2022 Annual Legislative Summary, Employee Benefits – Part 1
January 4, 2023 by Beeson Tayer & BodineWe are presenting our annual Legislative Summary in four parts this year – this is part one:
AB 1041 – Amendment to California Family Rights Act
by Kelli Sanshey
Effective January 1, 2023, this bill amends the California Family Rights Act by expanding the class of people for whom an employee may take leave to care for to include a designated person. This bill defines “designated person” as any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. This bill authorizes a designated person to be identified at the time the employee requests the leave and authorizes an employer to limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period. This bill adds the same “designated person” to the scope of family members for whom employees may use Kin Care leave.
AB 1949 – Bereavement Leave
by Angela Yahaira Breining
This bill, effective January 1, 2023, requires private employers with five or more employees to provide employees with at least thirty days of service up to five unpaid days of bereavement leave upon the death of a qualifying family member. A qualifying family member includes a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law as defined in CFRA. If an employer does not have an existing bereavement leave policy, the five days of leave may be unpaid, but the employee may use other accrued paid leave. If the employer’s existing bereavement leave policy provides less than five days of paid bereavement leave, then the remaining days do not need to be paid, but the employee can use other accrued paid leave. If the employer’s existing policy provides less than five unpaid days of bereavement leave, then the employee is entitled to receive the full five days unpaid leave but may use other accrued paid leave.
Employees working under a CBA will not be covered under this law if the CBA expressly provides for bereavement equivalent to AB 1949 requirements and a regular hourly rate of pay for those employees that is at least thirty percent above the state minimum wage.
AB 2530 – Health Care Benefits for Striking Workers
by Lorrie E. Bradley
Starting July 1, 2023, most private sector workers who participate in a strike or workplace action and lose their health care benefits should be eligible for health care coverage under Covered California. Striking workers and their families who lose their health care coverage will receive the same premium assistance and cost-sharing reduction as offered to people whose family incomes are just above the Medicaid eligibility level. In some circumstances, striking workers and their families may be eligible for Medi-Cal coverage. This law makes it easier for striking workers and their families to maintain health coverage during a labor dispute without delays and running the risk of having to repay subsidies for coverage at the end of the tax year.
SB 3 – Minimum Wage Increases
by Angela Yahaira Breining
The schedule for the state minimum wage increases was created by SB 3 in 2016. Effective January 1, 2023, the state minimum wage will be $15 an hour for all employees even for employers with less than 25 employees. After the state minimum wage reaches $15 an hour for all employees, the rate will be adjusted annually for inflation based on the national consumer price index for urban wage earners and clerical workers (CPI-W).
SB 951 – Increased Unemployment and Family Temporary Disability Insurance
by Clarissa M. Romero
SB 951 increases wage replacement rates under State Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave for employees earning 70 percent or less of the state’s average wage. Starting in 2025, wage replacement rates are increased from 70 percent of their regular wages to 90 percent. Employees on unpaid leaves, such as leaves under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA), can apply for partial wage coverage under State Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave.
The material on this website is provided by Beeson, Tayer & Bodine for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented. Some of the articles are updated periodically, and are marked with the date of the last update. Again, readers should consult with their own legal counsel for the most current information and to obtain professional advice before acting on any of the information presented.