New California Labor Laws in 2018


At the state level, this year California has passed several notable employment laws.  Many take effect January 1, 2018.  


California joins several other states passing a prohibition from asking about an applicant’s salary history.  


Prohibitions against asking about criminal background until a conditional offer of employment has been extended and now covers employers with five or more employees.  


The New Parent Protection Act expands leave for new parents to smaller employers.  Employers with 20+ employees must grant employees with 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected parental bonding leave.


Sexual harassment training must include training on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation harassment.


The state minimum wage will increase to $11.00, effective January 1, 2018.  


Click here to find your city or local ordinance regarding minimum wage increases in 2018.  California employers have new posting requirements.  Download the required California posters from the state website.


Federal Labor Law Updates


There haven’t been very many new labor regulations enacted on the federal level that will take effect in 2018. The Obama administration’s changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are still in limbo. For now, the current FLSA overtime for salaried employees rule only applies to employees making less than $23,660 remains, though it may be revised next year somewhere between the current number the Obama Administration’s proposed $47,476.


Elsewhere on the federal level, make sure you’re prepared for a potential ICE raid, and have all your employees’ paperwork in order. ICE Director Thomas Homan has instructed Homeland Security Investigations (ICE’s investigative arm) to increase its time spent on worksite enforcement by “four or five times” next year. Prepare now by conducting an i-9 audit at your location.  Don’t forget to use the updated form i-9 for newly hired employees and review the updated i-9 handbook for employers.


Next Steps


Make sure you’re in compliance with any new and existing labor laws, and be sure to seek legal counsel on this and all employment law issues.