Highlights of New California Employment Laws for 2018

The following are some highlights of significant laws which impact California employers.

Please note that cities within California, such as San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Los Angeles and others, have additional employment/HR requirements that will go into effect on January 1, 2018 and are not addressed is this document – the following is not and should not be considered legal advice.

Contact info@kohler-law.com for detailed CA legal employer compliance for, among other things, updating your:

  • Employee Handbook,
  • Employee Applications,
  • Hiring/ Termination Policies,
  • other critical issues.

The highlights below are intended are high-level highlights only, and do not reflect a comprehensive list of new laws/regulations/requirements.

Salary History

Employers are prohibited  from relying on “salary history information” as a factor in determining whether to offer employment and what salary to offer to an applicant.

An employer cannot seek salary history information about an applicant.

The law also requires employers to provide the pay scale for a position upon an applicant’s “reasonable” request.

Under the California Fair Pay Act, salary history alone cannot justify a gender or race disparity.

Immigration Enforcement

Employers and agents are prevented from voluntarily consenting to providing information to immigration enforcement agents in order to provide access to nonpublic areas .

Ban the Box

The Fair Employment and Housing Act makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers with >5  employees to: include on any application for employment any question that seeks the disclosure of an applicant’s conviction history:

  • inquire into or consider an applicant’s conviction history before the applicant receives a conditional offer of employment; and
  • consider, distribute, or disseminate information related to arrests that did not result in convictions, diversion program participation, and/or convictions that were sealed, dismissed, expunged, or eradicated.


The law greatly expands certain employee retaliation and whistleblower claims which allows the Labor Commissioner to initiate an investigation of employers, with or without a complaint.

Anti-Harassment Training

CA employers >50 employees must provide sexual harassment training to supervisors every two years.  

Sexual harassment classes must now include training re harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, and include examples.

Human Trafficking

Hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns and other businesses, are required to post notices re Human Trafficking.

Construction Contractor Liability

General Contractors are responsible for payments owed to a wage claimant, including unpaid wages, benefit , payment for services, and related. Subcontractors must provide payroll records to general contractors.

Contact info@kohler-law.com for more information.