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2018’s new laws: California businesses brace for changes

By in Press Enterprise on November 27, 2017

By Kevin Smith

A slew of new laws that address unpaid parental leave, new hiring restrictions and other workplace issues will have an impact on California businesses in the coming year.

The California Chamber of Commerce has released a list of the laws that are scheduled to take effect in 2018 or beyond. Some are far-reaching, while others make small changes to portions of existing laws or may affect employers only in specific industries.

Parental leave

Senate Bill 63, also known as the New Parent Leave Act, requires small businesses with 20 or more employees to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child — leave that must be taken within a year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement.

The parental leave is only for baby bonding. Employers are not required to provide leave to workers for other reasons, such as a family member’s medical issue. Authored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D- Santa Barbara, the legislation is expected to have the biggest impact on employers with 20 to 49 employees who are currently not required to provide baby bonding leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or the state California Family Rights Act.

David Houston, who owns six Barney’s Beanery restaurant/bar locations throughout Southern California, has no problem with the concept of SB 63. But he figures it will be tinkered with as time goes on.

“I don’t know of any fellow business owners who wouldn’t allow an employee to have time away for this,” he said. “But I always get the feeling that these laws are the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent. At some point, some politician will say, ‘Well, they can’t afford to be off that long without being paid.’ So they’ll want those employees to be […]    

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