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New California laws affecting employers and workers

Earlier this month we posted about a law that California workers have good reason to be aware of, especially if they don't currently enjoy any benefit for paid sick leave.

As we noted at the time, AB 1522 became effective with the start of the new year. What it mandates is that employees of nearly all stripes must now be granted up to three days of paid sick leave in a year. There are certain restrictions that must be met, and the benefits don't become active until July 1, but it represents one of several major changes in the employer-employee landscape for 2015.

Another new state law this year offers the possibility of an expansion of workers' compensation benefits to certain workers who have not enjoyed that coverage before. AB 1897 is the bill's identifier and what it says is that employers who hire independent contractors through a contractor provider may be held liable for wages lost and health care required due to injuries suffered on the job.

Once again, there are provisions that may limit employer exposure to joint liability. For example, the law doesn't apply if contracted workers on site number five or fewer. It also would not apply in cases where the company's total employee roster is 25 or fewer.

There are other provisions that limit employer obligations and employee rights, so it is important for anyone with questions about rights and responsibilities to be speaking with an experienced attorney.

There are three other bills that are on the roster of change for this year. We'll touch on those in another upcoming post.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "CALIFORNIA: 5 new laws that will affect employers, workers," Richard K. De Atley, Jan. 11, 2015

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