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| 09/26/2022 | Blog

There is never a dull moment for HR professionals and business leaders in California, and the last quarter of 2022 does not seem that it will disappoint in any way!

Here are a few very important reminders for those focused on the Golden State…

Number One:  California Once Again Leads the Way on Minimum Wage Increases for 2023

For many years, California HR professionals had a chart tacked somewhere near their desks showing the scheduled increase in the minimum wage from $10 per hour as of 1/1/2017 all the way up to $15 as of 1/1/2022 or, for employers with 25 or fewer employees $15 as of 1/1/2023.

Time to put those charts away?  Not a chance – it is California after all…

Anyone deeply familiar with all provisions of California Labor Code (Cal. Lab. Code Section 1182.12) will know that, it includes a requirement that the Director of the Department of Finance determine, each year, whether the minimum wage must be adjusted because of inflation.  No shocker here – the minimum wage will be going up.

As of January 1, 2023, the minimum wage in California will increase to $15.50 for all employers regardless of size.

Additionally, the salary threshold for exempt status will increase proportionally from $62,400 to $64,480 for all employers.

Other states will be increasing their minimum wage based on inflation as well, including Illinois, New Jersey and Virginia.

Remember that any compensation planning and adjustments will have to account for this and the corresponding compression that will impact other jobs paid at rates close to the minimum wage.

Number Two:  California’s Supplemental paid Sick Leave Likely to Be Extended Through the End of the Year

September 30th was supposed to be the date for the state’s supplemental paid sick leave requirements to sunset; but, instead, it is now the date by which the governor is expected to sign off on legislation extending the SPSL through December 31, 2022.  Once signed, the legislation will go into effect immediately.

On August 31, the state legislature passed AB 152, which will require employers with more than 25 employees to continue providing the leave.  Just in case the current SPSL requirements, which were passed in February of this year, are not still top of mind, please refer to our blog post with details on the requirements, the FAQs and the required postings:  LINK

There are several significant concessions for employers included in the newest legislation:

  • AB152 enacts a relief grant for qualified small businesses (26 – 49 employees) to recover expenses related to providing SPSL through the California Small Business and Nonprofit COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, which will provide grants of up to $50,000 (but no more than the “actual costs incurred” for SPSL in calendar year 2022).  Qualified employers must be currently in business as a C” or “S” corporation, cooperative, limited liability company, partnership, limited partnership, or a registered 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6), or 501(c)(19);
  • The new legislation allows California employers to expedite diagnostic testing to minimize the amount of time an employee is out on SPSL. Currently an employer can an employee using SPSL to submit to a second diagnostic test on or after the fifth day after the positive test that qualified them for the leave.  Under AB 152, in cases where the second test is positive, employers will be able to require a third test within 24 hours. Employers would further be allowed to deny additional COVID-19 SPSL to an employee who refuses to submit to the tests.

What will not change with AB152:

  • Employees will not be entitled to a newbucket of SPSL leave;
  • The qualifying reasons for which employees may use SPSL are not changing;
  • The maximum allotments and the two “buckets” will not be changing;
  • Local ordinances are not impacted.

Number Three:  California Employers Will Need to Attend Employers Group’s Virtual Workplace & Employment Law Update on Either November 17th or December 6th to Be on Top of These Developing Stories and Much More!

There is no other employment law update anywhere that brings together the expertise and the insights of our WELU.  Where else will you be able to participate in a one-day program that will feature:

  • Richard Simmons’ Judicial and Employment Law Update
  • Jon Light and Karen Gabler’s State and Federal Employment Law Update
  • Best-Selling Author Paul Falcone’s HR Leadership in Precarious Times – Planning for 2023
  • A Panel of Top Attorneys Moderated by CEO Mark Wilbur Addressing Litigation Issues for 2023
  • Breakout Sessions by Top Attorneys and Subject Matter Experts Addressing Leaves of Absence (Mental Health Focus), Wage and Hour, Compensation Strategies and More.

Be sure to register now to take advantage of early-bird pricing through September 30th.