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e-Alert: HRK Monthly Roundup – California Laws and Amendments Effective January 2021

By January 12, 2021No Comments

HR, Benefits, and Payroll Compliance Monthly Roundup

California Laws & Amendments Effective January 2021



  • California issued a new law to allow stop-work for facilities or operations that may expose workers to COVID-19.
    • The new law requires that, upon notice of potential COVID-19 exposure, employers must notify potentially exposed employees within one business day.
    • Upon exposure, employers must notify public health agencies within 48 hours.
  • California has passed amendments to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), which do the following:
    • Include employers with five or more employees
    • Allow parents who work for the same employer to each take 12 weeks of child-related leave
    • Expand covered family members to now include grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and domestic partners and their children
    • Provide leave to care for a child over 18 years of age
    • Provide leave due to a qualifying exigency
    • See HRK’s summary of CFRA changes on our recent e-Alert, and find a helpful summary of California leave laws here!
  • California passes Unemployment Work Sharing program. This benefits program allows employers to reduce employee hours during an economic downturn to avoid layoffs. The employee is then eligible to receive a prorated unemployment insurance benefit to replace the loss in wages.
  • California has passed a law to amend the sexual harassment training requirements under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The FEHA mandates that employers with five or more employees must provide employees in a supervisory position with at least two hours of sexual harassment training and at least one hour for nonsupervisory employees. These trainings must take place once every two years. California has expanded the law on Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence to include a victim of any crime that caused either physical injury or mental injury with a threat of physical injury. Additionally, a person whose immediate family member is deceased as the direct result of a crime is considered a victim under the amendment. Employers of 25 or more employees must allow employees to take time off to seek specified services for relief.
  • California has made additional changes to the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Law, which originated in 1980. This law was enacted to make formal reports to law enforcement authorities of suspected child abuse. The new changes will now require Human Resource Professionals, alongside front-line Supervisors, to be considered mandated reporters. These changes will be required for any employer with at least five employees that also employs minors. Employers should provide mandatory training to appropriate staff to identify and report child abuse and neglect.
  • California has enacted a law creating new pay data reporting requirements for private employers with 100 or more employees who are required to file an annual EEO-1 under federal law. These employers must submit a pay data report to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) that contains specified employee and wage information. The first filing must be submitted on or before March 31, 2021, and on or before March 31 each year thereafter.
  • California has amended the Kin Care Law, which allows employees to take time off work to care for a family member. This amendment allows employees to take time off work to care for a family member. The employee can use up to half of their sick leave for qualified family members.
  • California has made additions to its Corporate Board Diversity Law. The original law required at least one woman on the board of directors by the end of 2019 for any public companies headquartered in California. Additional changes require that underrepresented communities be increased by the end of 2022 based on board size:
    • Four or fewer directors on board must have one director from an underrepresented community.
    • Five to eight directors on board must have two directors from underrepresented communities.
    • Nine or more directors on board must have three directors from underrepresented communities.


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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.