As of July 1, the minimum wage has increased in a number of California cities. If you have employees in any of the following cities, be sure that you have changed their pay rates accordingly. Note that in some cities, the minimum hourly wage is based on the number of employees. Also, if an employee works in (or telecommutes from) a city with a higher minimum wage than the state, the employer must follow both the state wage requirements and the city’s wage requirements for that employee. The current minimum wage in the state of California is $10.50/hour for employers with 26 or more employees, and $10/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
New minimum wages are as follows:
San Jose: $12/hour
San Francisco: $14/hour
San Leandro: $12/hour
• $15.20/hour for companies with 56 or more employees
• $14/hour for companies with 55 or fewer employees
Los Angeles, Malibu, Pasadena, Santa Monica, and unincorporated areas in Los Angeles County:
• $12/hour for companies with 26 or more employees
• $10.50 for companies with 25 or fewer employees
Effective January 1, 2018, the state-wide minimum wage will increase to $11/hour for employers with 26 or more employees and $10.50/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
Use of Criminal Histories in Hiring Decisions
Also effective July 1, the Fair Employment and Housing Council implemented new rules regarding the use of criminal history in hiring decisions.
The new rules require that employers consider whether their use of criminal histories will have an adverse impact on any protected class. If an applicant or employee claims that the policy or practice of using criminal histories has an adverse impact on a protected class, the employer will have to show that the policy was job-related and consistent with business necessity.
Employers must also be able to show that there wasn’t a less-discriminatory policy or practice that could have achieved the same result. Employer policies must allow for an individual assessment that considers the nature of the offense, how long ago it took place, and how it relates to the position, if at all.
In addition, applicants or employees must be notified if an adverse action will be taken because of their criminal history, and they must be given an opportunity to address any factual inaccuracies. If a record is shown to be inaccurate, it must not be considered.
Please note that the following criminal records should not be considered in California:
• Arrests that did not result in conviction (unless trial is pending)
• Detentions that did not result in conviction
• Sealed records
• Convictions that have been judicially dismissed, including through expungement
• Misdemeanor marijuana convictions more than two years old
• Participation in pre-trial or post-trial diversions programs
• Proceedings in juvenile court
If you have questions about a specific hiring situation, contact your employment counsel.