Nobody ever said running a business was a walk in the park. As an employer, you have a lot of balls in the air, and compliance is just one of them. One really, really important one that, if dropped, could cost you a whole lot of money.
In addition to federal regulations, each state has their own share of employment laws that business owners need to be aware of. Here, we’re highlighting some of these key state-specific requirements and laws, and offering guidance to help you keep up.
Bear in mind, this list is not comprehensive, and there may be local or industry-specific employment requirements that your business needs to comply with. It’s best to consult with counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, as Justworks does not provide legal advice.
Onboarding Requirements for New Hires
Employees of Justworks customers will be provided via email with a number of notices required for new workers in California.
Justworks account administrators will also receive an email with information on how to distribute wage notices and set up a paid sick leave policy. A template of the wage notice required for California employees can be found in the Document Center for administrators who have at least one employee with a work address in California.
Payroll Tax Accounts
Because Justworks reports California state unemployment taxes on your behalf, you’ll need to close your California unemployment and withholding accounts prior to joining our platform. Here are the steps to do that.
Pay & Benefit Requirements
California rules on overtime, minimum wage, and exempt salary thresholds can be found here.
Commuter Benefits (Bay Area)
Employers with 50 or more employees (working 20 or more hours per week) in the Bay Area must comply with the Bay Area Commuter Benefit Program requirements, including registering their business and offering certain types of commuter benefits to their employees.
For employers in the Bay Area not required to comply with the Bay Area Commuter Benefit Program, local commuter benefits ordinances exist for:
- San Francisco: employers with 20 or more employees
- Richmond: employers with 10 or more employees
- Berkeley: employers with 10 or more employees
- San Francisco International Airport: employers with 20 or more employees
Our California Field Guide to Leave & PTO Policies provides an overview of California leave and PTO regulations, as well as best practices to keep in mind when crafting your company policies. Additional information on some of these topics can also be found below.
Paid Sick Leave
Under California’s paid sick leave law, all employees in California are eligible to accrue and use up to 24 hours or 3 days (whichever is greater) of paid sick leave each calendar year (or other 12-month period).
Disability Insurance & Paid Family Leave
California State Disability Insurance (SDI) is a partial wage-replacement program for California workers, encompassing two benefits: Disability Insurance (DI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL).
Family Rights, New Parent Leave, and Pregnancy Disability Leave
Find an overview of these three California laws around leave, and get links to additional information about each.
Personal Days and Floating Holidays
Learn more about how California’s vacation rules relate to paid personal days and floating holidays.
Wage Theft Prevention Act
Learn about the requirements of California’s Wage Theft Prevention Act.
California employers should familiarize themselves with specific compliance issues and certain key documents for terminating employees.
California also has specific requirements regarding payment of final wages.
Find guidance on pay equity for employers in California from the Department of Industrial Relations.
Harassment and Discrimination
California requires that employers create a workspace environment free from discrimination and harassment, and develop a harassment, discrimination, and retaliation prevention policy that includes all of the components set forth in California’s regulations regarding the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
Employers with 5 or more employees that operate in California must provide two hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors and at least one hour of sexual harassment to all nonsupervisory employees training to within 6 months of hire (and within 6 months of becoming a supervisor, where applicable). Training must be provided at least once every two years.
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
Effective Jan. 1, 2020, California consumers will benefit from enhanced privacy rights. With respect to employment, individuals will be able to demand all of the information a company has saved about them.
Justworks Blog: 5 Tips on Data Security & Protection
Many jurisdictions in California have local laws and ordinances which include more stringent requirements than California law. Your legal counsel can assist you in determining what laws apply to your business and to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.
Most notably, there are ordinances specific to San Francisco that may apply to your business if you have one or more employees performing work in San Francisco. For more information, visit the link below.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.