P6 California Employment Laws Schedule to Take Effect in 2020 – Leaves of Absence and Workplace Accommodation

California Employment Laws Schedule to Take Effect in 2020 – Part 5. Leaves of Absence and Workplace Accommodation

Several new laws on workplace leaves of absence and accommodations in the workplace were passed in 2019 that help employees. These laws include:

SB 83, has many new provisions. Of key concern to employees is that starting July 1, 2020 the six-week wage replacement benefit, under the Family Leave program, will be extended up to eight weeks. The Family Leave program helps workers take time off to take care of a family member who is seriously ill or to bond with a new child within one year or birth or placement. The wage replacement benefits are ½ the worker’s wages in lieu of using sick pay or vacation pay benefits. [I think?]

AB 1223 applies to employees who make organ donations – where the employer has 15 or more employees. It adds to the current employee protections by providing an additional 30 business days of unpaid leave for employees who donate an organ. Employees currently can take 30 days unpaid leave – so, the new law extends the unpaid leave to 60 days. The law is known as the Michelle Maykin Memorial Donation Protection Act. The law also addresses insurance issues.

Employers duty to provide lactation accommodations

SB 142 provides that employers must provide employees a lactation room or location (not a bathroom) – to express milk in private. The statute provides:

“The room or location may include the place where the employee normally works if it otherwise meets the requirements of this section.

(b) A lactation room or location shall not be a bathroom and shall be in close proximity to the employee’s work area, shielded from view, and free from intrusion while the employee is expressing milk.

(c) A lactation room or location shall comply with all of the following requirements:

(1) Be safe, clean, and free of hazardous materials, as defined in Section 6382.

(2) Contain a surface to place a breast pump and personal items.

(3) Contain a place to sit.

(4) Have access to electricity or alternative devices, including, but not limited to, extension cords or charging stations, needed to operate an electric or battery-powered breast pump.

There are other additional requirements that an experienced California employment lawyer can explain. Employers can be subjected to $100 for each violation. Some employers with 50 or fewer employees may be exempted if they show the law would be an undue hardship.

Another law, AB 1554, focuses on an employer’s duty to inform employees who use a flexible spending account of deadlines for withdrawing funds.

The Law Offices of Stephen Danz & Associates handles leave of absence and workplace accommodation claims. Call us at 877-789-9707 or complete our online contact form for an appointment.