Q: We are a small company (15 employees). The coronavirus pandemic made things more difficult, but now we have a new minimum wage to pay in California?
-LH, Manhattan Beach
A: A California company with fewer than 26 employees must increase the hourly rate to at least $ 13. However, there are some cities like Sonoma, Mountain View, and Palo Alto that have raised their minimum wage to $ 15 or more in 2021. Other California employers (with more than 26 employees) must pay a minimum wage of $ 14 an hour. Note, however, that these numbers were not just created. Back in 2016, then-Gov. Jerry Brown enacted law requiring the state’s mandatory minimum wage to gradually increase each year until it hits $ 15 an hour in 2022. Current Governor Gavin Newson decided not to suspend the wage increase because he said, “Not to allow this to happen. Future increases will only make life harder for Californians who already have a disproportionate share in the economic hardship caused by this pandemic. “
Q: If there is potential COVID-19 exposure in the workplace, does the law require my employer to do anything?
A: A new law this year requires the employer to take certain steps within one working day of possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, such as: B. written notifications to employees. The notification must be in English and, if necessary, in another language.
Q: We have more new laws in California this year, but what if one or more of them just isn’t sensible? Back to the legislature?
A: Legislation is one way, but legal challenge is another. If these options are unsatisfactory, consider elective action. Getting an item to be voted on by the electorate is not an easy task, but it can (and has been) done.
Ron Sokol is a Manhattan Beach attorney with over 35 years of experience. His column, which appears in print on Wednesdays, summarizes the law and should not be construed as legal advice. Email questions and comments to [email protected]
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