California Law Updates for 2016

booksEffective January 1, 2016, California’s minimum hourly wage will increase from $9.00 to $10.00. The increase will affect the minimum salary requirement for many exempt employees as they must make at least two times the minimum hourly wage in order to maintain their exemption from overtime laws. Additionally, many California cities have their own minimum wage requirements.


In addition to the minimum wage change, a number of bills affecting employers from the last state legislative session will go into effect on January 1, 2016. Here is a rundown of some of the most important ones:


Fair Pay Law

Bars an employer from paying any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work (taking into consideration skill, effort, and responsibility) performed under similar working conditions, except where the employer demonstrates the wage differential is based upon one or more of the following factors: a seniority system, a merit system, a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or a bona fide factor other than sex, such as education, training, or experience. (SB 358)


Protection for Requesting Accommodation

Prohibits an employer from retaliating or otherwise discriminating against a person for requesting accommodation of their disability or religious beliefs, regardless of whether the accommodation request was granted. (AB 987)

Protection for employees whose family members are engaged in protected conduct

Extends existing law to prohibit an employer from discharging an employee or in any manner discriminating, retaliating, or taking any adverse action against any employee or applicant because an employee’s or applicant’s family member has engaged in protected conduct. (AB 1509)


Modification of Piece-Rate Wage Rules

Requires that the itemized statement provided to employees compensated on a piece-rate basis separately state the total hours of compensable rest and recovery periods, the rate of compensation, and the gross wages paid for those periods during the pay period, and the total hours of other nonproductive time, as specified, the rate of compensation, and the gross wages paid for that time during the pay period. (AB 1513)


Kin Care Modifications

Brings the definitions in the Kin Care statute in line with the newly enacted paid sick leave law. Expands Kin Care’s allowance for using sick leave for family members to cover all uses under the paid sick leave law. (SB 579)


E-Verify Limitation

Prohibits employers and others from using the E-Verify system to check the employment authorization status of an employee—or an applicant who has not received an offer of employment—except as required by federal law or as a condition of receiving federal funds. (AB 622)


State Enforcement of Local Laws

Authorizes the Labor Commissioner to investigate and to enforce local laws regarding overtime hours or minimum wage provisions. (AB 970)


Coastal Payroll understands that managing new regulations definitely isn’t easy.  For more questions, we have an unlimited HR Support Center or certified HR professionals who are available at your fingertips from 5am-5pm PST; ready to answer YOUR inquiries with a one-day response time guarantee*.

Contact us today at or 858.565.2123 for more information.