In California yesterday, Governor Brown signed into law two bills, SB 63 and AB 168, that will significantly impact California employers come January 1, 2018:

  • SB 63 requires California employers with 20-49 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of protected (but unpaid) baby bonding leave to eligible employees. This bill closely mirrors the existing requirements for larger employers under the Family and Medical Leave and the California Family Rights Acts.
  • AB 168 prohibits California employers from inquiring about an applicant’s salary history and from relying upon such history as a factor in determining pay. Similar measures exist in other states and in San Francisco.

Though the laws do not take effect until the new year, employers should take steps now to prepare. Small employers should carefully review existing leave policies and make necessary revisions to provide for the mandated 12 weeks of leave. All employers should begin phasing out the use of salary history in employment applications and other employment materials.