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California employment law changes for 2021

2021 California Employment Laws

In 2021, California will offer new benefits and opportunities to workers in the form of evolving employment law regulations.

Forward-thinking legislative efforts, set to take effect this year, will have a significant impact on employees across the state. These new laws will affect employers and company governance.

Expanded leave rights

New legislation expands the California Family Rights Act to apply to more employers and more employees. This year, companies with as few as five employees must provide leave opportunities to their workers. Additionally, employees may apply for family leave if they must care for a sibling or grandchild.

This expansion of leave protections means that more people than ever before are eligible for 12 weeks of protected, unpaid leave. Expanded leave opens a variety of childcare options to people who need more assistance.

Increased oversight of pay equality

In keeping with California’s efforts to address racial and gender pay disparities, companies with 100 or more employees must now submit pay data to the state. This year’s deadline is March 31st. The data will allow California to see the extent of such disparities and consider new ways to ensure fairness for all employees.

Diversity in corporate governance bodies

In an expansion of an earlier rule relating to gender on boards of directors, boards will now require the inclusion of people from “underrepresented groups.” The deadline for this change is the end of 2022.

The push for more ethnically and gender diverse boards, which many consider essential, can create a more robust and fair corporate culture for years to come.

Forward-thinking moves toward greater diversity

Together, these legislative advances further California’s goal of ensuring more conscientious workplaces.

Even with these expanded laws, much will depend on their implementation and how the courts interpret them to determine how they will affect the future ecosystem of employment law.

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