California Legislative Update

October 09, 2018

A number of key laws will be effective in the coming years that affect California employers and employees. We’ve summarized a few key highlights.

On September 30, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that makes changes to California law.  While some of the laws will become effective in the coming years, we have outlined key details to the bills the Governor signed below.

SB 1412 – Applicants for Employment: Criminal History

Employers can now conduct background checks for employees with certain exceptions. An employer, regardless of being private or public, cannot seek information regarding an applicant’s arrest or detention that did not result in conviction or occurred while the applicant was subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. An employer also cannot seek information concerning a referral to, and participation in, any pretrial or post trial diversion program, or concerning a conviction that has been judicially dismissed or ordered sealed pursuant to law.

However, under the new law, an employer may conduct a background check under specific circumstances where:

  • The employer is a health facility as defined under Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code; an applicant’s juvenile arrest or detention resulted in a felony or misdemeanor conviction that occurred within five years preceding the application for employment;
  • The employer is required to obtain information regarding a conviction of an applicant; the applicant would be required to possess or use a firearm in the course of his or her employment;
  • An individual who has been convicted of a crime is prohibited by law from holding the position sought, regardless of whether the conviction has been expunged, judicially ordered sealed, statutorily eradicated, or judicially dismissed following probation; or
  • The employer is prohibited by law from hiring an applicant who has been convicted of a crime

AB 1976 – Lactation Accommodation

This new law clarifies what it means to make reasonable efforts to provide the employee with the use of a room or other location, other than a bathroom, in close proximity to the employee’s work area, for the employee to breastfeed privately.

An employer is deemed to have complied with the law if it makes a temporary lactation location available to an employee, as long as:

  • The employer is unable to provide a permanent lactation location because of operational, financial, or space limitations;
  • The temporary lactation location is private and free from intrusion while an employee expresses milk;
  • The temporary lactation location is used only for lactation purposes while an employee expresses milk;
  • The temporary lactation location otherwise meets the requirements of state law concerning lactation accommodation.

If the employer can demonstrate to the Department of Industrial Relations that this requirement would impose an undue hardship, the new law requires the employer to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or location for expressing milk that is not a toilet stall.

SB 1343 – Employers: Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

The new law requires employers with five or more employees, including temporary or seasonable employees, to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisors and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and one every 2 years thereafter.


Thank you for choosing Paylocity as your Payroll Tax partner. Should you have any questions please contact your Paylocity Account Manager.

This information is provided as a courtesy, may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.