Critical Employment Law Updates for 2023

The start of a new year means new legislation is about to kick in. Over the past year, California legislators worked hard to enshrine new protections for workers into law, and many of those bills are about to come into effect. Below are some of the most significant expansions to California employee rights in 2023.

Expansion of California Family Rights Act 

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) is the state law that allows workers to take time off work to care for sick family members without risking their jobs. However, before 2023, the law only permitted workers to take protected leave to care for spouses, domestic partners, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings. Extended family and life partners were not covered. 

That changes in the new year. Employees will be able to designate a specific person for whom they want to take leave to care for. This person does not have to have a particular legal relationship with the employee. In short, next year, you will be able to take the time you need to care for anyone in your life without losing your job, not just immediate relations.

Updates to Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN)

California’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires many companies and industries to provide covered employees with at least 60 days’ notice before performing mass layoffs or relocations at covered facilities. 

A new law will make the WARN Act more specific in 2023 and beyond. Call centers will need to provide employees with notice before relocating their services and may not relocate their centers without providing 60 days’ notice. This specifically includes moving operating units to other countries, protecting workers from surprise outsourcing. 

Expansion of Workplace Hate Crime Definitions

Despite California’s strict workplace discrimination laws, lawsuits against Tesla and other companies show that it is still too common. Workers around the state still report suffering hate crimes and racial harassment at work. That’s why California is expanding the definition of hate crimes to include the display of “hate imagery” as of 2023.

The new regulation clarifies that it will be considered a hate crime to place or display “certain symbols, marks, signs, emblems, and other physical impressions, including, but not limited to, a Nazi swastika, hangs nooses, or burns or desecrates crosses or other religious symbols on private and nonprivate property, as specified, with the intent to terrorize a person.” This will give workers greater recourse to take civil and criminal action against racially charged harassment

Defend Your Rights Under California’s New Employment Laws

In January, new employment laws will significantly expand your rights as a California employee. Don’t ignore these updates to employment law. If you’re refused leave to care for your loved ones, suffer from a call center layoff, or face hate crimes in your workplace, you can get help. Reach out to the skilled California employment law attorneys at Alexander Morrison + Fehr, LLP, to discuss your case and stand up for your rights.