dollar lawsuits for ticky-tack violations such as abbreviating an employee’s name on a pay stub,” said Jennifer Barrera, a lobbyist with the California chamber, regarding the current law.
In highly congested sections of Los Angeles, finding a parking space isn’t just a challenge for commuters and shoppers. It can also be a major headache for delivery truck drivers, who often have to park in the middle of roads or park illegally.
Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin wants to change this. Earlier this month, he authored a motion ordering the city’s Transportation Department to report back on the top 20 street segments with the largest number of parking citations issued to delivery and fleet vehicles. The department must also look at expanding commercial loading zones.
Staff reporter Howard Fine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (323) 549-5225, ext. 227.
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